Murray Rankin, here campaigning during the provincial election Oct. 23, is the new NDP MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head. (Tony Sprackett Photo)

Murray Rankin, here campaigning during the provincial election Oct. 23, is the new NDP MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head. (Tony Sprackett Photo)

New Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Murray Rankin says he will use his federal connections

Rankin said being part of NDP majority government gives him a strong voice

New Democrat Murrary Rankin says he has a lot to learn about provincial policies as the new Member of the Legislative Assembly for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, but has also signalled that he will use his previous federal experience.

“I do want to reach out to federal friends and colleagues because that’s how you get things done in Canada,” he said, adding that the previous NDP minority government has developed a record of collaboration with the federal government. “So this is good time to work in a government with Premier Horgan, who has obviously a lot of respect in Ottawa and if I can add to that team I would be delighted to do so.”

Rankin made these comments in an interview with Black Press Sunday after being declared the winner in the riding, having won the riding comfortably with 6,834 votes, ahead of Green Nicole Duncan (4,046), BC Liberal Roxanne Helme (3,400) and Communist Party of BC’s Florian Castle (78).

“It’s really an honour to represent a riding that has been the only one in British Columbia that has been represented all parties — the Conservatives, B.C. Liberals, the B.C. Greens and the NDP, and even before Social Credit,” he said. “It’s really quite a unique riding. It is also a riding that has more engaged people.”

Rankin replaces Andrew Weaver, the former leader of the BC Green Party, who sat as an independent when the Legislative Assembly dissolved.

NDP’s Rankin declared winner in Oak Bay-Gordon Head

Rankin said he has “big shoes to fill” in following Weaver, with whom he will continue to consult because he and Weaver share similar concerns about climate change and the environment.

“He is a global leader on climate change and he is right here in our riding and will I pick his brains — you bet!”

Rankin will be familiar with many parts of his new provincial riding with much of it overlapping with the federal riding of Victoria, which he represented for nearly seven years as MP for the federal New Democrats, rising to the position of House leader.

In other words, Rankin knows whom to call around parliamentary and ministerial offices, as well as the federal bureaucracy, knowledge that he intends to use. But Rankin, however, stressed that he has not had discussion with Horgan about serving in cabinet. “Mr. Horgan will make his decision to what role I play, but being part of a strong NDP caucus in a majority government will give me a strong voice and I intend to use it.”

Rankin ran as one of the New Democratic star candidates following a brief retirement of elected politics, but he insists that there was nothing inevitable about his victory.

He said the New Democratic candidate had finished third in 2017, well behind Weaver. “So I had a long way to go,” he said.

Voters in the riding had also not elected a New Democratic candidate since the late 1980s, early 1990s, when Elizabeth Cull first won a by-election in 1989, then a general election in 1991, he said.

“So it has been 29 years since voters put an X beside a successful NDP candidate,” he said. “So it’s a whole generation that has passed without being represented in this riding by NDP.”

Looking at issues, Rankin said the pandemic remains an “enormous challenge” and he plans to focus its efforts on it as well as other health related issues such as senior long-term care, home-care, and climate change.

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parkland Secondary principal Lizanne Chicanot stands by the track which is the subject of a fundraising effort. The 35-year-old track is well beyond its best-before date. (Jason Earnshaw/Submitted)
Fundraising campaign to replace North Saanich track off to the races

Track at Parkland Secondary School ‘well, well beyond its best-before date’

Island Health is expanding COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo with a new testing location at Vancouver Island University. (News Bulletin file photo)
Island Health issues apology over racist practices in health care system

Report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond finds ‘widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people’

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak hits first Greater Victoria hospital

Island Health declares outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

Penny Hart is calling on the community to help find her son Sean Hart who was last seen on Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Search spreads for Saanich man missing from mental health facility for nearly a month

Family hopeful as possible sightings reported across Island and in Vancouver

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Most Read