Vancouver Quadra by-election rush

Posted by: | February 23, 2008 | 11 Comments

UBC’s federal electoral riding, Vancouver Quadra, is having a by-election on March 17th. And if you live on campus, you can vote in it. (Click the image to enlarge)

Quadra is one of the wealthiest and best educated ridings in the country. It contains most of Vancouver’s West side, including UBC. This by-election race has many so UBC connections that make it an great opportunity to get UBC issues out into the community. Lets count the connections: the Quadra riding was vacated by incumbent Liberal MP (and former cabinet minister) Stephen Owen last year. He left politics to join UBC’s executive as VP External, a post he resumed last August (find out what Gina thought of that HERE). One of the candidates in this by-election is actually a current UBC student. The NDP’s Rebbecca Coad is a political science student. The Green Party’s Dan Grice is a recent UBC grad, in Classical Studies and Archeology, and a former AMS councilor for Arts. The Conservative party candidate, Deborah Meredith, is a UBC professor of commercial law in the Sauder School of business. The Liberal party candidate, Joyce Murray, lacks an obvious UBC connection, but she’s a former BC cabinet minister and co-founder of Brinkman Reforestation Ltd, which some of you tree-planters have probably worked for.
By-elections typically have lower voter turnout than general elections, which makes them a bit unpredictable. Owen, who won the riding three times with big margins with the Liberal Party, was definitely a popular MP. But with him gone, and strong local connections for all the candidates, it’s quite an interesting race.

Nitty Gritty:
  • if you’re a student living in the Quadra riding, you can register to vote in this by-election in two ways: going to the Elections Canada Quadra office (suite #218 5511 West Blvd.), or registering on the day by bringing two documents with your name and adress on them, like phone bills, or your housing contract, or some other official mail. You can call them for information at 1866 564 6466.
  • Come to the candidate debate this Monday the 25th at UBC. The four main party candidates will face off in the Meekison Arts Student Space in Buchanan D (room 140) at 2:00-3:30.
  • Get a feel for the candidates: campaign websites and facebook groups are up. You can also read some (somewhat painful) candidate interviews that Jacob Cosman of the Science Undergraduate Society’s rag the 432 conducted HERE. Thanks to Jacob and the 432 for those.


11 Comments so far

  1. Sunshine on February 24, 2008 4:35 am

    I’m assuming that only Canadian citizens are eligible to vote…?

    – Sonja

  2. Anonymous on February 24, 2008 5:40 am

    holy cow, did you know that Joyce Murray was a really good student? and were you aware that she wrote her masters thesis on global warming 17 years ago?? were you aware???

  3. Patrick on February 24, 2008 8:19 am

    Were you aware that she has lost her last 2 elections in a row by massive landslides? She managed to lose as an experienced cabinet minister…

    I wonder if the voters of her newfound neighborhood know her as where she’s lived for the past several years yet?


  4. Alfie on February 24, 2008 9:05 am

    Joyce Murray, who is she? Never saw her on campus and never met her in person.

  5. Jesse Ferreras on February 24, 2008 10:10 am


    Joyce Murray actually did live in Vancouver-Quadra when her family left South Africa while she was a teenager. She attended Lord Byng Secondary School. It’s hardly a newfound neighbourhood.

    And she’s hardly the first cabinet minister to lose her job. Remember Ujjal Dosanjh? Pierre Pettigrew? Both lost their elections while holding high-level posts in their respective posts. Pettigrew was minister of foreign affairs when he lost the Quebec riding of Papineau in the 2006 election. Before that he was minister of international trade, minister of health, minister of intergovernmental affairs and minister of human resources development.

    Dosanjh, well, no one expected him to win the 2001 provincial election as leader of the NDP. Even he didn’t. He scuttled his party at the polls and rightly lost his seat in that election. But of course he expected that.

  6. Matthew Naylor on February 24, 2008 1:45 pm

    On the candidates:

    Well, I confess right off the bat that I am voting for Joyce Murray, and not just because she is a member of my party, but I really like her. She seems to me to be exactly the kind of person we need in Canada right now, governing and setting policy to shape our future, and the future of post secondary education in particular.

    Which is what makes this election so painful, because so does everyone else.

    Dan Grice, Rebecca Coad and Deb Meridith. They all are good candidates for different reasons, and are all someone who we could do with the representation of these three in the House. I can sure think of a couple parliamentarians that I would shove out in favour of these three (cough – maybe even Liberals – couch).

    Rebecca would, in my opinion, be a better student advocate than the folks the NDP has in the job right now. Yeah, she’s inexperienced, but so what – people gain experience on the job, and she’s going to get her “How to Vote” Card from the NDP whip anyway. She’s guaranteed a critic position, and likely one youth related, which would make her a powerful advocate on this hill, and she seems like someone who would be really good in committee work, which is where the real work gets done anyway. That said, Coad is not, to put it mildly, the gamblers choice in this election.

    Dan and Deb are both good candidates as well, both striking me as realistic and as people who understand the issues of students, although differing somewhat in their ideas on how to handle it. That said, understanding the issues that we confront on a day to day basis is a hell of a lot better than most MPs, so I think we will have an ally in them.

    With both Layton and Dion making stops here, I wonder if we can expect a visit from the PM. (Answer: Probably Not).

    Fun Fact:

    Stephen Fletcher, the quadriplegic MP from the Winnipeg area, once sat around the CASA table as President of the U of Manitoba SU. Guess who helped him campaign. That’s right, our own Jason Penner, GSS Rep. Stephen has always been a good friend to students, and CASA.

  7. pcarbo on February 24, 2008 5:21 pm

    I hope students vote in this election.

    It’s a bit of a pie-in-the-sky wish, I realize. But I know lots of students who are more well-informed than your average million-dollar-house-owner, and then don’t vote because they don’t think it’ll change anything.

    Of course, they’re probably right. Their vote probably won’t make a difference. But their non-vote is even less likely to make a difference.

  8. Jakke on February 24, 2008 8:39 pm

    Sorry about the incomplete transcripts. I’m transcribing as fast as I can. They should be finished later today. There’s a lot more Joyce Murray to come (including all the good parts really) and the entire Deborah Meredith interview.

  9. Patrick on February 24, 2008 10:20 pm

    Sorry Jesse, I was mostly joking, should have been more clear.

    Though I do think it is pretty important to note that she DID lose her re-election bid as a relatively high ranking cabinet minister by a pretty significant margin AND came in a pretty distant third a year later when she ran federally.

  10. Philip on February 26, 2008 5:34 am

    For those of you who didn’t know about (like me) or missed the all-candidates meeting today at UBC you still have one more chance. There is going to be a general all-candidates meeting on Monday March 3rd. Here are the details:

    Monday March 3rd, 2008.
    7:30pm start
    St. Phillip’s Anglican Church
    3737 West 27th Ave. Vancouver

    I hope to see some fellow UBC Insiders readers and UBC students at the event. : D

    I’ve got two questions that I hope to ask…
    – What will they, the candidates, or their party due about the amazing hurdles foreign doctors have to overcome to work in Canada. My friend’s Mom was a top anesthesiologist in Iran and she has to go through five years of schooling here just to become a GP. That’s ridiculous!
    – Specifically for Deb: Why have the expenditures of the federal government increase by 13% ($23 billion) in the past three years. That’s crazy. I thought the Conservatives prided themselves on fiscal responsibility. My source on this is an editorial piece from today’s Vancouver Sun.

    ~ Philip

  11. Anonymous on March 3, 2008 9:25 am

    Hey, talk about a loser-in-waiting. As ongtime residents of Vancouver Quadra the first time we’d heard of Joyce Murray – other than the eyesore lawn signs – was Saturday, March lst, when a couple of giggling campaigners knocked on our door to t drop off a pamphlet extolling Murray’s merits. The printout was almost as convincing as one might expect from a couple of come-by-chance snake oil salesmen. When we asked when this candidate might be seen and heard from in person at a public meeting one of the door-knockers said ‘well, um, er, we’ve heard there’s an all-women’s candidates meeting somewhere, sometime, maybe this week, maybe at UBC…. Now excuse us we have to get on with distributing the message.”
    Alas, we’re left with the sour realization that we may be dealing with another no-kidding candidate
    for public office – in the style of Stephen Owen – previous MLA for the riding who never to our knowledge ever had a real job in his entire life. Hr bolted out from the awful responsibilites of MLA-ing when he got what appears to be another patronage appointment. At UBC.
    Perhaps eventually this riding will attract an MLA a notch above the level of a joke.

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