Randall Garrison has unfinished business in Parliament and he wants voters to fire him for a fourth term.
The NDP candidate in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke has been an MP since 2011 and has seen four bills disrupted by the election schedule.
On Garrison’s table were: a ban on conversion therapy; a bill to improve the response to domestic violence; a bill that would move self-harm among members of the Canadian Armed Forces from a disciplinary issue to a health issue; and a motion to remove subsidies from the fossil fuel industries and funnel that money to a crown corporation that would build renewable energy projects.
Every time an election is called, all of the work in progress falls to the ground to be picked up – or not – by the next cohort of representatives.
Garrison, the NDP spokesperson for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, offered to help speed up the Liberal-initiated bill to ban conversion therapy last March, but said they never accepted it. The bill lingered in the House of Commons, was finally passed, but without enough time for the Senate to approve it before the election was called.
Garrison said it was at least the third time Bill approached the finish line before being derailed due to the election schedule.
In April, Garrison’s private member’s Bill C-247, which would make coercive behavior in an intimate relationship a criminal offense, received a unanimous “yes” from the justice committee. It was on the verge of being sent back to Parliament and could have made it to the Senate in time to become law before the regular election call of 2023, he said.
“It is a tool to intervene before there is overt violence,” said Garrison, describing the contents of the bill.
“Right now it’s often the case where someone is asking for help and the police are bound by… well, there must be physical injuries. My example is the Portapique shooter in Nova Scotia, where he forced his partner to move to a rural property, took his cell phone, and took the wheels off his car. When asking for help, the RCMP said that none of these individuals individually was a criminal offense. So my bill says that when you see a pattern of behavior like that, they can intervene. “
But this bill will also have to be reintroduced, starting from the beginning.
The NDP wants to cap cell phone prices based on global averages and force companies to offer unlimited data at an affordable price. They have also long been calling for child care spaces at $ 10 a day, but so far have not found enough federal support to make it happen.
Garrison said he never tried to be in politics. “I grew up gay (so) I didn’t think it was possible.”
Jack Layton, the former federal leader of the NDP, came to see him while Garrison was a professor of criminal justice at Camosun College. “He asked me tough questions like, ‘If you think there should be gays in Parliament, then why don’t you show up? How do you think they get there if people like you aren’t running? “
So he did. He narrowly lost his first two elections in 2004 and 2006, served as an Esquimalt city councilor for three years, then won the federal seat in 2011. He was re-elected with improving margins in 2015 and 2019. “J Hope I can at least do this well, but I have to deserve it.
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Election Canada 2021Election 2021Esquimalt – Saanich – Sooke