After what NDP MP Murray Rankin describes as a “tumultuous” year in politics, he’s looking ahead to the new year where he intends to hold the new Liberal government responsible for the promises made during the federal election.
Following the longest election period in modern history and comfortable lead over Green Party candidate Jo-Ann Roberts, Rankin was re-elected with more votes than any other NDP candidate in Canada.
He won the battle, but lost the war.
Despite being re-elected among six NDP candidates on Vancouver Island, the party lost their position as the official opposition.
“I must confess, I was disappointed at the national results. I hoped we would have formed government, but I’m happy to say that this is a new parliament and we’re working very constructively with the new government and I’m very confident we’ll do our best to hold them to account to keep the promises that they made,” Rankin told the Victoria News, adding he’s still thrilled the Harper government was defeated.
Locally, Rankin highlighted how proud he was of Victorians for stepping up in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis to help sponsor families.
Heading into the new year, Rankin has a number of issues he hopes to focus on both in his riding and in Ottawa.
In Victoria, he said he will prioritize homelessness and affordable housing assistance, the completion of the Belleville Terminal and ensuring federal funding is available for the completion of the Capital Regional District’s sewage treatment plant.
“I live in hope that the new government will help us achieve what everyone in Victoria knows needs to be done and that is a federal government rolling up their sleeves, coming to the table as a true partner and getting on with the need that is so obvious in our community,” Rankin said.
Federally, as the justice critic, he will make sure at least part of Bill C51 is repealed. He is also on a committee meant to find out what the federal government should do regarding physician assisted deaths, possibility of reform to safe injection sites, along with a number of other amendments to criminal laws.