Grit candidate backs centre-left alliance

Leadership hopeful coming to Kamloops on Feb. 8

Kamloops Daily News
January 29, 2013 01:00 AM

Joyce Murray

The sole federal Liberal leadership candidate pushing for a centre-left alliance to defeat the Conservatives tours through Kamloops next week.

MP Joyce Murray, who represents Vancouver Quadra as the only candidate in the race from Western Canada, visits on Friday, Feb. 8.

Murray advocates a one-time electoral pact between the Liberals, the NDP and the Green Party in order to defeat the Stephen Harper government in 2015.

Under her co-operation plan, each party would nominate candidates in every riding, but in ridings where the Tories won less than 50 per cent of the vote, run-off nominations would be held among so-called "progressive candidates." Local riding associations would be left to decide whether they wanted to adopt this process to select a single candidate.

While Murray's leadership rivals and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair dismiss the idea, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has expressed interest.

A former B.C. Liberal, Murray was first elected in the party's 2001 rise to power. She served as minister of water, land and air protection, and later held the management services portfolio, under then-premier Gordon Campbell.

In 2006, Murray won a federal byelection in Vancouver Quadra, succeeding Stephen Owen as MP for one of Canada's wealthiest ridings. She was re-elected in 2008 and 2011. She is generally considered to be a third-place contender in the leadership field of nine candidates, with Justin Trudeau and Marc Garneau ranked first and second respectively.

Born in South Africa, Murray was raised in Vancouver and obtained her MBA from SFU. She and her husband have built a successful reforestation company, Brinkman and Associates, that recently planted its one-billionth tree.

Her itinerary is being finalized.

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