Mayor Kennedy Stewart promises ‘respect’ in leading next city council

Guests included former premier Mike Harcourt, who was elected mayor in Vancouver in 1980 as an independent. Stewart said Harcourt’s time as an independent mayor provides “historical guidance” on how the next four years will go at city hall. “Mike tells me such councils perhaps have the greatest potential for success, as all voices matter equally,” he said, noting Harcourt’s council also included his colleague, former Vancouver-East NDP MP Libby Davies, who was master of ceremonies Monday. It was Davies who urged Stewart and the councillors to break through “partisan histories and traditions to find ways of learning and co-operating.” She said the “easy road” is to slide into hyper-partisanship, which Vancouver councils have a strong history of doing because of majority governments. “We have high hopes for this new city council, and we wish you well,” she said. “Seek what unites you while respecting your adversaries, work in good faith for the greater good of our city.”