Former Burnaby Douglas NDP MP Svend Robinson announced Oct 21 that he will seek election in the Vancouver Centre riding in the next federal election likely to be held next spring.
“From the perspective of the LGBT community, there’s still lots to be done,” Robinson told Xtra West. “I look forward to putting my experience to work once again. I’ve had tremendous support and encouragement from many people in the gay and lesbian community in Vancouver Centre and beyond.”
This will be Robinson’s first campaign after dropping out of the 2004 election race after admitting he stole a ring at a Vancouver auction last April. Robinson was charged with theft, pleaded guilty and was given a discharge on the condition that he serve a year’s probation, do 100 hours of community service and undergo psychiatric counselling.
Prior to the controversy, Robinson was undefeated in six consecutive federal elections, serving Burnaby Douglas since 1979.
Robinson made many contributions to the queer community. He came out of the closet on national television becoming Canada’s first openly gay MP in 1988, then led Toronto’s Pride Parade, and was later successful in passing a law to add protection on the basis of sexual orientation to the hate propaganda sections of the Criminal Code.
“I’m looking forward to coming back home to the West End where I lived for almost a decade and getting to know many old friends and meeting with people and community groups in Vancouver Centre and being the best MP Vancouver Centre has ever had, hopefully,” says Robinson.