Randall Garrison

Sooke MP plays down leadership bid

Randall Garrison has high regard for outgoing leader Tom Mulcair

Sooke MP Randall Garrison won’t run for the leadership of the federal New Democrats.

The position became vacant when Tom Mulcair lost a leadership review vote.

“I’m not running,” Garrison said from Ottawa last week.

“I think Tom’s not been given enough credit for the fact that after Jack Layton died, the NDP could’ve fractured, and Tom managed to bring together the West, Quebec, all parts of the country,” he said.

Garrison didn’t specify why he won’t go for the leadership role, though he believes the NDP will always need someone who can knit Canada’s various regions and their specific concerns together.

Whoever is elected leader of the party will have to navigate the question of pipelines, as well as the broader question of Canada’s transition into a greener society.

Garrison said he’ll continue to oppose an increase in tanker traffic, regardless of what position in politics he fills, though he stands by the notion that any transition will take time.

With or without the Leap Manifesto, Garrison’s belief is that continuous investment and subsidization in new infrastructure for fossil fuels is not a good idea when it comes to transition.

The Leap Manifesto is a document calling for a rapid shift away from fossil fuel development in the Canadian economy.

Garrison pointed out that the manifesto was never an NDP document, nor was it adopted by the party as a convention.

“We agreed to discuss it over the next two years to see what policy changes might be suggested, and there were motions in our policy book to do that, but it’s not the one which passed.”