ELECTION PROFILE: Randall Garrison, NDP

Esquimalt-Saanich–Sooke: Incumbent seeks re-election in reconfigured riding

Randall Garrison is seeking re-election to Parliament for the NDP in the riding of Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke.

First and foremost, Randall Garrison is running in the 2015 federal election to replace Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The NDP MP for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke said he has seen the damage the Harper government has done to things like democracy, veterans and Canada’s international reputation, which is why the NDP needs more seats in the House of Commons.

According to Garrison, the NDP has big policy initiatives that focus on addressing issues such as climate change, and affordability and availability of childcare spaces – something that’s a big challenge in B.C., no matter how much money people have.

Garrison, who served as the official opposition public safety critic, is leading the fight to protect privacy rights and civil liberties from Conservative surveillance legislation.

He was also the LGBT critic, and had a non-government bill securing equal rights for transgender Canadians passed in the House of Commons, but it was later killed in the senate.

“That guarantees equal rights for transgender Canadians. I’m very much committed to bringing that back again,” said Garrison, adding he is consistently the opposition member with the most success in getting federal dollars for his riding.

Locally, Garrison is committed to creating a recovery action plan for killer whales and creating more ship-building jobs in the dock yards of Esquimalt.

“The Conservatives promised they would get busy on that program and we’ve yet to see much progress. Those are quality, long-term jobs in this community,” said Garrison, who lives in Esquimalt with his partner Teddy Pardede.

Garrison has also fought projects such as the Northern Gateway pipeline, proposing responsible, sustainable alternatives instead.

Before entering parliament, Garrison was elected to Esquimalt municipal council and was a member of the Esquimalt municipal police board. Prior to that, he was a criminal justice and political science instructor at Camosun College for 20 years.

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