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NDP MLA candidate Brian Pincott backs out of Calgary-Acadia race

CALGARY — An NDP candidate in Calgary says he won’t be running in this spring’s provincial election due to struggles with depression.

Brian Pincott, a former city councillor, won the NDP nomination for Calgary−Acadia in October.

But Pincott said in a Facebook post he no longer has the confidence to be the candidate or MLA that people deserve, and says “the last several months have already been a very hard struggle with encroaching depression.”

The NDP currently holds Calgary−Acadia, but Brandy Payne, a former associate health minister, announced last year that she wouldn’t run again because she wants to spend more time with her husband and two young daughters.

Pincott served on Calgary’s city council from 2007 to 2017.

He went public with his depression in September 2017.

“As I look ahead to the coming election campaign of 2019, I no longer have the confidence that I can give the 100 per cent of me that will be needed,” Pincott wrote in the post.

“Many think that this will be the nastiest, most bitter campaign in Alberta history, and I don’t disagree.”

Pincott wrote that after the four−year−long bout with depression that led to him going public in 2017, he became intent on developing strategies for figuring out when he was sliding into depression, so he could take steps to avoid hitting “rock bottom.”

He said that last summer, he saw the signs, and that he and his doctor worked together and adjusted his medication. It gave him the confidence, he said, to put his name forward as a candidate for Calgary−Acadia.

But he wrote that things have worsened since then.

Pincott ended the post with a political message that called for unity, while also criticizing what he called “populist rhetoric not only from south of the border, but also from other regions in Canada.”

“I wish everyone all the best for 2019. As for me, I will continue to try to do my best,” Pincott wrote.