I’m writing you in mid-summer to stay in touch, and to wish you ample opportunities to reconnect with friends and family – and enough real “downtime” to fully recharge your batteries! As for me, later this summer I will attend a nephew’s wedding in the BC Interior, and spend a week with family and friends at a Gulf Island cabin.
One month ago, I led Canada’s Delegation to the UN World Oceans Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. There I attended events and met with ministers, UN oceans leaders, and ocean-based NGOs, to build relationships, advance Canada’s priorities, and learn. Sadly, many of my meetings were virtual as I came down with COVID-19 on my 3rd day in Lisbon and spent the next seven days isolated in my hotel room! What I did learn is how Canada plays a valued role internationally, both to better understand the ocean commons and to collectively protect oceans’ many critical ecological, social and economic benefits.
Aquaculture – Toward an Open-net Pen Transition Plan
Sustainable aquaculture has an important role when it comes to feeding the world’s growing population. However, the growth of this industry in BC cannot come at the expense of wild salmon or the health of local marine environments – yes, I have heard your concerns about the open-net pen salmon aquaculture since first becoming your MP in 2008! Our Prime Minister committed to transition away from open-net pen salmon aquaculture in BC, a transition already underway. Almost 30% of BC’s active salmon farms have been removed from the coast’s most vulnerable wild salmon migration routes, the Discovery Islands area. And, last week I released a paper outlining the transition’s next steps: a Framework for consulting on the salmon aquaculture Transition Plan.
It was wonderful to connect with Ocean Ambassadors Canada last month!
Helping with Affordability
Global inflation rates are at a 40-year high, with the US’s June rate at 9.1%, and Canada’s clocking in at 8.1%. While jobs are plentiful and unemployment at record lows, you may be finding it hard to pay each month’s bills. Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland recently announced $8.9 billion in new support to help Canadians. This includes the enhanced Canadian Workers Benefit, cutting childcare costs in half this year, a ten per cent increase in Old Age Security and a Housing Affordability Payment.
Queens 70th Jubilee pins
June marked the 70th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. To commemorate this important milestone, I was delighted at an event in Trimble Park, to award Platinum Jubilee Pins to nominees of Vancouver Quadra’s seniors organizations, for their volunteer leadership. Congratulations to the Pin recipients and to my Constituency Youth Council volunteers also acknowledged at the event!
Brock House President Conrad Guelke with volunteers receiving Platinum Jubilee Pins.
Parliaments summer recess
Parliament is in the midst of the annual summer recess, which provides me a chance to be out and about in Vancouver Quadra. Recently I had the chance to visit young people benefiting from the Canada Summer Jobs Program, which pays some or all of the salary for about 100,000 youth across Canada. My work as Minister of Fisheries Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has certainly ramped up. DFO-related tours to hear from local community members and Indigenous Nations in the Fraser Valley, the Yukon, the Arctic and several Atlantic provinces – are just a sample!
In the House of Commons chamber in June responding to questions on sustainable
fisheries and oceans.
In case you missed it:
EV Week- July 11-15 was EV week, highlighting federal support to make the switch to electric vehicles easier. Historic investments in EV charging stations and investing in the EV battery-critical mineral industry will help Canada can meet its ambitious Zero Emission Vehicle targets while building a home-grown EV industry.
Helping young families with affordability is a signature policy. Thanks to our historic investments in child care, parents in B.C. will on average pay just $10 a day for regulated childcare by 2026! Their childcare costs will be halved by the end of this year, and their non-taxable Canada Child Benefit increased.
Indigenous Residential School healing: The Prime Minister’s Statement on the Pope’s visit to apologize for the Catholic Church’s devastating roles in Canada’s residential schools is a critical step toward reconciliation and healing.
Oceans Protection Plan – I recently joined Prime Minister Trudeau and Transport Minister Alghabra on Bowen Island to announce our extension of the Oceans Protection Plan, committing $2 Billion more over 9 years to protect Canada’s oceans on all three coasts. Since 2016 the OPP has improved marine emergency response, and funded hundreds of aquatic habitat restoration projects, removed abandoned boats, and opened six Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue stations.
This spring I mentioned the massive COVID-related pent-up demand for new or renewed passports, and to please apply as early as possible. Passport renewals have been a horrendous challenge and my office has worked hard to help. I want to acknowledge my staff members for shouldering the relentless workload of helping so many citizens with passport renewal crises! And to thank you – the many grateful travelers who sent kind and appreciative notes acknowledging that service.
I wish you a relaxing, fun and safe August, and hope you have the chance to enjoy some of the incredible waters and wilderness Vancouver and our province have to offer.
The Hon. Joyce Murray, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra