April 1, 2013

Joyce Murray for Liberal Leader

From my introduction to Joyce Murray at the Crestwood Community League Hall, Edmonton, February 22, 2013.

In 2006 I became very concerned about the global warming/climate change issue and started wondering what if anything one person could do about it.

A book I was reading at the time had a suggestion: get involved in the political process and impress on your government representatives that your support depends on them doing something about climate change. So I got involved. I bought a membership in the Liberal Party and went to Montreal as a Dion delegate.

On my first or second day at the convention, during a break in a policy meeting on the environment, I found myself conversing with the lady sitting next to me. She too was concerned about the environment. And she too came to Montreal to do something about it.

It was only later that I discovered that I was talking to Joyce Murray, former Minister of the Environment for the province of British Columbia.

In 2008, Ms Murray moved into national politics winning Vancouver Quadra in a by-election. In her first speech in the House of Commons she listed protecting the environment as one of her top priorities, and noted the environment award she received from the Sierra Club as one of her proudest achievements. Ms Murray won Vancouver Quadra again in the 2008 and 2011 Federal elections, and today, in 2013, Ms Murray is running for the leadership of the Liberal Party.

In examining the candidates running in the leadership race I’ve come to understand that Ms Murray understands the global warming/climate change issue extremely well, and has for quite some time. Listen to these statements from a research project she submitted as part of her MBA requirements at Simon Fraser University:

• “Human activity is amplifying the greenhouse effect.”

• “The great majority of climatologists and informed leaders agree that effectively irreversible greenhouse gas concentrations risk environmental catastrophe.”

• “An immediate and concerned international response is needed to limit the sources of global warming.”

The world’s top national academies of science would not disagree with these statements. Joyce Murray clearly understands the issue, and she understood it far better in 1992 than Stephen Harper does in 2013.

What first drew my attention to Joyce Murray the candidate was seeing that she is in favour of putting a price on carbon. Pricing carbon is the right thing to do. What we pay for fossil fuels does not cover the costs these fuels inflict on our society. The damage they do to our health, landscape, and atmosphere.

As Mark Jaccard, one of Canada’s leading academics on the issue, indicated, If a politician’s proposal does not raise the price of carbon, we as voters should conclude that they are not serious about doing something about global warming. 1)

Joyce Murray’s proposal includes a price on carbon. Joyce Murray is serious about doing something about global warming.

For us as voters doing something about global warming doesn’t just mean putting into power politicians that understand the problem and have the courage to do something about it. It also means removing from power politicians that do not understand the problem or lack the courage to do anything about the problem or worse yet are doing everything in their power to exacerbate the problem. Stephen Harper is such a politician.

Joyce Murray has a plan for dealing with Stephen Harper.

Her plan is pretty straight forward. Attack his majority. His unfair majority.

Murray’s plan is a plan of cooperation, cooperation between the Liberals, New Democrats and Greens to put forward in a select number of ridings one candidate against the Conservatives. It’s a daring move. But it’s a necessary move. Look what damage Harper has done to our environmental policy in the seven plus years he’s been in power. We need to stop him from doing any more damage. And we can do it through cooperation.

So there you have it. Carbon pricing and cooperation. My two reasons for making Joyce Murray my number one choice in the Liberal Party leadership race. And I hope you will do the same.

1. Mark Jaccard, “The Accidental Activist,”  The Walrus, Feb. 2013, p. 26

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