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Joyce Murray submits her answers to my 6 questions

I will not lie; I’ve been very disappointed with the lackadaisical response from the LPC Leadership candidates to a series of questions I submitted to them for responding – not just mine but ones some Liberal card-carrying members/supporters wanted asked. It’s a far cry from the Ontario Liberal Leadership campaigns, whose candidates for the most part were very eager to submit responses and allow the Ontario Liberal net/grassroots see their views on social media. I would have thought I’d have at least gotten some from the “2nd tier” federal Liberal candidates looking for some exposure, but not a word from them either.  I will grant that I’d have gotten response from a couple of candidates who dropped out before they could submit their replies, but  I’ve only had one response so far, that of Deborah Coyne.

Well, we have a second response; Joyce Murray, who I talked to personally at the OLP Convention, and who said she would submit some replies. She waited until the very end, but she has submitted them (I thank my fellow Liberal blogger Implitical/Nancy Leblanc, for helping to facilitate that).

Other then my spiel above, I offer her replies with no additional commentary of my own. It’s for you to decide.

1. What do you think the Liberal Party should do to respond to the frustrations behind the Idle No More protests? Is there anything you think the LPC can do to get the First Nations people’s more active in the political process, or are there any policy options you would propose that engage aboriginal communities for regional solutions that empower at the local level but meet national goals?

Making politics relevant to any given group is key to building greater participation by that group. Through Idle No More, more Aboriginal people than ever are engaged with the political process and I am an outspoken supporter of the Idle No More movement. I would hope to harness that commitment to consultation, to the environment, to the power of women in defending the well-being of their community, to get Aboriginal people – young and old – involved with making change. Having worked closely with First Nations prior to becoming an MP and while serving as BC Environment Minister, I understand the importance of engaging with Aboriginal peoples on their own terms.

2. Do you feel that the Liberal Party still needs to do any modernization with regards to running a 21st century election campaign, and if so, what do you think needs to be done?

Running a modern campaign is a necessity. But there are fundamentals that the Liberal Party needs to constantly be improving upon such as membership recruitment, engaging supporters, fundraising and growing Liberalist usage and capabilities. A strong national organization is the bedrock upon which any campaign will have to depend.

In terms of modernizing for a 2015 campaign, I would like to see the Party actively work to increase the number of women who run as Liberal candidates. Canada lags other nations in the world in terms of women’s representation in Parliament and the Liberal Party should be at the forefront of changing this dynamic.

Engaging groups of citizens that share our goals and who we can mobilize to work with us to create change should also be a greater focus for the Party. Such engagement can only come in concert with good productive internal work as a party to develop policy that connects and as a result of the Party conducting itself in an exemplary way that is democratic, integrity-driven, and focused.

3. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives claim they are the best economic stewards of the economy, and this claim seems to have resonated with some voters, at least last election. What are the real philosophical differences between you and the Conservative party regarding the economy, and what would you present to the Canadian electorate as an alternative economic vision or set of policies to convince them your vision was better than theirs?

The Harper government presents marketing plans for their re-election, not strategic plans for a nation. I believe we can build a strong economy based on policies that have long-term economic sustainability at their core, with less income inequality and a greater sense of common purpose and responsibility to one another. I entered this race because I wanted to offer my vision of a truly Sustainable Society. Meaning that the next generation(s) must have the same opportunities that we have enjoyed. Placing that long-term sustainability focus at the heart of our national decision-making, particularly in such pivotal economic platforms as the federal budget, is absent under the Harper Conservatives. It means that as a nation we are falling further behind on the major challenges facing the country.

Some of the economic proposals that I have set out in this campaign include: Transitioning Canada to become an efficient, clean energy economy through such measures as carbon pricing, for example, to help spur innovation, create good green jobs for citizens and become internationally competitive; Unleashing a culture of digital innovation in Canada through open government initiatives, support for affordable broadband access and development of digital skills for all Canadians to help create the conditions for greater citizen innovation and entrepreneurship; Investing in our brain power and basic research capabilities in order to compete in the global marketplace of ideas and create the foundation for a value-added economy.

4. In a hypothetical situation where Liberals win back power and all of the current Liberal Leadership Candidates win their seats, in your opinion, where do you think each of the other candidates skills would best fit in a Liberal Cabinet?

I value and respect the contributions that all of my fellow candidates in this leadership race have brought to bear during this campaign. It has been a privilege to participate in this campaign with each of them. But let’s proceed one step at a time!

5. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have dismantled or gutted a lot of programs and policies since they were first elected; that has picked up pace since their May 2011 Majority Government. If you were Prime Minister, what would be the most important program(s) or policy(s) you would reinstate or re-create?

Among the worst of this government’s actions has been their gutting of needed environmental protections. I have proposed to review and consult on the Conservative government’s changes to environmental laws, including the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and Species at Risk Act and amend all necessary sections to ensure essential protection of land and aquatic systems is maintained. Further, I would restore funding to the Ozone and UV monitoring program, Experimental Lakes Area, National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy, and review all environmental program cuts. There are many other programs and policies, government-wide, that require attention, but these are among the most important that I would cite.

6. There has been a lot of talk about not just electoral reform, but internal Liberal Party reform. The open nomination process comes to mind as one that a few candidates have advocated.  Regardless of whether you support open nominations in ridings, going a step further, would you support an open nomination process in a situation where a member or members of a ridings membership was not happy with an elected MP – or even a Cabinet Minister – and wanted to primary them by running against them, or would you protect that MP and/or Cabinet Minister from being challenged?

Yes. I respect the right of individual riding associations to select their candidates and would not impose any candidates upon them.

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