FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2014
STATEMENT FROM LIBBY DAVIES
Vancouver – After almost 40 years of public service and elected office, it’s time for me to call it a day. I have worked hard as the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East for the last 18 years and I know it’s time for me to pass the torch. I will not be seeking re-election in the next federal election.
It has been the most extraordinary experience to represent the people of Vancouver East. I have loved my work both in the community and in Ottawa and I thank the good folks of east Vancouver who elected me six times as their representative.
Over the years, I have taken on tough issues like the need for drug policy reform and I remember being told, “You’ll never get re-elected if you take on issues like this.” But the people of east Vancouver have stood by me. I deeply appreciate how they have placed their support and confidence in me throughout my many years in office.
I am tremendously proud of the work that I have been able to accomplish as part of the NDP team, and to have served as House Leader and Deputy Leader.
I am confident it will be a another New Democrat from Vancouver East who will join Tom Mulcair in Ottawa after the next federal election and, with such a strong team and experienced and committed leader, we will form the first federal social democratic government in Canada’s history.
LIBBY DAVIES: 40 YEARS OF PROUD PUBLIC SERVICE
Prior to running federally, Libby Davies first ran for Vancouver City Council in 1976 at the age of 23. She ran again in1978. She was elected to the Vancouver Parks Board in 1980 and, in 1982, Davies was elected to Vancouver City Council. She was reelected in 1984, 1986, 1988, and 1990. In 1993, she ran for Mayor of Vancouver.
In 1997, Davies ran and was elected for the first of her six terms as the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East.
Leadership Roles in Caucus and Parliament
House Leader for the NDP from 2003 to 2011 – including the added challenge of working through three minority parliaments – Davies is one of the longest serving House Leaders in the House of Commons’ history and only the second woman to have held the position. Has served as the NDP Deputy Leader since 2007.
The first openly gay female politician in the House of Commons, Davies is a strong proponent of equality in marriage for same sex couples.
Representing the riding of Vancouver East, Davies quickly developed a reputation for raising critical issues affecting populations that are often marginalized and ignored.
- Brought attention to the issue of housing and homelessness in parliament, In 1998 and 2001, she undertook National Housing Tours and was able to secure federal funds dedicated to ending homelessness.
- Became known as a key advocate for drug policy reform and the need for a public health and harm reduction approach to the use of illicit drugs. She won an international award for her work in this area.
- Campaigned tirelessly for Canada’s first supervised safe injection site. It opened in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside in 2003.
- Was the first Member of Parliament to raise the issue of missing and murdered women in Canada, beginning with sex workers in the Downtown Eastside and became an outspoken advocate for sex worker rights and safety.
- Won the support of Parliament to establish a special committee on safety of sex workers in 2003 and the resulting all Party Parliamentary report which came out in 2006.
- Played a lead role in negotiating the redirection of $4.6 Billion in planned corporate tax cuts in the 2005 budget to investments in Canadians’ priorities such as more accessible post-secondary education, renewable energy, and affordable housing.
- Successfully negotiated parliamentary support for the need to address prescriptions drug shortages and, more recently, a call to the Government of Canada to support the urgent needs of the 95 survivors of Thalidomide.