New Victoria MP Rankin officially sworn in

Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair welcomes local lawyer to NDP caucus

Fifteen days after he won a byelection for the Victoria riding, Member of Parliament Murray Rankin was sworn in to his new position Tuesday in Ottawa.

Rankin, who ran neck and neck with Green Party candidate Donald Galloway during the vote count but pulled away in the late stages, was welcomed to the NDP caucus by party leader Thomas Mulcair.

The federal Opposition leader said voters in Victoria have had enough of the Conservatives’ “backwards environmental policies.”

“The NDP is the only party that can bring change,” Mulcair said in a news release. “Murray Rankin is best positioned to represent the people of Victoria and fight for their priorities.”

Rankin, a lawyer, has a long history of fighting for environmental causes. Most recently he was co-president of the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria, a legal aid clinic run by students. He has also been working for the NDP, leading a team of legal experts fighting the Northern Gateway pipeline project.

ā€œIā€™m concerned about the direction Stephen Harper is taking with the environment. The people of Victoria have had enough of cuts to important environmental protections and want the environment to be a fundamental priority of the government,ā€ Rankin said in a prepared statement.

He succeeds Denise Savoie, who announced her retirement due to health reasons in August.

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