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Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson announces he will not seek re-election

He announced in a Facebook post Wednesday that he will step aside after a decade in the city's top office

Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver, participates in a news conference during a summit on climate change involving mayors from around the globe Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Chicago.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver, participates in a news conference during a summit on climate change involving mayors from around the globe Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Chicago.

Mayor Gregor Robertson has announced he will not seek re-election in the upcoming municipal election in October.

“When I finish my third term later this year, the decade in office will be the longest consecutive run as Mayor in Vancouver's history,” Robertson wrote on his Facebook page. “Ten years is a long time in politics. An important part of leadership is recognizing when to step aside to make space for new leaders.”

His announcement comes on the heels of several other councillors announcing they will also not run again. Robertson’s Vision Vancouver colleague, Coun. Andrea Reimer, and NPA Coun. George Affleck, have also announced they will not run again.

Vision Vancouver, a centre-left party that has held a majority on council since 2008. But the party has come under fire for its slow response to a housing crisis that became an emergency after an extraordinary price spike in 2016 that affected the rental market. Homelessness also rose to historic highs in 2016 and 2017, in direct contravention to the mayor’s 2008 election promise to end street homelessness by 2015.

Vision suffered a crushing defeat in an October 2017 by-election: the party’s candidate came in fifth place behind the NPA, emergent left-wing party OneCity, independent candidate Jean Swansen and the Green Party.

Another blow came this December when Robertson lost his position of chair of TransLink’s Mayors’ Council to Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan. Corrigan is sceptical of a Broadway Corridor subway extension for Vancouver, a transit goal that Robertson has advocated strongly for.

“I’m fired up for the rest of the term,” Robertson wrote on Facebook. “Over the next ten months, I’ll be focused on securing funding for the Broadway Subway and transit projects across the region, taking aggressive action to approve record levels of affordable housing, and creating even more vibrant public spaces on par with the new Arbutus Greenway and Jim Deva Plaza.”

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