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April

March

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    MPndp
    Pleased to be able to help my constituent Garry Brooks and the African Community Project while I was in Zambia. The Project raises money and works with local communities to provide seeds and support to replenish trees that have been cut for fuel. I met with the Hon. Susan Berina Kawandami, MP, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection while I was there to draw her attention to their work on building community forests and developing other sustainable fuel sources. For more information please go to: http://www.africancommunityproject.com/
    Mar 31, 2016 11:49 am | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    On CBC Victoria this morning talking about delays in getting privately sponsored refugees to Canada and urging the government to ramp up efforts to process applications. https://soundcloud.com/cbcvictoria/mp-murray-rankin-on-delayed-refugees
    Mar 31, 2016 10:34 am | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    It was a great honour to be part of the Canadian delegation to the annual meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), which took took place in Lusaka, Zambia from March 20-23. The IPU was founded in 1889 and Canada has long been a member. It has proven to be a useful forum in the quest for global peace. Today, it counts fully 170 countries as members. Its history and role is described here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inter-Parliamentary_Union In recent years, it has emphasized such key issues as gender equality, engaging youth in democratic institutions, and sustainable development. At this year's meeting, for example, the challenge of implementing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, adopted last year at the UN, was emphasized. At this meeting, I was asked to represent Canada in negotiating a resolution entitled “Terrorism: the need to enhance global cooperation against the threat to democracy and individual rights". With the recent acts of terrorism fresh in our minds, we worked from a draft text that had been prepared previously. Dozens of amendments were proposed by the many countries from around the world that participated. I am pleased that Canada's proposed amendments were accepted. Since virtually all the countries represented had signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, I used that as the basis for amendments dealing with anti-terrorism measures that respected fundamental rights such as the right to the presumption of innocence, freedom of religion and freedom of expression. I believe the IPU can make an important contribution and I was pleased to play a part in this successful conference.
    Mar 30, 2016 3:51 pm | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    Budget 2016 offers $74 million for operations, infrastructure and vessels for Atlantic ferries; no mention of BC Ferries. I'll be continuing to work with our team of New Democratic MPs on the island and along the coast to push the government to recognize the importance of our ferry system and support it with federal infrastructure investment.
    Mar 23, 2016 10:15 am | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    The government’s first budget was tabled today in the House of Commons. You can read it in full at http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/docs/plan/budget2016-en.pdf Budgets are always about choices and over the coming days of debate in Parliament, we’ll be questioning the government about the choices their budget makes. I’ll be consulting with local housing groups to see how far the measures in this budget go toward meeting our community’s urgent need for more affordable housing. At the same time, it’s disappointing to see opportunities like a shovel-ready project to revitalize Victoria’s Belleville Terminal ignored by this federal budget, so I'll keep pushing the Minister for action on this critical project for Victoria's tourism industry.
    Mar 22, 2016 4:39 pm | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    NDP Health Critic Don Davies asking the government to repeal the Conservatives Bill C-2. I recently toured harm reduction facilities in Vancouver in anticipation of our community moving ahead on this. There is overwhelming evidence that a harm reduction approach to drug addiction saves lives.
    Mar 22, 2016 10:15 am | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    Open Letter to NDP Members Dear New Democrat sisters and brothers, With less than a month to go until the NDP’s April convention, we wanted to share our collective thoughts on the NDP’s future based on our shared experiences. Without question the results of the 2015 federal election campaign left many New Democrat members across Canada disappointed. Indeed, we as well are saddened by the loss of so many great NDP MPs we would have loved to serve next to in Ottawa. But where the campaign stumbled on the national level, it was buoyed here on Vancouver Island by a tailored regional strategy geared to win at the grassroots. It’s important to recognize that each of us ran our own localized campaign staffed by hundreds of committed campaign volunteers – that in itself is something every MP should be proud of. None of us could have achieved success without those hardworking supporters. These facts are both humbling and a great source of pride. But where our campaigns deviated is a source of note that we have passed along those at the national office in Ottawa. We won because of the strengths of our individual campaigns and because of the strength of our collective efforts. To put it bluntly; in our campaigns iron sharpened iron and together we managed to kick the Conservatives off the Island. To be clear, this collective effort didn’t just help our exposure in local media. When the national campaign came to town our campaigns united to support these events. Tom made national headlines daily it would have been challenging to do this from our Island and coastal communities without him. It would be an understatement to say Tom was incredibly well received. In Comox so many supporters came out to see Tom that our original venue reached its maximum capacity fast. Many lined up and patiently waited for hours in inclement weather. In a sign of solidarity, Tom delivered his rallying speech outside standing on a bench in drizzle with thunderclouds threatening on the horizon. It was a scene to remember and New Democrats were fired up! But it wasn’t just campaign whistle stops that helped - there was an effort by the leadership to visit many times before the campaign. These multiple visits gave Tom a very intimate understanding of our communities. By the time the campaign rolled around, Tom knew the communities we represent like the back of his hand. Tom has seen the virtues of this kind of custom-made campaign and, more importantly, the results to back it up. This brings us back to the forthcoming convention and leadership review. As a group we are encouraging members to support Tom. Tom understands how to win a large region like ours and is invested in these results. Tom is a leader eager to learn, holds a strong passion of our beliefs and has a drive to win second to none. And when you have that alchemy with tested and proven results, the future looks very bright. Our grassroots collective efforts paid off with Vancouver Island winning six of seven seats - now is not the time to turn our backs on what works but to rebuild based on those successes. Tom understands this. Without reservation, we support Tom Mulcair to lead our party into the future and are encouraging all delegates to do the same. In solidarity, Gord Johns, Courtenay-Alberni Alistair MacGregor, Cowichan-Malahat-Langford Randall Garrison, Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke Sheila Malcolmson, Nanaimo-Ladysmith Rachel Blaney, North Island-Powell River Murray Rankin, Victoria
    Mar 21, 2016 6:00 pm | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    It’s disappointing to learn that, despite a campaign promise to “allow charities to do their work on behalf of Canadians free from political harassment,” the Liberal government is pushing ahead with 24 ‘political activity’ audits launched under Stephen Harper. As National Revenue critic, I called for an independent investigation into this $13 million Conservative program, which many were concerned was targeting environmental and social justice groups opposed to the Harper agenda. Wouldn’t the millions spent investigating the Sierra Club Foundation, Environmental Defence and others be better used tackling the real problem of offshore tax evasion? http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/charities-push-back-against-liberals-on-political-audits-1.3490988
    Mar 21, 2016 11:10 am | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    Earlier this week we launched a campaign on tackling precarious work. Youth unemployment continues to soar at more than 13% nationally and up to 39% of Canadians between the ages of 15-29 are precariously employed. We will be holding national consultations to hear from young people in the next few months and I will be making sure Victoria is part of that.
    Mar 18, 2016 12:12 pm | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    The federal budget will be released next Tuesday and we have been pressing for measures to tackle growing inequality in Canada. For Victoria in particular I've been pushing for badly needed investments in social housing and for the federal government to become a partner in revitalizing the Belleville International Ferry Terminal. http://www.npd.ca/nouvelles/ndp-budget-must-tackle-inequality
    Mar 18, 2016 10:56 am | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    A great meeting with the crew of Victoria Fire Department Station 3 (and another item crossed off the bucket list).
    Mar 15, 2016 10:52 am | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    Excellent work on democratic reform by my fellow MP Nathan Cullen. The government needs to get moving on this file and meaningfully engage Canadians.
    Mar 11, 2016 10:47 am | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    We heard from public prosecutors yesterday at the Justice Committee that some in the courts are questioning why they are pursuing simple-possession charges while the government has said it is going to legalize. There is confusion out there about what the government's intentions are and they need to make it clear to Canadians what the plan is going forward. http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/judges-question-simple-marijuana-possession-cases-as-legality-remains-in-limbo
    Mar 11, 2016 9:35 am | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    Talking about the secret tax deal for Canadians using offshore tax havens on Power and Politics yesterday: people should not be able to hide millions of dollars from the government and get away with it. The government needs to explain why this was allowed to happen and what they are doing to hold people accountable for it.
    Mar 09, 2016 11:16 am | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    It is deeply troubling that the previous government allowed the CRA to do this and raises questions about what the new government is doing to stop it.
    Mar 08, 2016 11:54 am | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    Thank you to everyone who attended my MP Town Hall on Medical Aid in Dying this past Saturday. I hope to continue engaging the community in this way. It was a tough topic and a big crowd of more than 250 people but we managed to have a respectful and thoughtful discussion. Thank you again to panel members Ellen Agger and Dr. Douglas McGregor, and our moderator Michelle Kirby. I'll post regular updates on this issue here and on my website at murrayrankin.ca. If you have an idea for an MP Town Hall in the future please let me know!
    Mar 07, 2016 12:54 pm | British Columbia, Victoria
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    MPndp
    With our community moving forward on providing harm reduction services I took the opportunity this week to tour two facilities in Vancouver: InSite and the Dr. Peter Centre. I was joined by NDP Health Critic Don Davies and Vancouver East MP Jenny Kwan who many know as a champion for health and harm reduction approaches to drug addiction. I was very impressed by how the facilities were operated and the amazing public servants and advocates who make them work and treat everyone with compassion, dignity and respect. We will keep pressing in Ottawa for support for these vital healthcare services and I am appreciative of all the work being done here by public health advocates, activists, and health professionals .
    Mar 03, 2016 4:26 pm | British Columbia, Victoria

February

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Murray Rankin

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