Libby Davies CM (born February 27, 1953) is a Canadian politician from British Columbia. She was the member of Parliament for Vancouver East from 1997 to 2015, House Leader for the New Democratic Party (NDP) from 2003 to 2011, and Deputy Leader of the party from 2007 until 2015 (alongside Thomas Mulcair under the leadership of Jack Layton and alongside Megan Leslie and David Christopherson after Mulcair became leader in 2012). Prior to entering federal politics, Davies helped found the Downtown Eastside Residents Association and served as a Vancouver city councillor from 1982 to 1993.
|Deputy Leader of the New Democratic Party|
|Preceded by||Bill Blaikie|
|Succeeded by||David Christopherson|
|Shadow Minister for Health|
May 26, 2011 – January 22, 2015
|Preceded by||Ujjal Dosanjh|
|Succeeded by||Murray Rankin|
|Member of the House of Commons of Canada|
June 2, 1997 – October 19, 2015
|Preceded by||Anna Terrana|
|Succeeded by||Jenny Kwan|
|Member of the Vancouver City Council|
|Born||February 27, 1953|
Aldershot, United Kingdom
|Citizenship||Canadian and British|
|Political party||New Democratic Party|
|Domestic partner||Bruce Eriksen (common-law spouse; c. 1973–1997, his death)|
Kimberly Elliott (present)
|Occupation||Human resources coordinator|
Early life and careerEdit
Davies was born in Aldershot, United Kingdom, on February 27, 1953 and immigrated to Canada in 1968 with her family. She moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1969. Before being elected to Parliament, she participated in many grass-roots political organizations in the Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver. She dropped out of university to help Bruce Eriksen found the Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA), an influential low-income housing advocacy group. She was instrumental in a campaign to save the Carnegie library, which was later converted into the Carnegie Community Centre serving low-income adults. From 1994–1997 Davies was employed by the Hospital Employees' Union.
For 24 years, Davies lived in a common-law relationship with Vancouver city councillor Bruce Eriksen, who died of cancer in 1997. They had a son, Lief. In 2001, Davies became the first female Canadian Member of Parliament to reveal that she was in a same-sex relationship.
Davies was elected to Vancouver City Council as a member of the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) in 1982 and was re-elected in 1984, 1986, 1988, and 1990. She ran for Mayor of Vancouver with the backing of COPE in 1993, losing to Philip Owen.
Davies was first elected to parliament in 1997 and re-elected in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008 and 2011. Previously the NDP house leader and spokesperson for housing, homelessness and multiculturalism, she became the health critic in the shadow cabinet of Jack Layton upon the NDP's ascent to Official Opposition status. In parliament, she was a strong supporter of drug policy reform, specifically to halt the criminalization of drug users.
In 2005, during the parliamentary debate on same-sex marriage in Canada, Conservative MP Jason Kenney cited Davies' prior relationship with Eriksen as proof that marriage law does not discriminate against LGBT individuals, since a gay person can marry a member of the opposite sex. Davies, who was never formally married to Eriksen, joined other commentators in criticizing Kenney for playing politics with other parliamentarians' personal lives.
In December 2007, Davies received the Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law. She was recognized for her "outstanding drug policy reform work" at the 2007 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation.
Davies faced accusations of anti-semitism stemming from a June 5, 2010, interview in which she suggested that Israel has been occupied territory since 1948. She was criticized for her comments the next day in an Ottawa Citizen editorial. She responded to these criticisms in a letter to the Citizen, which was also posted on Davies' constituency website.
- "Parliamentarian File - Complete File - DAVIES, Libby". PARLINFO. Parliament of Canada. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- "Mulcair says NDP 'poised' to form government". CBC News. March 24, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- "About Libby Davies, MP for Vancouver East". Libby Davies - MP for Vancouver East. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- "Candidate: Davies, Libby". The Globe and Mail. 2005. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Women Suffrage and Beyond, retrieved 2012-10-08
- Maclean's Magazine, The NDP's union-made caucus, May 16, 2011, retrieved 2012-10-08
- Libby Davies, Vancouver East (October 29, 2001). "House of Commons Debates, Private Members' Business, Marriage Capacity Act". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Canada: House of Commons. col. 1145.
- Fong, Petti (November 15, 2008). "Vancouver play a walk on the wild side". Toronto Star. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Where are all the Lesbians in federal politics?, extract from October 19, 2010 issue of Xtra.ca, posted on Libby Davies webpage, retrieved 2012-10-08
- "6-term Vancouver MP Libby Davies won't run in 2015 election". CTV News. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
- Mackie, John (November 30, 2002). "The Mayors of Vancouver: A lively history". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- Editor. Carnegie Newsletter, Dec. 15, 2007 Carnegie Newsletter
- Propes, Richard. "The Independent Critic - "Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride" Review". theindependentcritic.com. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- Libby's response to inflamatory [sic] editorial www.libbydavies.ca June 11, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
- "Layton announces New Democrat shadow cabinet" (Press release). New Democratic Party. May 26, 2011. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- "NDP's Libby Davies out of leadership race". CBC News. September 22, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- "Libby Davies, NDP deputy leader, won't run in 2015". CBC News. December 12, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
- "Order of Canada's newest appointees include Paralympian, Supreme Court judge and astrophysicist". CBC News, December 30, 2016.
- "Libby Davies recounts four decades of political activism in her book Outside In: A Political Memoir". The Globe and Mail, May 21, 2019.