Under the new leadership of Justin Trudeau, the Liberal Party of Canada is committed to ensuring that western voices are heard in Parliament. For far too many times under this Conservative government, all Canadians have received is the voice of the Prime Minister in their communities.
To shift the conversation, Members of Parliament from the Liberal Party of Canada came to Edmonton for our summer caucus meeting. We then fanned out to 45 ridings across the western provinces and held more than a hundred different meetings with community and business leaders.
In B.C., MPs John McCallum, Lawrence MacAulay, John McKay, Kirsty Duncan, Scott Andrews, Judy Sgro and Scott Simms met with a broad range of stakeholders.
Many of these conversations centered around critical questions about how we can responsibly manage our different industries and their impact on the environment. What is the federal role in managing the growth in the energy sector? How should it regulate our fishing and aquaculture industries after almost none of the 75 recommendations of the Cohen Commission have been implemented?
Another question is how the federal government can help reverse Canada’s decline as a tourist destination in the world, dropping from seventh to 18th place in just a decade?
To answer these challenges, you can’t stay in Ottawa.
That’s why we spoke with leaders in fisheries like Vancouver Island University’s Institute for Coastal Research and Centre for Shellfish Health, Save our Salmon, Tides Canada and the World Fisheries Trust. We spoke with environmental leaders like the British Columbia Wildlife Federation and the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability. We also met with tourism leaders like BC Tourism, Tourism Victoria, the Canada West Ski Areas Association, the Tourism Industry Association of BC, TIAC, WestJet, the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. We held roundtables on immigration, democratic reform and the oversight of CSEC.
Our caucus also studied contemporary justice issues, speaking with the Canadian Identity Theft Support Centre, the West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), the Women Lawyer’s Forum, and Sex Workers United Against Violence.
We will use feedback from these conversations as we build the plan and the team to reflect the priorities of Canadians. From trade and infrastructure, to transparency and Senate reform, Liberals have been working hard to offer Canadians a better government and not just a different one.
We believe that government must not only create the right conditions for economic growth, but also ensure that growth is sustainable and will finally help struggling middle class families succeed. Engaging with local leaders and stakeholders is a key step as we continue building a plan that will offer a real and fair chance to Canadian families.
Joyce Murray, MP for Vancouver Quadra
Liberal Party of Canada