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Ken Sim launches mayoral bid in Chinatown, vows ‘15-minute cities’

Former NPA candidate has officially found a new party in second bid for mayor’s chair
ken sim
Ken Sim formally launched a new bid to obtain the mayor’s seat at Vancouver City Hall by accepting his nomination by new civic party A Better City.

Ken Sim formally launched a new bid to obtain the mayor’s seat at Vancouver City Hall by accepting his nomination by new civic party A Better City.

The former 2018 Non Partisan Association candidate lost by 957 votes to then independent Kennedy Stewart. It was no secret Sim was going to run again, having announced his intentions in summer 2020.

Sim spoke to about 300 people at Floata Restaurant in Chinatown. Fostering diversity was top of mind for Sim.

The businessman spoke briefly of his time growing up in the Champlain Heights neighbourhood and putting himself through university to become a chartered accountant and then an investment banker. 

He then began to speak about the city’s racial and cultural diversity by first telling a story of how the original deed of the house he and his wife bought had a clause that read “this property shall not be transferred to negroes or Orientals.”

He said, “I felt like Vancouver wasn’t built for me, it wasn’t built for us,” but soon came to realize society had generally overcome those wrongs and now anyone “of any race, gender or sexual orientation can live and build a family right here in Vancouver.”

Although not everyone can build a family in Vancouver, with housing security, Sim acknowledged.

He said since the last election “our city feels more divided than ever before. Our streets — they’re not safe anymore. Businesses across the city are struggling at an alarming rate and people of all ages are struggling to find affordable housing.”

Sim's short speech hit on some policy measures he’ll implement.

“Instead of defending the incompetence at the elected park board, we are going to roll the park board under the jurisdiction of city council like every other city across Canada.”

He said his party would plan to build a “15-minute city in neighbourhoods across our city, where people can live 90% of their lives within a 15-minute walk of their front door.”

Doing so would be the biggest carbon emission reducing policy the city has ever seen, he claimed.

And, “We’re going to invest more in community safety.”

“Our opponents want to divide us. I want to unite us,” said Sim.

Opponents include incumbent mayor Kennedy Stewart, an academic and former NDP MP; Mark Marissen, a political strategist and former Premier Christy Clark’s ex-spouse; and John Coupar, a park board commissioner running for the NPA. 

Sim is married, founded small business Nurse Next Door and with wife Teena (Gupta) had four children (ages 12 to 19). He’s also the owner of bagel shop Rosemary Rocksalt.

A Better City has a board consisting of: Tammy Young, a human resources worker; Wendy Hartley, a public relations advisor; Marcus Sixta, a family lawyer with Crossroads Law; Stephen Molnar, a sales and marketing professional, including development; Josh Krenus, an insurance broker; John Chan, a corporate finance and investment professional; Jack Yong, a lawyer with Lawson Lundell LLP, leading the firm’s China Group; Ann-Marie Copping, a businesswoman; Anna Tse, a banking advisor; Ali Chaudhry, a youth advocate; and Alliance Babunga, a political public relations specialist.

gwood@glaciermedia.ca