Joyce Murray

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Joyce Murray
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Vancouver Quadra
Assumed office
March 17, 2008
Preceded by Stephen Owen
Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for New Westminster
In office
May 16, 2001 – May 17, 2005
Preceded by Graeme Bowbrick
Succeeded by Chuck Puchmayr
Personal details
Born (1954-07-11) July 11, 1954 (age 61)
Schweizer-Reneke, South Africa
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Dirk Brinkman
Alma mater Simon Fraser University

Joyce Murray (born July 11, 1954) is a Canadian politician, businesswoman, and environmental advocate. A member of the Liberal Party, she has represented the district of Vancouver Quadra in the House of Commons since 2008. She was re-elected in the 42nd Canadian federal election.

Murray served as a Cabinet Minister in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, first as Minister of Water, Land, and Air Protection from 2001-2004, and then as Minister of Management Services until June 2005. From 2003 to 2004, Murray was the President of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment

In April 2013, Murray placed second in the Liberal Party of Canada leadership election, 2013.[1] In August 2013, Murray became critic for both National Defence and Western Diversification.[2]


Murray was born in Schweizer-Reneke, South Africa, and emigrated to Canada with her parents in 1961. They settled in Vancouver, in the Point Grey area, where she lives now.[3] Murray's mother, Charlotte Coe Murray, granddaughter of Oregon Senator Henry Waldo Coe and medical doctor Viola May Coe, a leader in women getting the vote in Oregon, attended and was the first female Assistant Professor at University of British Columbia architecture school.[4][5][6][7] Charlotte became an award-winning architect who specialized in affordable community and senior housing and heritage restoration, winning heritage restoration gold medals, including for Christ Church Cathedral.[4] In 1968 Murray's father, Gordon Murray, founded Murray & Associates Surveying.[8]

After graduating from Lord Byng Secondary School in West Point Grey, Murray attended Simon Fraser University in the 1970s, studied archaeology and linguistics, and then completed pre-med. In 1989, now a mature student, she pursued an Executive master's degree in Business Administration, securing, says John Richards, the highest Graduate Record Scores SFU had seen up to 1992 when she received the Faculty of Business’ “Dean’s Convocation Medal” as the top MBA graduate.[9] Her thesis was a policy analysis of one of Canada’s options for meeting the challenge of climate change.[10][11]

In 1977 Murray married Dirk Brinkman with whom she co-founded a group of reforestation companies and raised three children; Baba Brinkman, Erik Brinkman, and Dawn Brinkman.

Business career[edit]

In 1979 Murray co-founded Brinkman and Associates Reforestation Ltd. with her husband Dirk. Brinkman started as a small tree-planting proprietorship in British Columbia, and began to expand when Joyce and Dirk started working together in 1975. In 1976, Nick Kendall of Orca Productions documented the planting millions of trees in the heavy slash debris of that era’s logging in a one-hour NFB documentary “Do it with Joy”.[12] Released in 1977, it is regarded as a tree planting classic today.[13] In 1979, the CBC made “Do it with Joy” into a half-hour documentary.[14] The companies have grown and diversified their operations, and planted their billionth tree in 2012.[15][16]

Murray and Brinkman diversified the company across Canada (1978 Alberta; 1983 Ontario, 1987 Saskatchewan 1989 Quebec, 1992 Manitoba, 1993 Yukon) and beyond reforestation into ecosystem restoration, urban restoration, forest management services for First Nation communities, rights of way clearing and fully integrated harvest to reforestation services and sustainability initiatives. In 1994 the company’s long-term strategic international division, BARCA, was formed to develop forestry initiatives and plantations in Central America.[17] In 2007, Brinkman co-founded the Earth Partners LP which is undertaking the largest private soil and ecosystem restoration projects in the USA.[18] The company operates in six countries and is developing projects in several others. It employs approximately 600 full-time and 800 seasonal positions. Joyce was integral to developing management systems, organizational re-engineering, strategic development, restructuring, training and business planning and for a period beginning 1979 she was the Chair of the board of directors and from this role proposed a global warming strategy for Canada based on her thesis.[19][20]

Provincial politics[edit]

From 1996 to 1999 Murray sat on the BC Forest Resources Advisory Board, and the GVRD Waste Management Committee.[21] As a result of her public interventions, the leader of the then Opposition attempted to persuade her to run for nomination as a BC Liberal candidate, but she challenged him to lead more strongly on sustainability commitments.[22] When she declared as a candidate in May 2000, the headline “From the Greens to the Liberals" ran over an article that opens with predictions Murray had made in 1997 about forest renewal, her background and wish "to create a sustainable community".[23]

In August 2000, Murray won the nomination as the B.C. Liberal candidate for the riding of electoral district of New Westminster. During the election, she developed climate action and forest renewal policy papers for the Leader of the Opposition. In 2001 she switched from business to politics full-time when she became the first Liberal to be elected from New Westminster in 49 years.

She was named a cabinet minister by Premier Gordon Campbell in June, serving from 2001 to 2004 as the first ever Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection, and as Minister of Management Services from 2004 until the 2005 election.[24]

In 2002 Murray hosted a joint meeting of the federal, provincial and territorial energy and environment ministers, to examine policies in the context of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.[25]

Her tenure as Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection focused on protecting ecological sites in the province. For example, Murray worked towards developing an agreement with the Heiltsuk first nation and brought about co-management of the protected Hakai Luxvbalis Conservancy Area.[26][27] Spruce Lake Protected Area was named a provincial park, and Burns Bog, the largest domed peat bog on the west coast, was purchased by the province and other local public entities and became the Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area. She also presided over budget cuts in the department and rollbacks in environmental regulations. "Murray lifted the moratorium on hunting grizzly bears, oversaw huge cutbacks in staffing levels for environmental protection, and gutted the Waste Management Act in favour of legislation that eliminated up to 80 percent of permitting".[28] The chair of the Sierra Club's B.C. chapter stated in 2003: "I have never seen such an assault on the environment". However, the Sierra Club later awarded Murray with a medal for her environmental work.[29]

Murray also introduced the first comprehensive framework strategy for total product stewardship for recycling of all products in British Columbia.[30] The new regulations required that producers assume responsibility for removing their products from the waste stream. She also brought together the province's 13 oil producers to develop a cooperative solution for recycling waste oil, plastic (from containers), and steel wool from oil filters. At that time, over 22 million litres of oil was entering the GVRD waste stream annually. Murray then brought the electronics industry under the product stewardship framework to develop solutions for all electronics waste, and worked with the Pulp and Paper industry to help them implement their stewardship strategy. Murray’s work has since served as the basis for similar legislation in several other provinces.

From 2003 to 2004, Murray was the President of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.[31]

As Minister of Management Services in 2004, Murray participated in the moves to the first ever cross-Canada interprovincial procurement program and the first legislation that would limit personal information access via foreign corporations working in Canada.[32][33]

She was defeated by Chuck Puchmayr in the 2005 provincial election before moving on to federal politics.

Federal politics[edit]

Point Grey Fiesta Day in Vancouver Quadra June 19, 2010

In the 2006 federal election Murray was the Liberal Party candidate in the riding of New Westminster—Coquitlam. She placed third in the riding behind New Democrat Dawn Black and Conservative incumbent Paul Forseth.[34] In 2007, she defeated two other women to become the Liberal candidate in the riding of Vancouver Quadra. Murray had lived in the riding when at Lord Byng Secondary School but added to her credentials by purchasing a $1.4 million home in the riding before winning the nomination.[35] Stephen Owen, the incumbent Liberal MP in the riding, resigned in July 2007. In a March 2008 by-election Murray narrowly defeated her main competitor, Conservative candidate Deborah Meredith.[36] Murray was re-elected in 2008 and 2011.

Murray became the third-party opposition critic for Small Business and Tourism, the Asia Pacific Gateway, and Western Economic Diversification for the Liberal Party’s shadow cabinet.[37] She previously served as the Liberal critic for Amateur Sport leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and as the critic for Democratic Reform in 2008.[24][38]

During her first term in the House of Commons she sat on the House’s Standing Committee on International Trade and was Vice-Chair of the Liberal Caucus Committee on Environmental Sustainability. Murray also visited Colombia and Panama to review proposed Free Trade Agreements.[39] She attended the climate negotiations at the Bali Conference in 2007 and the Copenhagen Summit in 2009.[40] After the latter, Murray wrote, while applauding positive actions on Canada's municipal governments, "a patchwork of climate initiatives is far from effective – a coordinated approach across this vast and diverse country is required".[41]

Since her first term, Murray’s committee experience has included membership on the Standing Committees on Environmental and Sustainable Development, Fisheries and Oceans, and Vice-Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Health.[42] She is also an active member of the Canada-China Legislative Association, chairs Parliament’s All Party Conservation Caucus, and is the Vice-Chair of the Liberal Policy Caucus. In March 2012 Murray visited Haiti as a member of a delegation representing the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas.[43]

In June 2008, she presented her first private member’s bill, Bill C-572[44] which proposed exempting bikes (including electric bikes), bike accessories, repairs, and safety training from GST. In December 2010, Murray introduced Bill C-606, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, which proposed to ban oil tanker traffic on Canada’s Pacific North Coast. The Bill passed first reading in the House of Commons and was scheduled for second reading when an election was called in March 2011. She has since reintroduced the bill as Bill C-437[45]

Murray is opposed to all pipelines that would ship Alberta oil and bitumen to the British Columbia coast, calling them a "stone age" approach to energy development.[46] Murray has called for more oil to be refined and upgraded in Canada and for an end to "oilsands industry subsidies, and opposition to pipeline proposals to carry bitumen to a B.C. port".[47]


Murray during a candidates debate on February 16, 2013 in Mississauga

Murray confirmed in September 2012, that she was exploring the idea of running for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.[48][49] On November 26, 2012, she announced that she was entering the leadership race.[50][51] Murray was the only candidate in the leadership race located in western Canada.[52] However, former Toronto MP Martha Hall Findlay's campaign was being run from Calgary, Alberta and she had recently been working in the city.[53]

Murray described her leadership platform to a "capacity crowd" in her riding on December 1. Murray announced that she supported appointing a minimum of 40 percent women to cabinet and to government boards, commissions, and agencies. She also supported putting a price on carbon, legalizing marijuana, and wanted Liberals to work cooperatively with the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Green Party in the next federal election if this is the desire of riding associations.[54] Murray was the only candidate in the leadership race who supported cooperating with other parties before the election.[55] More than half of Liberals (53%), NDP supporters (55%) and Green Party supporters (57%) polled February 6 were supportive of running a single candidate against the Conservatives in each riding.[56] The NDP party was officially opposed to the idea although their house leader, Nathan Cullen, had suggested the concept before when he gained support from Greens according to Green Party leader Elizabeth May. May praised Murray "for charting a difficult course, displaying political courage and integrity".[57][58] On February 15, the eve of the third debate, Murray's position had come to the attention of on-line groups seeking electoral co-operation.[59][60] Murray was also the only Liberal leadership candidate to speak out strongly in favour of electing the House of Commons with a system of proportional representation. She challenged Trudeau on the issue, especially over his assertion that voters wanted proportional representation because they didn't understand the consequences of adopting it.[61] David Suzuki endorsed Murray's Climate Change position February 15.[62][63]

On March 13, Marc Garneau, who was considered to be in second place, dropped out of the leadership race. An internal poll released by Garneau showed that Murray was in third place behind Justin Trudeau and Garneau, with 7.4% support among potential voters, and she had taken the role of "challenger".[64][65][66] It was later admitted that the poll did not comply with federal caller identification rules.[67] March 23, Elizabeth May announced the Green party would not run a candidate in the Labrador by-election and Murray announced that cooperation on the matter had been discussed with May.[68][69][70] The topic was discussed in the 5th debate.[71] The NDP nominated a candidate although May asked them not to.[72] On March 26 Murray claimed to have the greatest number of registered supporters.[73] Similar numbers of supporters and members of the party may have registered to vote.[74]

In the fourth quarter of 2012, Murray's raised $56,554.06 in campaign donations. Out of the seven candidates who were registered at this time she placed fifth in the amount of donations raised.[75] A March 2013 report showed Murray in third place having raised $169,000.[76] A later March report put Murray in second place having raised $198,000.[77]

With each of the 308 ridings across the country assigned equal weight, Joyce Murray finished in second place with 10.16% points ahead of Martha Hall Findlay's 5.71% and behind winner Justin Trudeau's 80.09% points.[1] Trudeau had lost only 5 ridings, all to Murray and all in BC.[78]

Federal politics after the leadership race[edit]

Joyce Murray was appointed the Liberal critic for both National Defence and Western Diversification and became chair of the Party's Northern and Western Caucus.[2][79][80] Murray spoke out on matters from defence procurement and safety to electoral reform.[81][82][83] In her defence role, Murray co-authored a published opinion "Who's watching our spies?" when a security scandal arose after Parliament was prorogued on 16 September 2013.[84]

Prorogation does not require Private Members’ bills to be reintroduced, hence Murray's bill, C-437, from the first session of the 41st Canadian Parliament remained in place as the second session opened 16 October 2013.[85] Before the opening, Liberal Party expenses, including Murray's, had been posted.[86]

Articles by Murray,"Canada's Navy is a Sinking Ship", and "My Wish List for National Defence in 2014", published 27 November and 20 December respectively.[87][88] The first draws from the comments made in the Auditor General's report covering the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.[89]

2 March 2014, Joyce Murray was introduced to Vancouver Quadra supporters as their acclaimed candidate and the first Liberal to be selected in British Columbia to run in the 42nd Canadian federal election tentatively scheduled for 19 October 2015.[90]

18 June 2014, Murray tabled for first reading, Private Member's Bill C-622, "An Act to amend the National Defence Act (transparency and accountability), to enact the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts".[91] Murray noted during second reading 30 October 2014 that "the prior commissioners of CSEC and prior chiefs of CSEC or CSE have called for this very committee themselves".[92] On 5 November after further discussion, with members aware that Australia, New Zealand, the U.S and the U.K. had civilian security oversight committees, Bill C-622 was defeated by 142 votes to 120.[93][94]

12 December 2014 it was reported that Ministers had written that Foreign Affairs and Defence representatives would provide an update on Canada's mission in Iraq to an existing committee in response to a letter from Joyce Murray and Marc Garneau.[95]

14 April 2015 an opinion piece by Murray published on the response to an oil spill in English Bay.[96]

5 May 2015 Murray represented the Liberal party in the House of Commons in favour of Bill C-51. While she suggested there was some positive feedback, the evidence showed that the majority of Canadians opposed this bill.

16 September GreenPAC, an NGO dedicated to action to protect the environment, announced that an expert panel had placed Joyce Murray amongst the eighteen greenest candidates in the 2015 election.[97]

18 September Craig Forcese and Kent Roach detailed Murray's Bill 622 noting it "impressive and wide ranging" saying "Joyce Murray’s private members bill proposed an interesting attempt to prevent partisan and government domination of a new committee by providing that no political party should have a majority of committee members. This is a worthy idea.”[98] 1 October it was reported Forcese and Roach had "applauded Murray’s legislative attempt to deal with the shortcomings of Bill C-51".[99]

19 October 2015, Joyce Murray was re-elected to represent Vancouver Quadra in the 42nd Canadian federal election.[100]

Electoral record[edit]


Canadian federal election, 2015: Vancouver Quadra
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Joyce Murray 29,972 58.66 +16.49
Conservative Blair Lockhart 13,241 25.91 -12.73
New Democratic Scott Andrews 5,460 10.69 -3.12
Green Kris Constable 2,148 4.20 -1.18
Marijuana Marc Boyer 135 0.26
Pirate Trevor Clinton Walper 83 0.16
Independent Jean-François Caron 57 0.11
Total valid votes/Expense limit 51,096 100.0     $205,284.56
Total rejected ballots
Eligible voters 72,409
Liberal hold Swing +14.61
Source: Elections Canada[101][102]
Canadian federal election, 2011: Vancouver Quadra
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
Liberal Joyce Murray 22,903 42.17 -3.42
Conservative Deborah Meredith 20,984 38.64 +1.73
New Democratic Victor Elkins 7,499 13.81 +5.75
Green Laura-Leah Shaw 2,922 5.38 -3.44
Total valid votes 54,308 100.0  
Total rejected ballots 144 0.26 -0.02
Turnout 54,452 63.17 -0.20
Eligible voters 86,203
Liberal hold Swing -2.58
Canadian federal election, 2008: Vancouver Quadra
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Joyce Murray 25,393 45.59 +9.54 $79,097
Conservative Deborah Meredith 20,561 36.91 +1.39 $83,516
Green Dan Grice 4,916 8.82 -4.64 $6,621
New Democratic David Caplan 4,493 8.06 -6.37 $19,537
Libertarian Norris Barens 333 0.59
Total valid votes/Expense limit 55,696 100.0     $89,046
Total rejected ballots 158 0.28 +0.01
Turnout 55,854 63.37 +29
Liberal hold Swing +4.08
Canadian federal by-election, March 17, 2008: Vancouver Quadra
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Joyce Murray 10,155 36.05 -12.79 $71,894
Conservative Deborah Meredith 10,004 35.52 +6.43 $86,890
New Democratic Rebecca Coad 4,064 14.43 -1.67 $59,591
Green Dan Grice 3,792 13.46 +8.32 $37,353
Rhinoceros John Turner 111 0.39
Canadian Action Psamuel Frank 40 0.14 $58
Total valid votes/Expense limit 28,166 100.0     $87,208
Total rejected ballots 77 0.27 +0.05
Turnout 28,243 34 -34
Liberal hold Swing -9.61
By-election due to the resignation of Stephen Owen


British Columbia general election, 2005: New Westminster
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Chuck Puchmayr 13,226 51.32 +20.30 $61,892
Liberal Joyce Murray 9,645 37.42 -11.78 $135,015
Green Robert Broughton 2,416 9.37 -3.90 $1,417
Marijuana Christina Racki 293 1.14 -2.68 $100
Democratic Reform John Robinson Warren 152 0.59 $410
Platinum Greg Calcutta 42 0.16 $100
Total Valid Votes 25,774 100.00
Total Rejected Ballots 166 0.64 +0.14
Turnout 25,940 63.91 -6.5
New Democratic gain from Liberal Swing +16.04
British Columbia general election, 2001: New Westminster
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
Liberal Joyce Murray 11,059 49.20 +10.70 $47,701
New Democratic Graeme Bowbrick 6,971 31.02 -15.67 $26,704
Green Robert Broughton 2,982 13.27 +11.08 $3,401
Marijuana Marlene P. Campbell 859 3.82 $394
Unity Howard Vernon Irving 604 2.69
Total Valid Votes 22,475 100.00
Total Rejected Ballots 113 0.50 +0.09
Turnout 22,446 70.41 -0.66
Liberal gain from New Democratic Swing +13.19


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  48. ^ Pablo, Carlito. " - Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray looks at Liberal leadership run". Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  49. ^ O'Neil, Peter. "The Times Colonist - Liberal leadership hopefuls from B.C. could drive pipeline debate off the fence Potential candidates’ opposition to project is at odds with official party position". The Times Colonist. The Times Colonist. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
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  53. ^ Berthiaume, Lee (21 January 2013). "Is Quebec over-represented in the Liberal leadership race?". Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  54. ^ Smith, Charlie (1 December 2012). "MP Joyce Murray tells constituents why she's seeking federal Liberal leadership". Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  55. ^ Berthiaume, Lee (20 January 2013). "Liberal leadership contenders dismiss co-operation with NDP". Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
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  62. ^ Article, The Canadian Press, David Suzuki Endorses Joyce Murray For Liberal Leader, Huffington Post, 21 Feb 2013
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  86. ^
  87. ^ The Huffington Post Canada Nov 27th 2013
  88. ^
  89. ^ PWGSC NSPS
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  91. ^ Giuseppe Valant "Liberal MP Tables Bill to Tighten Spy Agency's Powers", Sun News 19 June 2014
  92. ^
  93. ^
  94. ^ 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, Hansard, November 5, 2014
  95. ^ Jake Edmiston 12 December 2014 National Post "Tories respond to Liberals’ demands for special committee on Iraq"
  96. ^ Opinion: Oil spill response anything but "world class" by MP Joyce Murray, Vancity Buzz 3:12 PM PDT, Mon April 13, 2015
  97. ^
  98. ^ Craig Forcese and Kent Roach, False Security, The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-Terrorism, Irwin Law Inc.,ISBN 978-1-55221-410-7, 2015
  99. ^ Michael Harris (journalist) How Justin Trudeau could get out from under the C-51 cloud, IPolitics, 1 October 2015
  100. ^ New Talk 980 CKKNW 19 October 2015
  101. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Vancouver Quadra, 30 September 2015
  102. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates

External links[edit]

Provincial Government of Gordon Campbell
Cabinet Posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Sandy Santori Minister of Management Services
January 26, 2004–June 16, 2005
Post Abolished
Ian Waddell Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection
June 5, 2001–January 26, 2004
Bill Barisoff