Michelle Mungall

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Michelle Mungall

Mungall speaking at Rally April 2016.jpg
Mungall speaking at Rally April 2016
Minister of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources of British Columbia
Assumed office
July 18, 2017
PremierJohn Horgan
Preceded byRich Coleman
Member of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly
for Nelson-Creston
Assumed office
May 12, 2009
Preceded byCorky Evans
Personal details
Born1978
St. Albert, Alberta
Political partyNew Democrat
Spouse(s)Zak Matieschyn
ResidenceNelson, British Columbia

Michelle Mungall is a Canadian politician, who is currently the BC Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia for Nelson-Creston and a member of the British Columbia New Democratic Party. She was first elected to BC's Legislative Assembly in 2009, then re-elected in 2013 and 2017. Prior to her terms in provincial politics, she served on Nelson City Council from 2002 to 2005.

For the BC NDP Official Opposition, Mungall served as the Opposition Spokesperson for Advanced Education, Skills Training and Youth (2009-2013), Social Development (2013-2017) and Caucus Deputy House Leader (2014-2017). She has served as the BC NDP Government's Minister for Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources since July 18, 2017.

Background[edit]

Michelle Mungall was born and raised in St. Albert, Alberta.[1] She graduated from Paul Kane High School in 1996 and then attended the University of Alberta in Edmonton, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Science. She majored in political science and graduated with honours in 2001.[2]

During her final year of university, she became the NDP candidate in the St. Albert riding during the 2001 Alberta general election. Mungall was an underdog, the race was expected to be close between the incumbent Progressive Conservative Mary O'Neill and the Liberal challenger Len Bracko.[3][4] Also in 2001 she worked as a youth organizer for the Northern Alberta Alliance on Race Relations[5] and was profiled in the Edmonton Journal as one of Alberta's 30 most-promising people under 30 years old.[6]

In 2001 Mungall re-located to Nelson, British Columbia.[7] She quickly integrated into the community and ran for city council in the November 2002 election. She was identified as a wildcard in the race, not expected to win because of her inexperience and being new to Nelson, but expected to do well as she ran a very strong campaign.[8] She finished third, gaining her one of the six council seats.[9] At the age of 24, she was the youngest Councillor in Nelson's history and was one of the youngest female politicians in Canada at the time.[10] She opted not to stand for re-election in the 2005 municipal election, citing a desire to further her education.

From 2003 to 2005, Mungall also worked at the Nelson Food Cupboard.[11][12] Following this, she worked an eight-month contract as a community developer with the Nelson Committee On Homelessness[13] before travelling to Africa to spend seven months as an intern in Lusaka, Zambia working as a National Programmes Assistant for the World Young Women's Christian Association.[14][15][16] Upon her return, she began studying her Master's in Royal Roads University's Human Security and Peacebuilding program.[17]

She returned to Nelson in February 2007 and worked first at the Nelson and District Youth Employment Resources Center,[18] then at a microfinace organization called the Circle of Habondia Lending Society, then once again for the Nelson Committee on Homelessness.[19]

At the same time, she was writing her Master's thesis regarding homelessness in rural British Columbia.[20] She submitted her dissertation in March 2009 and was awarded a Master of Arts degree by Royal Roads University.[21]

Mungall married Zak Matieschyn on July 23, 2011 in Kokanee Creek Provincial Park.[22] She gave birth to her son Zavier July 21, 2018.

Provincial politics[edit]

Nomination and 2009 Provincial Election[edit]

In 2008, after Nelson-Creston Member of the Legislative Assembly Corky Evans announced he would not seek re-election, Mungall entered the race for the BC NDP nomination.[23] Three other women contested the nomination: fellow Nelson residents Kim Adamson and Bev LaPointe, as well as Creston small business owner Rhonda Barter.[24][25] The nomination vote was held in February 2009. In the preferential vote Lapointe and Barter were eliminated in the first two rounds and in the third round Mungall narrowly defeated Adamson.[26] Campaigning for the 2009 election began soon afterwards. She faced three other candidates, but only the BC Liberal candidate, long time rural director at the Regional District of Central Kootenay and former chair of the Columbia Basin Trust Josh Smienk was considered to be a serious challenger to Mungall.[27] The other candidates, Sean Kubara of Kaslo running for the Green Party[28] and David Duncan of the BC Conservative Party[29] ran limited or no campaigns.[30] Mungall campaign focused on issues surrounding the local economy, independent power producers, and health care.[31] She took 54% of the vote in winning the riding, but her New Democratic Party lost provincially to the BC Liberals who formed a majority government.

39th Parliament (2009-2013)[edit]

In the 39th Parliament, with the New Democrats as the Official Opposition, party leader Carole James assigned Mungall the role of deputy critic to Dawn Black on Advanced Education, where Moira Stilwell was the minister.[32] As deputy critic, she spoke out against the June–July 2009 cuts to student aid programs and supported the student union of Selkirk College during a Halloween 2009 public event to highlight student loan problems.[33][34]

In 2009, Mungall along with her BCNDP colleagues, community groups and city councillors, put the pressure on the Liberals to back down from planned cuts to funding for programs for survivors of domestic violence.[35][36] "Literally minutes before Mungall was to speak at a Tuesday news conference, Heed's office dropped a press release saying the government was backing away from the $440,00 cut to programs for family-violence victims - mainly battered, abused and fearful women and children."[37]

On local issues, Mungall hosted a public meeting on the controversial Glacier-Howser hydroelectric project which was undergoing environmental assessment,[38] which she would later oppose,[39] she delivered a 3,000 signature petition to the legislature advocating for improvements to the Kootenay Lake Hospital[40] and hired an intern from the University of British Columbia to research food security in the Kootenays.[41] Mungall was a vocal opponent to the proposed Jumbo Glacier Ski Resort[42] and together with her BCNDP colleagues questioned the government on their creation of a town with no population.[43]

She was selected for the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services in the first and second sessions which engaged in budget consultations across the province.[44][45] She also spent time as chair of the NDP's Women's Caucus which monitored women's issues[46] In December 2009-January 2010, she and her husband visited Cambodia and participated (at the request of Mu Sochua) in training of local women who were preparing for an upcoming election[47]

In the run up to the 2011 BC NDP leadership election Mungall supported Adrian Dix, who would eventually win the leadership post.[48] As the third session of the 39th Parliament began, Dix appointed her critic for advanced education and for youth and was assigned to the Select Standing Committee on Education.[49]

In November 2011, Mungall introduced her first piece of legislation, a private members bill entitled the Private Career Training Institutions Amendment Act. The bill would have required more rigorous reporting and complaint resolution requirements in private educational institutes and brought English as a foreign or second language schools under the Private Career and Training Institutions Act.

40th Parliament (2013-2017)[edit]

In the 2013 election Mungall was re-elected MLA for Nelson-Creston.[50] She received more votes than her opponents, the Liberal's Greg Garbula and Green's Sjeng Derkx combined.[51] Following the election, Mungall was named Social Development Spokesperson in the official opposition shadow cabinet.[52] She has also taken on the role of Opposition Deputy House Leader and from 2013 to 2014 was the Chair of the Opposition Social Policy Committee.[53]

Child Support, Maternity Leave and Bus Pass Clawbacks[edit]

In 2014 Mungall championed a highly publicized and ultimately successful campaign to end the BC Government practice of clawing back child support payments from single parents receiving social assistance or disability payments.[54] In response to the efforts of Mungall and anti-poverty advocates across the province, the BC government announced it was ending the child support clawback as a part of their February 2015 budget.[55][56]

In 2015, Mungall successfully took on another Liberal clawback, this time one that took away EI maternity benefits from families on income assistance.[57][58]

The 2016 Liberal budget included changes to the subsidized bus pass program for people with disabilities. It effectively increased the cost of a bus pass from $45 per year to $52 per month, a total of $624 per year.[59] Mungall fought alongside advocates for people with disabilities to raise the rates and keep the bus pass program[60][61] and the government responded. In June 2016 the government announced it would remove the $45 annual fee for a disability bus pass[62] and the 2017 budget included a $50 per month increase in disability rates. Mungall publicly noted that the increase was approximately the same as the previous years increase in cost for the disability bus pass.[63][64]

Opposition to Jumbo[edit]

Through the 40th Parliament, Mungall continued to speak out against the development of the Jumbo Glacier ski resort.[65][66][67] In a 2014 Vancouver Sun article she states "I think they just need to end this farce and acknowledge that it hasn’t been substantially started. It’s nothing but a concrete slab. It’s very close if not in an avalanche path. It’s not safe and nobody in the region wants it. End it."[68] Mungall presented a petition with 61,526 signatures to keep Jumbo wild in the BC Legislature in March 2017.[69]

Poverty Reduction Legislation[edit]

In May 2014 she introduced a private members bill, the Poverty Reduction and Economic Inclusion Act (Bill M-212). The bill aimed to target the root causes of poverty and mandate the development of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy.[70] Mungall and her colleagues have introduced this legislation six times,[71] and each time it died on the order paper and did not make it to second reading. BC continues to be the only province in Canada without a poverty reduction plan.[72]

41st Parliament (2017- )[edit]

In the 2017 election Mungall was re-elected MLA for Nelson-Creston.  Provincially, the election resulted in a hung parliament with the NDP winning 41 seats, the Liberals winning 43 seats and the BC Greens winning 3 seats.  While the Liberals were initially asked to form government, the BC NDP and the BC Greens entered into a confidence and supply agreement  to work together and provide a stable government for the next four years.  After a vote of non-confidence brought down Christy Clark's Liberal government, the Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon invited John Horgan and the BC NDP to form government. 

On July 18, 2017, Mungall was sworn in as BC Minister of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources. She is the second woman to hold this portfolio in BC.

Decision on Site C

In December 2017 the BC government announced it would complete construction of the Site C hydroelectric dam, saying that to do otherwise would put British Columbians on the hook for an immediate and unavoidable $4-billion bill- with nothing in return- resulting in rates hikes or reduced funds for schools, hospitals and important infrastructure.[73]

Minister Mungall announces family addition

On February 5, 2018, Minister Mungall announced she and her husband were expecting a new addition to their family.  “Zak and I are very happy to announce our family will be expanding when we welcome our first child in July,” said Minister Mungall. Mungall became the fourth MLA to give birth while in office and second Cabinet minister.[74]

In response to the news the BC Legislative Assembly voted unanimously on March 8, 2018, International Women's Day, to change the Standing Rules of Order to allow infants under two years of age on the floor of the Legislative Assembly while in the care of their parents.

Mungall's son, born July 21, 2018, was then the first baby on the floor of the legislature when Mungall introduced him October 16, 2018 to the House.

BC Mining Jobs Task Force

In February 2018, Minister Mungall established a BC Mining Jobs Task Force to review exploration and mining in BC to find ways to strengthen the mining industry.  The following January government moved forward with the recommendations from the task force[75] to boost the mining sector and create family-supporting jobs.[76]   

Bill 15, The Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Statutes Amendment Act, 2018

Hon. Michelle Mungall introduced Bill 15, in April 2018.  It improves orphan well site management, strengthens restoration activities, and updates tenure regulations for mining companies operating in the province. The bill includes the implementing of a levy system to ensure the Orphan Site Reclamation Fund continues to address the cost of restoration and environmental clean- up, increasing the authority of the BC Oil and Gas Commission to ensure restoration work is conducted and orphan sites are limited, and supporting the protection of public safety and management of heritage resources.[77]

LNG Canada

In October 2018, after working to improve BC's competitiveness for LNG while also enforcing the BCNDP government's four conditions for the industry, Mungall attended the LNG Canada's announcement for its final investment decision on building an LNG export facility in Kitimat.  This $40billion investment is the largest private investment in Canadian history. Direct benefits of the LNG Canada project include: $24 billion on direct private-sector investments in B.C.; up to 10,000 jobs during the construction and 950 permanent jobs once operations are underway; approximately $23 billion in new government revenues over the life of the project; significant funding for First Nations capacity building, training and education, contracting and employment and community contributions.  LNG Canada has also committed to making its Kitimat facility the world's cleanest in terms of greenhouse gas emissions intensity.[78]

Bill 56, the Oil and Gas Activities Amendment Act, 2018

Hon. Michelle Mungall introduced Bill 56 in November 2018.  This bill supports a made in BC approach to methane oversight that is equivalent to federal regulations and provides a legal framework for off-site environmental mitigation.  It strengthens environmental protection and remediation in areas where oil and gas activities occur.  It creates a legislative framework for a complaint mechanism that allows the public to request an investigation of alleged contraventions o methane emission regulations and requires the BC Oil and Gas Commission to investigate.[79]

Bill 19, Energy Statues Amendment Act, 2019

Hon. Michelle Mungall introduced Bill 19 in April 2019.  It re-instates the BC Utilities Commission's (BCUC) authority to review and approve BC Hydro's Integrated Resource Plan- it's 20 year projection of electricity demand and its plans for meeting that demand.[80]

Bill 28.  Zero- Emission Vehicles Act, 2019

Hon. Michelle Mungall introduced Bill 28 in April 2019.  It mandates that all new light-duty vehicle sales in BC must be 100% zero- emission vehicles (ZEVs) by the year 2040. “British Columbians are eager to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles, but price and availability can be barriers,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “To reduce those barriers, we are providing rebates as part of CleanBC, and now we are bringing in legislation that will improve availability.” “British Columbians are excited about electric cars and the chance to cut both their fuel costs and pollution. It’s a win-win for commuters, but British Columbians have had a tough time finding electric cars on dealership lots and often had to go on long waiting lists,” said Dan Woynillowicz, policy director, Clean Energy Canada. “This legislation will help ensure supply keeps up with demand, making it easier for people to go electric, while helping B.C. cut carbon pollution and combat climate change. If you want an electric car, you should be able to drive one home from the lot, same as any car. That’s what this policy is about.” Quotes from this news article: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019EMPR0011-000608
[81]

Electoral history[edit]

2017 British Columbia general election: Nelson-Creston
Party Candidate Votes %
New Democratic Michelle Mungall 7,685 41.85
Green Kim Charlesworth 5,130 28.16
Liberal Tanya Rae Wall 5,087 27.93
Independent Jesse O'Leary 164 0.90
Independent Tom Prior 149 0.82
Total valid votes 18,215 100.00
Source: Elections BC[82]
2013 British Columbia general election: Nelson-Creston
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
New Democratic Michelle Mungall 8,200 50.73 -4.68 $58,838
Liberal Greg Garbula 4,577 28.32 -2.12 $47,428
Green Sjeng Derkx 3,387 20.95 +13.81 $18,928
Total valid votes 16,164 100.00
Total rejected ballots 122 0.75
Turnout 16,286 57.63
Source: Elections BC[83]
B.C. General Election 2009: Nelson-Creston
Party Candidate Votes % ± Expenditures
     NDP Michelle Mungall 9,060 55% n/a $52,366
Liberal Josh Smienk 5,191 31% n/a $77,586
Green Sean Kubara 1,189 7% n/a $3,800
Conservative David Duncan 1,083 7% n/a $2,676
Total Valid Votes 16,523 100%
Total Rejected Ballots 98 0.6%
Turnout 16,621 60%
Alberta General Election 2001: St. Albert
Party Candidate Votes % ± Expenditures
     Progressive Conservative Mary O'Neill 9,537 53% n/a $79,601
     Alberta Liberal Len Bracko 7,479 41% n/a $19,522
     NDP Michelle Mungall 1,122 6% n/a $2,512
Total Valid Votes 18,138 100%
Total Rejected Ballots 63 0.3%
Turnout 18,201 64%

References[edit]

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  14. ^ Davidson, Darren (July 4, 2006). "EI rolls dropping, Mungall heads to Africa, Funktion and NDCU scoop award". Nelson Daily News. Nelson, British Columbia. p. 6.[verification needed]
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  16. ^ West, Dale (February 7, 2007). "Back from Africa". Nelson Daily News. Nelson, British Columbia. p. 1.[verification needed]
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  75. ^ "Government acts on Mining Jobs Task Force recommendations". 2019-01-28.
  76. ^ "Government takes action to create and sustain exploration and mining jobs". 2018-02-26.
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  80. ^ "Hansard — Monday, April 1, 2019 p.m. — Number 227 (HTML)".
  81. ^ "Bill 28 – 2019: Zero-Emission Vehicles Act".
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External links[edit]