Nestled in a home adjacent to both Victoria and Oak Bay, NDP MP candidate (incumbent) Murray Rankin, holds a certain fondness for the group that was once called the Western Canada Wilderness Committee.
“Linda and I met at one of the early meetings of what’s now the Wilderness Committee … she was a student and government worker and I was a new law professor at UVic,” he says of wife Linda Hannah.
Rankin was integral in those early years, joining the board and founding the organization. But more importantly, he met and married Linda and had sons Ben, now an economist in Ottawa, and Mark, who recently moved back to Victoria for work.
“I coached Beacon Hill Little League when both of them were young,” Rankin recalls, adding standout moment was settling a lawsuit for a girls’ team. “I got involved as a lawyer and helped make sure the girls’ team could be treated equally and get the same funding for travelling.”
Rankin has also coached in the Bays United soccer program, where his coaching cohort was more about the physical sport.“I was all about trying to motivate the team,” Rankin says with a chuckle.
The family lived in Fairfield for 24 years before downsizing to another home adjacent to Oak Bay.
With his sons hitting a certain age, and rapidly gaining independence, Rankin was looking for a change already when Victoria’s NDP MP Denise Savoie resigned her post in August 2012.
“I thought ‘This is not a government that should last. It’s not consistent with my values or the values of the people of Victoria’.”
He hit the campaign trail, primarily by bike, and with thoughts of his 28 and 25-year-old sons. “I see amongst their generation so much dissatisfaction and cynicism of the democratic process. … They don’t have the kind of steady employment I have and so many of my generation have,” Rankin says. “I just really feel we’re leaving this generation with the largest ecological, social and economic debt in history.”
“I just had to step up and say I’m not going to let this happen if I can make a difference.”
Rankin draws on his decades of legal expertise and political acumen, despite little previous experience as a politician.
“If people want a career politician they shouldn’t look to me … I had the experience of running the law firm, but I’d never run for office before,” he says. “Some people think it’s a virtue to not be a career politician … We need people in the House of Commons from all walks of life, I think.”