Monday, June 24, 2024

BC NDP’s Murray Rankin announces he will not be seeking re-election this October


Murray Rankin has been one of the more prominent and popular figures who has served the government as part of both the federal NDP and BC NDP. 

He has been the MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head since 2020 and has also served as the BC government’s Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

Prior to that, Rankin was Victoria’s MP for the NDP in the House of Commons from 2012 to 2019. In the 2015 election, he received 42% of the vote in his constituency, giving him the most votes of any NDP candidate during that election. 

Now, he is bidding the BC NDP farewell, similarly to how he left federal politics back in 2019. 

Rankin made the announcement via X on Monday, June 3rd. He says he is stepping aside to allow others to contribute in his stead. 

Throughout his political career Rankin says he is proud of all his contributions, including the private member’s bill that would lead to the creation of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and serving the Prime Minister as the Chair of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency. 

However, he says his greatest achievement was while serving the BC government and implementing the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act as the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

“I believe that our government’s efforts to achieve reconciliation will be regarded as among its greatest achievements,” said Rankin. 

“With the unwavering support of Premiers Horgan and Eby, we are at last making progress to reverse British Columbia’s colonial past and to address the injustices that Indigenous Peoples have faced for so many years.”

He added that the recognition of Haida rights and finding a permanent home for the Lyackson First Nation have been especially rewarding to him in his ministry role. 

In his farewell, Rankin thanked several of his colleagues, his family and the residents of Victoria, Oak Bay and Gordon Head for their support over the years. 

He also noted that the burden of governing is not easy and he will continue to support the BC NDP in the next election, just not in the role of MLA. 

Replacing Rankin

Just after Rankin’s announcement went public, a new candidate announced their intention to take his place as the Oak Bay-Gordon Head representative for the BC NDP. 

Diana Gibson, who was the former executive director of the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, has announced her hopes to be the next BC NDP Oak Bay-Gordon Head candidate.

“We are a better province, a better country, a better world thanks to Murray’s work,” said Gibson.

 “Volunteering on his campaigns, I saw how hard he worked to earn the trust of our community. As a nonprofit leader, I’ve seen how deeply Murray cares for people and for getting things done for them.”

During her time with the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria, Gison founded climate change, housing affordability and rent bank programs which directly benefited the region. 

She is a resident of the riding she is running in and lives with her partner and three children and has been a member of the BC NDP for several years, contributing to past elections as a door-knocker throughout the community. 

“We’ve been through so much these last few years, and we’ve got big challenges we still need to tackle,” Gibson said. 

“I hear it every day [sic] – people want action to make life easier and more affordable.”

She says that as a BC NDP candidate, she would advocate for issues that are impacting her community such as healthcare, making life more affordable, housing, good jobs, a thriving, sustainable economy, and protecting our air, land and water. 

In the coming days, the BC NDP will announce a nomination date and following that, a new candidate will be decided. 

Curtis Blandy

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