Joyce Murray: Canada’s strange federal election

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      The Liberal Party of Canada mantra—“compassionate, responsible, progressive”—is how I try to live. It best describes how I see my role as a member of Parliament and how I see Canada in the world during these difficult times.

      It takes compassion to guarantee individual freedom and equality of opportunity for every Canadian; compassion to support full access to education, from early learning and child care to world-class colleges and universities; compassion to genuinely support families that face challenges; compassion to strengthen public pensions and universal health care.

      It takes responsibility for the environment to develop a green economy and to make Vancouver’s clean-tech sector globally competitive, exporting Canadian innovation and creating sustainable jobs and prosperity. And it takes responsibility to ban tankers in the Hecate Strait to protect the unique north coast ecosystem on which aboriginal communities and thousands of jobs depend.

      It takes progressive policies to ensure that Canada has an open and accessible government and a healthy democracy. Progressive government means working together to build a more prosperous, more sustainable, more equitable and more united Canada—a Canada that leads by example on the world stage. It is progressive to offer hope rather than instill fear.

      Michael Ignatieff has a vision for a compassionate, responsible, and progressive Canada—one that I want my children and their children to inherit so that they can thrive.

      Compassion simply irritates this Conservative government. Stephen Harper bullied civil servants and officers of Parliament, silenced scientists, opposed affordable medicine for HIV/AIDs sufferers in Africa, and denied funding to church groups like KAIROS and other NGOs who care for the poor and disenfranchised.

      This election makes Harper’s priorities clear—corporate tax breaks rather than innovative solutions for small businesses and opportunities for unemployed youth; U.S.-style mega-prisons rather than pension support; $30-billion fighter jets rather than child care or home care or secondary education.

      The Harper government claims that environmentally and socially responsible climate action will cost jobs. And he irresponsibly supports a handful of new pipeline jobs in Kitimat despite risks to coastal economies, sustainable development, food sources, and cultural traditions.

      Harper’s irresponsible government turned a $13-billion Liberal surplus into a $56-billion Conservative deficit through wasteful partisan spending.

      But most distressing is the democratically regressive policies of the Harper Conservative government. This is the first time a Canadian government has fallen on contempt of Parliament, and marks a first for a national government in the Commonwealth of 54 nations.

      Stephen Harper dismissed Parliament’s finding of contempt, saying, “You win some, you lose some.” Actually, the Speaker’s ruling was for deliberately, repeatedly misleading—lying to—the elected members of Parliament who represent your interests!

      It is a strange election that Harper disdains, feigning ignorance about his fraudster senior staffer’s influence-peddling, hiding or falsifying prison and fighter jet costs, withholding Afghan torture transcripts, and referring to Elections Canada’s evidence of Conservative fraud in 2006 as “an administrative dispute”.

      Don’t let him get away with it! On May 2, please vote for your Liberal candidate, to form a compassionate, responsible, and progressive Liberal government for Canada.

      Joyce Murray is seeking reelection as the Liberal MP for Vancouver Quadra.



      Dave Lundy

      Apr 21, 2011 at 6:52pm

      I'm surpremely disappointed in the short sightedness of the Georgia Straight and environmentalists in endorsing Ms. Murray's candidacy for the Liberals. Her record on the environment as provincial minister of the environment under Gordon Campbell is shameful. The destruction of the ministry and its role in sustainability and protection of the environment and the re instatement of the Grizzly Bear hunt under her watch are indictments that should have followed her in her federal career. Ms. Murray may talk the talk about environmental sustainability, but was nothing short of a lackey for Gordon Campbell during her reign of error as Minister of the Environment.

      Martin Dunphy

      Apr 21, 2011 at 9:40pm

      Dave Lundy:

      A commentary by Joyce Murray appearing on the Georgia Straight website is by no means an endorsement of her candidacy.
      If you check out the election articles in our archives, you will see any number of articles by candidates from various parties, none of them signifying endorsement.

      Have a nice day.

      Stella DiCarlo

      Apr 22, 2011 at 12:01pm

      Dave, your above comments are simply untrue. Murray has been a strong advocate of environmental sustainability throughout her political career. She has influenced the Liberal Party to strengthen their environmental policies; her north coast tanker ban bill immediately comes to mind.
      Further her current campaign to remain the Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra is endorsed by a number conservation groups. I think you need to do a little more research before you blast on of Canada’s strongest environmental leaders in parliament.


      Apr 24, 2011 at 8:56am

      Joyce Murray is a little delusional if she thinks the Liberal Party of Canada is progressive. The party over the last 2 decades is better described as reactionary neo-liberal than progressive.