Concept

Darrell Rankin

Summary
Darrell T. Rankin (born February 14, 1957) is a Canadian peace activist and former communist politician. He was briefly the leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) in 1995, and formerly led the Communist Party of Canada (Manitoba) from 1996 to 2019. His partner, Cheryl-Anne Carr, was also active with the Communist Party. Rankin left the Communist Party in 2019. Rankin was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and became involved in radical left politics through an early opposition to the Vietnam War. His grandparents were active in the Communist Party of Canada, which Rankin joined in 1978. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Alberta. He lived in Ottawa, Ontario, from 1983 to 1995, and was a leading figure in the Canadian Peace Alliance and the Ottawa Disarmament Coalition. A newspaper report from 1986 listed him as an articling lawyer, although it is not clear if he continued in this direction. He participated in protests against the Gulf War in 1991. In 1992, a majority of delegates at the Communist Party's national convention voted to abandon Marxism-Leninism and pursue a social democratic alternative. Rankin was a part of the minority group led by Miguel Figueroa that opposed the change, and continued to support traditional communist principles. The party split, and the minority group won the rights to the Communist Party name through an out-of-court settlement. Rankin was appointed as interim leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) in April 1995, and led the party in the 1995 provincial election. The national party had fallen to only 500 members in this period, and the Ontario party ran a low-profile campaign with only five candidates and an $8,000 budget. Rankin challenged New Democratic Party Premier Bob Rae in York South, and focused on issues such as health, education, social programs and full employment. In June 1995, Rankin contributed an article entitled "Observations on the Setbacks to Socialism" to the Communist Party discussion journal The Spark! (not to be confused with the Trotskyist organization of the same name).
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