Ken Sim pledges support for North Shore SkyTrain line as Kennedy Stewart releases platform

Vancouver mayoral candidate Ken Sim, running with A Better City (ABC), is pictured in Vancouver on Sept. 29. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
Vancouver mayoral candidate Ken Sim, running with A Better City (ABC), is pictured in Vancouver on Sept. 29. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

A Vancouver mayoral candidate is pledging his support for a SkyTrain line that would run from North Vancouver over the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge and into downtown Vancouver as a key highlight of his platform.

Ken Sim of A Better City (ABC) spoke about the idea of a SkyTrain expansion connecting with the existing Expo Line Tuesday at Hastings Racecourse, located in the northeast part of Vancouver.

He said he'd like to see the area, which is also home to the Pacific National Exhibition, served by SkyTrain.

"It's fairly easy to get here by car, but not so much by transit," he told reporters.

Sim's pledge aligns with a commitment from TransLink and Metro Vancouver mayors to build a rapid transit connection to the traffic-snarled North Shore, which was unveiled earlier this year in the Transport 2050 strategy.

The method of rapid transit to the North Shore has not been determined, nor has the cost, funding, route or potential date of completion.

Sim took the opportunity Tuesday to highlight how his transit plan contrasts with that of incumbent Kennedy Stewart, who recently revealed his hopes for a Vancouver Loop SkyTrain expansion from the University of British Columbia's Point Grey campus along the 41 and 49 avenues to Metrotown.

Sim said he will work with municipalities to secure funding for his proposed expansion.

"The difference between [Stewart's] fantasy loop and our first transit priority after the UBC line is teamwork," Sim said.

"Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton — they're all amalgamated cities that automatically have one voice when advocating for regional projects. Here in Metro Vancouver, it's just not that simple. There are 23 local authorities that can weigh in and we need to work together."

Sim was joined Tuesday by incumbent mayoral candidates Richard Stewart of Coquitlam and Mike Little of the District of North Vancouver, who are both are seeking re-election.

When asked whether his appearance was an endorsement of Sim, Little said it was a "broad endorsement" of the priorities outlined in the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation's plan.

Increased renter protection, Olympic plebiscite pitched on campaign trail

Stewart's vision for a Vancouver loop was included in his party's platform, which was released on Tuesday.

Forward Together's platform focused heavily on housing, with a goal of approving 220,000 new homes over 10 years with an emphasis on affordable homes.

His platform also contained pledges to increase renter protections, double child-care spaces and tackle climate change.

"In this tight election, Vancouver voters have a clear choice: do we want a Vancouver where only some people get ahead or a city that works for all of us?" Stewart said.

Colleen Hardwick, mayoral candidate for TEAM, is expected to announce a plan to replace the proposed Broadway subway extension to UBC with light rail across Vancouver on Wednesday.

Election night is set for Oct. 15. Advance voting has already begun in Vancouver.