Olivia on the Hill: Murray, Albrecht and Smith
CIVIX team member Olivia Dorey is meeting with Members of Parliament to learn about the presence of politicians in schools and how we can build and improve our programs.
Today’s blog recaps Olivia’s meetings with MPs Joyce Murray, Harold Albrecht and Joy Smith.
Joyce Murray is the Liberal MP for Vancouver Quadra, and runner-up in the 2013 Liberal Leadership race. She is also the critic for National Defense and Western Economic Diversification. She is a strong advocate for the environment, having pursued her career in the field until being elected in 2011, but also for women’s rights and preventative health, to name only a few.
She says that while “it can and may, civic education in school did nothing for me.” Her involvement began when she deemed the actions of the Crown Corporation of which she was a board member to be done in political rather than public interest. Now, when she speaks to young people, she seeks to “draw out leadership, particularly in young women,” and to bring politics closer to home, even though “we may not be able to fix the potholes!”
Harold Albrecht is the Conservative MP for Kitchener-Conestoga. He has lived in his riding for his entire life, where he was a pastor, a dentist, proud father of three, and grandfather to nine! He is a big fan of our Student Vote program, and hopes to see it expanded, which is particularly delightful to hear as he was the chair of the Waterloo County Board of Education.
Mr. Albrecht is very active on social media, and annually acknowledges a graduate from each of the schools, not just high schools, in his riding with an award. This includes a bronze medallion and a letter from the Prime Minister that is presented to the student selected by the staff for their leadership. He speaks very highly of the students in his riding, admitting that they often ask him questions that he wouldn’t have thought of! He calls on young people to let us know what would inspire them to vote.
Joy Smith is Conservative MP for Kildonan-St. Paul. She devoted 23 years to teaching math and sciences to high schools, raised six children, and while she served as a Justice, Education, and Urban Affairs critic during her time as an MLA in Manitoba, she had never intended to run for politics. While she doesn’t like all aspects of politics, she recognized that this was an opportunity for her to “make a better Canada.”
She has done so through her dedication to the war against human trafficking in which she claims that “education is our greatest tool and weapon.” In the process, she became the first MP ever to amend the Criminal Code not once, but twice through private members bills Bill C-268 (Child Trafficking Offence) and Bill C-310 (Enhancing Definition of Human Trafficking and Extending Extraterritoriality). She has been recognized most recently by the Winnipeg YMCA and the UN Women for her efforts.
Stay tuned for more of Olivia’s meetings!
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