Dear friends and neighbours,
I hope you and your family members are well! Thank you, to all who have volunteered or donated to help fellow British Columbians affected by the recent disastrous slides and flooding up the valley and in many parts of south-western BC. The scale and combination of this summer’s devastating climate warming-related wildfires, heat dome, extreme rainfalls and floods affected the lives and livelihoods of thousands of fellow citizens on a scale never seen before. First and foremost, my thoughts are with the families and friends of those whose lives were lost, and with families who lost everything.
Source: Rhianna Schmunk · CBC News
During these challenging past weeks you’ve seen once again how our government stands strongly with British Columbians. Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), military helicopters and other resources were quickly deployed to support evacuation efforts and flood protection in affected areas. Minister Blair worked with provincial counterparts, and our Prime Minister personally toured the flood zones to witness the damage first-hand.
The CAF’s 600 members plus equipment, and volunteers, limited the damage. Canadian Coast Guard personnel and helicopters were on standby to help the province as needed, while DFO staff are repairing the damage to a number of salmon hatcheries, and assessing impacts on wild salmon spawning beds scoured by debris and flooding.
Do consider helping those affected by the flooding by donating to the Canadian Red Cross Appeal here. Every dollar donated will be matched by both the Federal and BC governments, so your $1 becomes $3!
Speech from the Throne 2021
In an historic first, on November 23rd Canada’s Inuk Governor General the Right Honourable Mary Simon delivered a Throne Speech to open the 44th Parliament of Canada. I’ve listed a few of its key elements:
Building a healthier today and tomorrow: Building a better future starts with getting the pandemic under control and finishing the job on vaccines. We will also work to clear the backlog of delayed medical procedures caused by COVID-19, strengthen long-term care, and improve access to mental health and addiction treatment.
Growing a more resilient economy: We will rebuild an economy that truly works for everyone by tackling the rising cost of living and taking action on childcare and housing affordability. By continuing to invest in workers and industry Canada, we will propel the economy of the future, while also acting to clean the air that we breathe and protect Canadians from extreme weather events.
Taking bolder action on climate issues: Initiatives include work to cap and cut oil and gas sector emissions, invest in public transit, and mandate the sale of zero-emissions vehicles. As we put a higher price on pollution we put more money into the pockets of Canadians with lower emissions, and we are protecting a greater area of Canada’s lands and waters.
Creating Safer Communities: Strong action on gun control and reducing gender-based violence will continue.
Standing up for Diversity, Inclusion and a Just and Equitable World: We will fight systemic racism, sexism and discrimination in our communities, and completely ban harmful conversion therapy. The pandemic showed clearly the importance of working in partnership with other nations on our many local and global challenges.
For moving Faster on the Path to Reconciliation, and Securing a Just and Equitable World: Canada continues to right past wrongs and move forward in the spirit of reconciliation by supporting Indigenous communities and closing the gaps that many communities face.
Read the full speech here or watch here.
Touring Atlantic Canada
I’d like to share just a few personal highlights of my recent several-day tour of Atlantic Canada as Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). I enjoyed meetings with Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Hon. Andrew Furey, and Fisheries Minister Derrick Bragg, to discuss our mutual efforts to conserve and rebuild Atlantic coast fish stocks and tackle climate change through ocean habitat restoration. My visits to a Small Craft Harbour and DFO’s research facility in St. John’s offered first-hand views on a variety of local issues, facilities and research projects such as eelgrass regeneration.
In Nova Scotia, meetings with Mi’kMaw Nations’ Fisheries Lead, Chief Gerald Toney, fishers’ union leaders, local MPs, Nova Scotia’s provincial Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister, and environmental research group Oceans North, among others, were useful in exploring the complexities of fair, economic, and sustainable fisheries in Nova Scotia.
Lastly, I was invited aboard the Coast Guard vessel the Sir William Alexander, to learn about the variety of critical operations undertaken by the hard-working and dedicated officers and crew.
I look forward to serving the interests all Canadians have in sustainable fisheries and oceans, through this new portfolio!
Vancouver Quadra’s Hidden Heroes
On November 20th, 19 deserving volunteers from the Vancouver Quadra community received a 2021 Hidden Heroes award, before family and friends at St. Helen’s Church Hall. This program recognizes volunteers who quietly give back, and whose hard work and impact deserve to be known and appreciated. Thank you to everyone who joined us in publicly celebrating the honourees, whose names and contributions will be highlighted in my upcoming newsletters. Congratulations once again, to each of this year’s Hidden Heroes!
Just as Canadians were entering the holiday season the Covid-19 Omicron Variant emerged, creating uncertainty and affecting our country’s progress in re-opening travel and other activities. Please know that I and my constituency office staff members are always here to help you with federal matters; feel free to contact us if you need assistance, at [email protected].
The Hon. Joyce Murray, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra