Former Vancouver East MP Libby Davies throws her support behind Kennedy Stewart's campaign for mayor

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      A popular veteran of Vancouver politic is lending her name to Kennedy Stewart's campaign for mayor.

      Yesterday (July 4), former NDP MP Libby Davies issued a statement endorsing Stewart, who is running as an independent and who is also a former NDP MP.

      “Kennedy has the experience, knowledge and skills to unite a majority of voters around progressive policies that put people first,” Davies said in a statement published on Stewart's campaign website. “If you care about affordable housing, protecting our environment, restoring faith in city hall, or tackling the opioid crisis, Kennedy is the best person to lead city council and take on the big challenges facing Vancouver.”

      Davies represented Vancouver East in the House of Commons from 1997 until she retired from federal politics in 2015. Before that, she served as a member of Vancouver city council with the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) from 1982 to 1993. Her record of advocacy for drug-policy reform, human rights for sex workers, and affordable housing earned her a reputation as a champion of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

      Stewart announced that he is running for mayor of Vancouver on May 10 and on the same day said he would therefore relinquish is seat in the legislature in order to focus on the campaign. He represented Burnaby South beginning in 2015 and before that held the seat of Burnaby Douglas from 2011 to 2015.

      “I have decided to take up this new challenge in order to continue my fight for the environment, but also because of an overwhelming call from my supporters asking me to help battle the worst housing crisis this region has ever seen,” Steward said on May 10

      In Davies' statement released in support of Kennedy, she describes him as the best option that left-leaning voters have to prevent the right-of-centre NPA from dominating the coming election.

      “Kennedy is also the best person to stop current and past Non Partisan Association (NPA) members from taking control of Vancouver city council once again” Davies said. “Whether it is Ken Sim, Wai Young or Hector Bremner, Vancouver can’t afford the same backwards-looking NPA that puts big money interests ahead of the needs of regular Vancouverites.”

      “I have known Kennedy for over two decades as an academic and activist, and worked side-by-side with him in Ottawa for four years taking on the Harper Conservatives. He is dedicated to equity and democracy, plus he brings people together to get things done. I trust Kennedy and think he will be a great mayor.”

      Former NDP MP Libby Davies announced in 2014 that after nearly 40 years in public service she had decided not to run for re-election the following year.
      Travis Lupick

      Vancouver's next election for mayor, city council, park board, and school board is scheduled for October 20, 2018.