Vision Vancouver mayoral candidate Ian Campbell drops out of the race

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      For the first time in its 14-year history, Vision Vancouver will not field a candidate for mayor.

      This evening, the party announced that Ian Campbell has withdrawn less than three months after becoming the party's nominee and less than four months of announcing his intention to become mayor.

      Campbell, a hereditary chief with the Squamish Nation, said in a statement that with the deadline approaching to formally enter the race, he's "reflected on the political landscape and my complicated personal journey".

      "When I put all these pieces together, it seems clear that the best choice is for me to withdraw as candidate for Mayor of Vancouver," he stated. "I want to thank my family and supporters for standing beside me throughout this entire journey and effort.

      This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly. I’m proud of the ideas I’ve brought to the table and the platform we’ve developed with our remarkable team of candidates and members."

      In a recent Mainstreet poll, Campbell was in fourth place in the mayoral race behind the leader, NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, and Yes Vancouver's Hector Bremner and the NPA's Ken Sim.

      "I know the talented, passionate and diverse group of Vision Vancouver candidates running for council, school board and park board will deliver on this bold agenda," Campbell added. "Each one of them deserves your vote on October 20."

      Campbell took a leave of absence as a Squamish Nation councillor as he was running for mayor. 

      Had he been elected, he would have been Vancouver's first Indigenous mayor and the first big-city Indigenous mayor in Canadian history.

      "I continue to believe that Vision Vancouver is the party where thoughtful, progressive and community-minded people come together to make our city a welcoming home for everyone," he said. "I am proud of the party, grateful for their support and I wish all Vision candidates well in the coming race.”

      Vision Vancouver has ruled the city since 2008 under Mayor Gregor Robertson, who is not seeking reelection.

      It was hoping that Campbell would secure the support of progressive parties, but that looked extremely unlikely to occur.

      The Greens said last month that they won't be endorsing a mayoral candidate.

      A OneCity organizer said earlier this year that her party wants Vision Vancouver to acknowledge that a new approach is needed to address the high cost and shortage of housing.

      More recently, OneCity said it might endorse a mayoral candidate, but it was unlikely to be Campbell.

      And the Coalition of Progressive Electors was never going to endorse a Vision candidate for mayor.

      In addition, the Vancouver and District Labour Council endorsed Stewart, leaving Vision with little room to grow support for its mayoral candidate.

      Like Robertson, Campbell has been a consistent opponent of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project.

      Last week, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld First Nations and environmental groups' arguments that the approval should be quashed.

      That's because the federal government failed to meet its legal obligations to consult with Indigenous people and the National Energy Board failed to consider the impact of marine transportation of diluted bitumen on endangered species.