October 22, 2018 7:24 pm
Updated: December 31, 2018 5:58 pm

Vancouver’s new mayor Kennedy Stewart sees himself as a facilitator on council

WATCH: Now that Ken Sim has conceded the mayor's race in Vancouver to Kennedy Stewart, the new mayor faces the challenge of a council where no one party holds a majority of seats. Jill Bennett reports.

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Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart is reaching out to the city’s 10 newly elected councillors to talk about how city hall is going to look for the next four years.

Only two of the councillors elected, Melissa De Genova with the Non-Partisan Association (NPA), and Adriane Carr with the Green Party, are incumbents, meaning there are eight new councillors now on council.

Stewart says his job as mayor will be to facilitate things so everyone gets things passed.

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“It’s recognizing this is not a typical council,” he said. “Usually, you have a majority and then you have an opposition and that’s how councils have worked for a very long time, but that’s not how this council is going to work.”

READ MORE: Former NDP MP Kennedy Stewart elected mayor of Vancouver

Stewart, a former New Democrat MP, is well known for being arrested while protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion.

He plans to continue that opposition at the civic level but says as mayor, housing will be the number one priority.

WATCH: Kennedy Stewart gives victory speech after winning Vancouver mayoral race

“We have to remember what the focus is,” he said. “It’s got to be about affordable housing. That was the clearer signal from voters. …. We’re in a crisis here.”

Stewart will also be working with the province on the cannabis file. While cities and municipalities have control over the issuing of licences, many were waiting until after the civic elections to secure new policy.

READ MORE: Full City of Vancouver election results

When asked if he uses cannabis, Kennedy said, “I did, back when I was into rock and roll, but I don’t anymore.”

Stewart defeated runner-up Ken Sim by fewer than 1,000 votes.

READ MORE: ‘A real sea change’: Vision Vancouver virtually wiped out after decade of power

Kennedy said he received an email Monday assuring him he is the winner and there will not be a recount.

He said he wants to change the voting system so the 2018 election will be the last one using an at-large system.

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