Mayor Lee Brain has announced on Jan. 10, his intention not to seek the city leaders’ chair for a third term in the upcoming autumn municipal elections.
“After a lot of careful reflection, today I am announcing that I will not be seeking re-election as Mayor of Prince Rupert in this upcoming October 2022 municipal election,” Brain stated on a social media post.
Brain who was acclaimed as mayor of the city, in Oct. 2018 due to no running competition, was the youngest city mayor voted in when he first took office in 2014.
“The last seven years have seen some of the best and most challenging times in my life. Not only have I personally evolved since running for the first time at 28, but this community has significantly moved forward as well,” he said.
“Now in my mid 30s, I only have a limited time to enjoy these early years with my 10-month-old daughter and be present for Hailey, and my family’s journey that is just beginning. So I will not be the one running for another two terms to fully see Rupert 2030 through.”
“This community took a chance on me in 2014, and for that, I am truly grateful. I didn’t want to let you all down, so I poured every fibre of my entire being into this position – and never let up on the energy in order to help bring us to new heights. But, ultimately I’m here on a soul’s journey, and that voice inside is calling me to a new level of service to the world and humanity – and with that said it’s time for me to take my leave once this term is complete,” he said.
The mayor cited the city’s accomplishments during the past seven years, while noting Prince Rupert was on the verge of bankruptcy and suffering from the economic collapse of the 1990’s when he was first elected.
“We were nearly bankrupt, paying $90,000 a month for an abandoned pulp mill full of legal issues, had a backlog of infrastructure issues, and had little vision for our future,” the statement reads.
“Fast forward to today, and I can confidently say we’ve pulled Prince Rupert out of the proverbial ‘hole’ and have raised nearly $200 million in direct community investments, made Watson Island into a revenue generator, are tackling major infrastructure issues like our water supply upgrades – and have a list of over 30 plus revitalization projects from new housing to waterfront developments happening all over the community,” he stated.
The mayor attributes the success to the way council and city staff have combined efforts to work as a team through the Redesign Rupert process, and how businesses and community members joined in to make the Rupert 2030 plan a forwarding moving goal.
Being a career politician was never his intention, Brain said, but he wanted to stay to see the city back on track with a promising future.
The next ten months will see him hit the gas pedal to slingshot the community forward so it is in a better position for future councils to continue the work.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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