Interview with Joyce Murray MP: We are here for hearing more voice from Chinese Canadians

Last Saturday,CLCE and Vancoolver gave an interview with the MPJoyce Murray who is running the election. Joyce Murray PC MP (born July 11, 1954) is a Canadian politician, businesswoman, and environmental advocate. A member of the Liberal Party of Canada, she has represented the riding of Vancouver Quadra in the House of Commons since 2008. She was reelected in the 41st and 42nd federal elections; Murray was appointed President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government on March 18, 2019.

During the interview, Joyce shared her policy and ideas on the green economy, immigrant, poverty issues, gender equality and political participation of Chinese Canadians. In the last part of this interview, she said that she wants more Chinese Canadians can participate in political life and community life. She is eager to hear the voice of more Chinese-Canadians and hopes that more Chinese Canadians can share their opinions with her and participate in political life together.

Q1: Why do you go into politics?

I went to politics to make changes. I’m a businesswoman in reforestation and planting trees, a governmental and a mother of three children, and I have an MBA master, and I decide to bring my experience in managing business and organization to managing the government. Business management means you learn to make sure you are a good employer and you have good service to clients, I thought these all would be useful to bring to the government also push forward my idea to what kind of Canada would be the best.

Q2: Which green economy and climate change area could do better in Vancouver and in Canada?

Canadians want to tackle both economy and climate change. Our party thinks both two things can go through together. So we’ve been focused on opportunities in innovation and in the green economy as a way to create jobs and the way to create alternative fossil fuel economy. In the last 4 years, we put into place policy that took us three-quarters of the way to the 2030 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. My personal part is that I designed a program for reducing the emissions from the government. Because the government is the biggest employer and purchaser in Canada, so I realize there is room for government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so I worked on a program called the Centre for GreeningGovernment to make sure government activities are directly related to our targets, even stronger than our national target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and for reducing impact on the environment. One of the center’s for green government is the 32 percent off greenhouse gas emission reduced compared to 2005.

Q3: How does Canada help climate change in the world, and what kind of role Canada play in the world?

A role to show a strong target and strong and real policy to help achieve the target of reduced greenhouse gas emission. We are not only talking but put an action in regulation and price on pollution. Canada has already done the global requirement of 30% greenhouse gas emission, and we expect to achieve the zero-greenhouse gas emission 2050 with the legislative 5 years plan. Another role is to work with other countries to help other countries to take action. Canada is a leading country to eliminate the coal as power energy, we are going to have no more fossil fuel electricity energy building in government by 2030, and transition to an electric car.

Q4: Many people are concerned about the life quality and economy influenced by the green economy. Could you tell something about the benefits of the green economy?

I can tell you one significant area that I worked on personally and just announced this Friday. It is a massive tree-planting program. We plant trees on degraded land because degraded lands release the carbon, but trees can resort to the carbons, and we have lots of degraded agricultural land, grassland, and wetland. Planting trees in these lands will create thousands of jobs in rural areas across the country and also for indigenous people. Just this single program will create 3500 jobs for the year, which is called a 2 billion tree planting program to reach zero greenhouse-gas emission and create jobs.

I know the Chinese also have a strong awareness of climate change and the green economy. When I was the minister of the environment, I meet high-level delegation officials from china in 2006,7,8 several times each year. They are very interested in improving the environment so they came to B.C province to find some ideas about how to do that.

Q5: As an MP of a country with numbers of the immigrant populations, what changes related to immigration you and your party brought to Vancouver Quadra and Canada?

We have enough housing in Vancouver for the growing population. As a liberal party, for accepting refugees, we are strict with security checks and ensure that they are really in a dangerous background in the homeland. Once they are accepted, they are eligible for house care. We welcomed immigration to come and we make sure our services to support them to learn the language and do well in Canada. We are also concerned to broaden the road for people to bring their parents to Canada to join the family,sowe changed from 5000 to 20000 a year that allowable limit of family members to be PR to join the younger family.

Q6: People are concerned about homeless people a lot, what are the contributions you made in poverty issues?

Unlike the conservative party give them money, but it’s really went to the wealthy, we are strong on the things people need and we have been invested in the family really need. We are able to reduce poverty by reducing the gap between rich and poor. The bigger the gap between rich and poor, the more there is a crime, mental health problems, and lower education. The less the income gap is, there are better achievement social and economic factors. We are working with reducing the wealth gap by not bringing down but bring up, so it’s good for everyone. 

Q7: We’ve seen gender equality is a topic you always focus on, what is the specific problem of gender equality you are working for in recent years?

We want to women can participate fully in our society. We are trying to make the equal choice, one policy we’ve done is that creating more childcare spaces that more affordable childcare. Another policy is opening the family reunification immigration, so the family grandparents can come and help them to care for the children and both spouses can work if they want to. Our new platform will have the parental leave paid available for more types of works, for example, self-employed people, people with low incomes. This policy is for guaranteeing parents to spend the first year with their baby and still have the wage.

Q8: Do you have anything want to share with Chinese people in Vancouver?

The thing I want to tell the CanadianChinese in this city is to connect with their political representatives and get involved with political life. Let’s have a conversation with Canadians from different cultural and national backgrounds to help me know what the community wants. By getting involved, your voice is heard, and respected. So, rather than say how to make the community greener, or how to be economically stronger, or any other matters, we want to be here to hear from you. I want to meet you here, so contact me. if I reelected, reach out and say hello and connect with my office, we need to have a conversation to meet your needs.

Q9: As you said, many Chinese people are lack participation in the community, so how to involve in and create a better community?

Volunteering is a very good way to involve and create in community and to build a strong community. Just like Bella, Herson Luigi and I will knock the doors for my campaign later. I was in a speechand the speaker talked that based on research, the biggest problem of Vancouver they identified is social isolation loneliness. And 10 people in the room raised their hands said the initiative is to connect with people. We want to build a strong community to help people, so they feel supported and have a high level of confidence to manage the community, and these people will reach out to help others. 

After the interview, the founder of CLCE Zixin Chen (Bella  Chen) with her four-year-old son Luigi joined Joyce’s campaign volunteer activities, and they went door-to-door campaign with Joyce. As Joyce said, we look forward to more Chinese Canadians participating in the election. Chinese Canadians voices are very important for creating a better, peaceful community and their voices are closely cared for by many MP who are participating in this election.

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