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'This is deeply personal': Ken Sim explains why he wants to be Vancouver's next mayor

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Ken Sim is hoping the second time is the charm. The Vancouver businessman is once again challenging Kennedy Stewart to become mayor of Vancouver, and the latest polling shows the contest is a two-horse race.

Sim sat down with CTV News to discuss why he still wants the job.

“This is deeply personal, I’m not a career politician,” Sim said. “I’m just a concerned resident who truly believes that Vancouver has a brighter future for all of us.”

Sim is the father of four boys. He said his children “don’t see a future for themselves” in Vancouver, which was a primary motivator to get involved in politics. In 2018, Sim lost to Kennedy Stewart by 977 votes, and soon after, decided to run again.

“I don't think it was any one thing, it was just a combination of things not getting better,” he said. “It became more of a foregone conclusion that there was unfinished business in terms of righting the ship of our city to making this place a more affordable, livable, vibrant city for all of us.”

After stepping away from the NPA party, Sim created his own called A Better City Vancouver, or ABC, also bringing with him three current city councillors - Lisa Dominato, Sarah Kirby-Yung and Rebecca Bligh.

Sim released his full party’s platform almost two weeks ago, and it is available for voters to read online.

Sim believes his business experience will be an asset to City Hall, and his team’s campaign has focused on connecting with people in the city. At last count, ABC’s communications manager said the team had knocked on 67,000 doors and made around 185,000 phone calls.

“I call it walking the shop floor,” Sim said. “With my background, I believe the best way to understand what the challenges, and the opportunities are, is to walk through the city and speak to residents and business owners and community members.”

Former city councillor and CTV News political contributor George Affleck said Sim’s challenge will be managing ambition with reality.

“I can tell you, from first hand experience, that being a politician and working in government is pretty much the exact opposite of running a business,” Affleck said.

On the campaign front, there have been some controversial moments. The Vancouver Police Union's decision to endorse Sim was criticized as an inappropriate overreach, while Sim said the endorsement was an “honour.”

Sim’s team also claimed Kennedy Stewart would implement a new tax called “road pricing,” something Stewart has said is not true.

The municipal election is on Oct. 15.

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