Despite being Vancouver Quadra’s MP for 13 years, Joyce Murray believes there is still work to be done — specifically to address the climate crisis.
She wrote about climate change in her MBA thesis in 1992, started a reforestation and restoration business with her husband and has represented Vancouver Quadra in Ottawa for over a decade.
“I got into politics to advance the cause of taking action on climate. Why I’m running again? Well, we have more work to do on that. And I’m going to continue to be a champion for climate action, as I have been in my political career,” she said.
Climate change is an “existential crisis,” Murray said, arguing that the Liberal plan was the only credible, science-aligned platform that was fully-costed by climate experts. The plan includes a 40 to 45 per cent greenhouse gas reduction within nine years, and a promise to achieve net zero by 2050. Murray said she recognizes climate is a key concern for many students.
“Students care about climate because, that’s the world, that’s the future that they will live most of their lives in. And so the work that we’re doing to reconstruct an entire economy of our country … the activities of individuals, to transportation, heating houses, products and how products are built, infrastructure, how we move. It is a major reconstruction of our entire country to really get off of fossil fuels. That’s an enormous project,” she said.
Murray added that she believes climate action can be undertaken in a “thoughtful” manner while considering the needs of people vulnerable to losing their jobs.
When asked why progressive voters should vote for the Liberals over the New Democratic Party (NDP), Murray said that the NDP’s approach to climate policy is “aspirational” and would result in a “massive disruption of the Canadian economy.” The NDP has pledged to reduce Canada’s emissions by at least 50 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.
“If they were really to put into place what their plan says on climate ... [it] would actually put a huge number of Canadian workers out of work, because there wouldn’t be time to develop the alternatives or the kinds of activities that they’re involved with now,” she said.
Additionally, Murray is in support of increasing the assistance threshold up to $50,000 for new grads, waiving interest on student loans for an additional year and implementing a $4.5 billion plan to support post-secondary education. She noted how young people were some of the most adversely affected by the pandemic, and pointed to the Liberal government’s actions in doubling the Canada Student Jobs program and providing income support to over 700,000 students through the Canada Emergency Student Benefit.
Murray spoke of her work with President Santa Ono to bring the concerns of students around pandemic supports to a Cabinet meeting — when those concerns were not even on the radar of the Cabinet at the time, she said.
In addition, Murray said she firmly believes in advancing Indigenous reconciliation, increasing housing affordability in the region and finishing the fight against COVID-19 through mandatory vaccination.
“Especially in places like Metro Vancouver … it’s a real challenge for families to afford the cost of living. I’m interested in continuing to make life more affordable and providing funds for students, and young people, and for lower income families,” Murray said.
This article is part of The Ubyssey's 2021 federal election coverage. To read more, click here.