Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray says she’s “putting together an exploration group” that will help her decide whether or not to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.
“My intention is to run a national campaign,” Murray told the Straight by phone from Ottawa on September 26. “I’m not making an announcement today, but I’m working very hard to do the preparations and secure support, so that I can run and enter the race.”
Murray was interviewed on the same day Montreal newspaper La Presse reported that Papineau MP Justin Trudeau will announce his plan to seek the party’s top post on Tuesday (October 2).
“I will need to make a decision in such time that I can be a serious contender in the race, and I don’t have a date,” Murray responded when asked if she has a time line.
The third-term Vancouver MP isn’t the only person from the West Coast thinking about becoming the next federal Liberal leader.
Victoria-based lawyer David Merner indicated that he will decide whether to run by the end of November.
Currently on partial leave as executive director of the B.C. Ministry of Justice’s Dispute Resolution Office, Merner stepped down as president of the Liberal Party of Canada in B.C. in June so he could focus on raising funds for a possible run.
In the past, he has taken positions on a number of issues. “My idea is we need a real renewal in the party,” Merner told the Straight by phone on September 26. “We should be running on things like the legalization of marijuana. We should be running on a carbon tax. We should be running on a very progressive agenda. We should be very clear that we are against the Northern Gateway pipeline. We need to be really clear that the Liberal party has listened to voters.”
According to Merner, Trudeau will bring a lot of excitement to the race. “The question will be whether he will be able to run a campaign until April, which demonstrates that he not only represents youth and energy and the future but he also has the depth required to transform the party,” he said. “That will be the key question—if Justin is ready or not.”
Federal Liberals are set to pick their new leader on April 14, 2013.