June 27, 2020
I write as I head to my first few days off in 100 days, looking forward to our rustic cabin surrounded by woods and water. Canada Day is just days away, and 2020 will be the first time in many years that I won’t be at Locarno Beach hosting hundreds of constituents at the Vancouver Quadra MP Canada Day BBQ. I grapple with mixed emotions thinking about why we will not be gathering: sadness for the victims of the pandemic; impatience for Canada’s economic re-opening; and pride and gratitude for Canadians’ collective Covid19 response, which makes me optimistic about our ability to build back better. In that spirit I want to wish you a very Happy Canada Day.
Coming soon: You may have heard Prime Minister Trudeau announce our work developing a free, nation-wide mobile app to alert users when they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. My Digital Government team from the Canadian Digital Service leads the app development, working with Ontario’s Digital Service, and technology developed by Shopify volunteers. The app will be completely voluntary. To ensure citizen privacy, it’s based on Bluetooth technology and uses neither your personal information nor your location. I’m excited that this exposure notification tool will help identify and isolate COVID-19 outbreaks quickly, enabling a faster and safer economic re-start for Canadians. Watch for news about its launch, and please consider downloading and using it to help protect yourself, your family and your community!
More Federal Government Support: Have you been wondering how, with the loss of so many summer jobs, Canada’s students will manage to pay their bills and tuition fees? Direct them to the federal Canada Student Service Grant program and I Want to Help platform which offers post-secondary students and recent grads the chance to serve their communities. The “I Want to Help” platform connects them with volunteering options eligible for grants from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on service hours contributed. This is a win for those who need the service, while student volunteers give back to their community, and while receiving money to pay their bills.
Infrastructure projects create jobs and kick-start the economy. Yesterday our province launched the application process for infrastructure supported by the federal government’s Investing in Canada program. Projects can range from recreation and cultural centres, to drinking water, wastewater facilities and disaster mitigation. If you represent an eligible for-profit or not-for-profit organization, local government, or Indigenous community, I encourage you to submit an application.
And in local news, last week UBC received $10 million, a generous share of federal NSERC research funding. For project details, check out this website.
Don’t Miss It: This Monday June 29th I am hosting another virtual MP Brunch Connections: “How Canadians can uproot Anti-Black Racism and systemic discrimination – this time!” with special guest speaker, Dr. June Francis. Scheduled from 11am – 12pm PST, you can register at this link or by calling 604-664-9220.
As June draws to a close, I wish you a very Happy Pride Month!
Lastly, a number of people have mentioned how much a Hidden Heroes Award meant to the recipient’s family and friends! Nominations for the 2020 Vancouver Quadra Hidden Heroes Awards are due by July 10. Please find information here, to nominate that dedicated volunteer from your network, organization or neighbourhood, who deserves public recognition for their service.
My very best wishes to you and your family, for a fun and safe summer!
The Hon. Joyce Murray, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra
Minister of Digital Government
P.S. Do you know someone who might like to receive my weekly updates? They can go to http://jmurray.liberal.ca/email-updates/ to be added to my email list.