Coun. Brian Pincott won't run in 2017 Calgary municipal election
First elected in 2007, Pincott has fended off fierce challenges in the hotly-contested southwest riding of Ward 11
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The three-term councillor for Calgary's Ward 11 won't be running in the upcoming municipal election, according to a letter sent out Tuesday morning.
Brian Pincott said his passion to serve Calgary and the citizens of Ward 11 never waned in the nearly 10 years he served, and that he will continue to be committed to "building and supporting our community as I take my next step."
“I never wanted this to be my last job,” Pincott told Metro. “On a personal level, it’s about discovering what’s next and being open to what’s next.”
In the letter, Pincott said he came in passionate about several issues and felt as though he achieved many of the goals he set when first taking office in 2007.
In his time in office, the quick-witted, oft sharp-tongued politician was also embroiled in several contentious issues, including the set up of a methadone clinic in the southwest Calgary community of Braeside and the push for a ban on shark fin soup in the city.
His commentary against chocolate and beets never turned his colleagues against him.
Most recently, Pincott was the lightning rod for community backlash over the proposed southwest Calgary Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a project that ultimately went back to the drawing board in the summer of 2016.
“Yes, I had about 10 months there of just really brutal nastiness,” said Pincott. “That erodes your soul, and it takes a toll, but being involved in those kinds of issues is part of the job.”
He said what’s disappointing is how people think they can participate in the public discourse. But that “never-ending onslaught,” and the “deep depression” he’s battled for three-and-a-half years had nothing to do with his ultimate decision.
“This is a professional decision,” said Pincott. “I love this job, I want to be able to leave when I love the job.”
Pincott also represented the city abroad with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and participated as a civic adviser in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. He’s been trying to generate futher support after the 2016 Hurricane Matthew.
Ward 11 has also been a hotly-contested battleground in municipal elections. Pincott fended off James Maxim in both the 2010 and 2013 municipal elections, each time winning by less than 2,000 votes. Pincott was set to face another big challenge in 2017, against former Manning Foundation researcher Jeromy Farkas.
“I’m hopeful that a good candidate will come forward,” said Pincott. “A candidate that is committed to building an inclusive city for absolutely everyone, and helping move this city towards a sustainable path that allows people to flourish.”
The long-time social advocate said he'll continue to work to make Calgary more inclusive and "remain dedicated to the deep egalitarian principles that I believe are embedded in the psyche of this great city, our strong province, and our welcoming and inclusive country."
What’s next for the councillor? There’s still work to be done at City Hall for Pincott, but once October rolls around he’s considering options, including a joining the provincial race in Mountain View – he’s sure he wants to stay in Calgary.
The 2017 municipal election is on Oct. 16.