Laurin Liu

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Laurin Liu
Laurin Liu.jpg
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles
In office
May 2, 2011 – October 19, 2015
Preceded byLuc Desnoyers
Succeeded byLinda Lapointe
Personal details
Born (1990-11-13) November 13, 1990 (age 28)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Political partyNew Democratic Party
ResidenceSaint-Eustache, Quebec[1]
ProfessionJournalist, student

Laurin Liu (traditional Chinese: 劉舒雲; simplified Chinese: 刘舒云; Jyutping: Lau4 Syu1 Wan4, born November 13, 1990) is a Canadian politician who was elected to the House of Commons of Canada in the 2011 federal election.[2] She represented the electoral district of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles as a member of the New Democratic Party (NDP) from 2011 to 2015. Born in Calgary in 1990,[3][4] she was the youngest female Member of Parliament in Canadian history.

She was one of five candidates, alongside Mylène Freeman, Matthew Dubé, Charmaine Borg and Jamie Nicholls, who were McGill University students when elected in the 2011 election following the NDP's unexpected mid-campaign surge in Quebec.[5] In the 2015 election, all were defeated with the exception of Dubé. At the time of her election in 2011, she was pursuing a double major in History and Cultural Studies.[6]

Following the 2015 election, Liu completed a master's degree in Human Rights at the London School of Economics.[7] She is currently a consultant at Global Health Strategies, a New York-based communications company providing services to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.[8]

Early life[edit]

Liu was raised in Pointe-Claire, Quebec.[1] Prior to attending McGill, she was a student at Royal West Academy and Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf.[5] At Jean-de-Brébeuf, she became politically active by founding the NDP campus club. She later moved on to be co-president of the youth wing of the Quebec section of the NDP.[9]

She was active on campus as a board member of CKUT radio, a representative to the CKUT Programming Committee, an employee of McGill University's undergraduate student union, and a staff member of the McGill Daily.[6][10][11]

Liu, whose parents came to Canada from Guangzhou in the 1980s, is fluent in French, English and Cantonese.[5][12]

MP for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles[edit]

Liu had not expected to win, and spent most of the campaign helping NDP Quebec lieutenant Thomas Mulcair win reelection. She was working in a polling station in Mulcair's Outremont riding as an NDP scrutineer[13] when a friend texted her that she was leading Bloc Québécois incumbent Luc Desnoyers.[5]

Ultimately, she won over Desnoyers by a staggering 11,000-vote margin. By comparison, no NDP candidate had finished higher than fourth since the riding's creation in 1997, and all previous NDP challengers had gotten below the 10% necessary for their expenses to be refunded. At the age of 20 years, 196 days, Liu became the youngest woman in Canadian history to be elected to Parliament. She was the second-youngest MP in the 41st parliament, after Pierre-Luc Dusseault.

In Parliament[edit]

Liu was named deputy critic for the environment.[14] In this capacity, she represented the NDP at the December 2011 conference on climate change in Durban, South Africa, where she denounced the Conservatives' environmental policies.[15]

In the 2012 NDP leadership race following the death of Jack Layton, Liu supported Peggy Nash.[16]

Following the accession of Thomas Mulcair as party leader, Liu was named deputy critic for science and technology. She has spoken out numerous times in the House of Commons against the muzzling of federal scientists by the conservative government. On June 10, 2012, Liu attended the "Death of evidence" march on Parliament Hill[17] which was led by groups of scientists following the elimination of the long-form census, the closure of the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area as well as other cuts to environmental and scientific agencies contained in the Conservative Omnibus Bill C-38. In 2015, she was also named deputy critic for industry.

She advocated for parliamentary reform.[18] On March 15, 2012, Liu tabled a bill to ensure that low-income seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement would receive the retirement income top-up without having to apply.[19] On May 29, 2014, Liu tabled a bill aimed at protecting homeowners from excessive bank penalties for mortgage prepayment. On June 16, 2014, Liu tabled The Intern Protection Act which was seconded by MP Andrew Cash. This bill sought to provide protection for interns working in federally regulated industries.[20] The bill was updated on November 25, 2014.[21] Liu also tabled a motion for a national strategy on eating disorders.[22]

2015 Election and aftermath[edit]

Liu was defeated in the 2015 election by Liberal Linda Lapointe. Soon afterward, Liu denounced photos of Lapointe wearing an "unacceptable" Halloween costume—an Asian hat and robe—stating, "It's 2015. It's unacceptable to dress up as another culture, on Halloween or any other day." Soon after, Lapointe deleted the photos from her Facebook account.[23]

Electoral record[edit]


2015 Canadian federal election: Rivière-des-Mille-Îles
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
Liberal Linda Lapointe 18,787 32.37 +21.27
New Democratic Laurin Liu 17,111 29.48 -19.64
Bloc Québécois Félix Pinel 14,755 25.42 -1.70
Conservative Érick Gauthier 6,099 10.51 +0.21
Green Alec Ware 1,136 1.96 -0.41
Independent Luis Quinteros 158 0.27 n/a
Total valid votes/Expense limit 58,046 100.00;   $216,995.77
Total rejected ballots 927 1.57
Turnout 58,973 72.42
Eligible voters 81,429
Liberal gain from New Democratic Swing +20.45
Source: Elections Canada[24][25]
2011 Canadian federal election: Rivière-des-Mille-Îles
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
New Democratic Laurin Liu 25,639 49.2 +35.9
Bloc Québécois Luc Desnoyers 14,873 28.5 -16.8
Liberal Denis Joannette 5,300 10.2 -7.2
Conservative Lucie Leblanc 5,057 9.7 -9.8
Green Gilles Bisson 1,229 2.4 -1.8
Total valid votes/Expense limit 52,098 100.0
Total rejected ballots 973 1.8
Turnout 53,071 66.8
Eligible voters 79,428


  1. ^ a b Joanna Smith (June 17, 2011). "How I learned to be an MP". The Toronto Star. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  2. ^ Election 2011: Rivière-des-Mille-Îles. The Globe and Mail, May 2, 2011.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Text message tweaked rookie New Democrat to her surprise victory. The Globe and Mail, May 12, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d "McGill 5 head off to House of Commons". The Gazette, May 4, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Henry Gass (May 4, 2011). "Four McGill students elected to parliament". McGill Daily. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  7. ^ "Canada's treatment of migrants not as rosy as it may seem | National Newswatch". Retrieved 2017-01-27.
  8. ^ Global Health Strategies: Meet our Team Retrieved 17 August 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Laurin Liu, NDP MP". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  10. ^ Tamsin McMahon (May 4, 2011). "The REALLY New Democrats". National Post. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  11. ^ "Laurin Liu Candidate Bios - CKUT Board". The McGill Tribune. March 7, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  12. ^ Lorianna De Giorgio (May 6, 2011). "Canada's youngest MPs confident they have what it takes". The Toronto Star. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
  13. ^ Porter, Catherine (May 13, 2011). "Porter: NDP's young political junkies are ready for dose of reality". The Toronto Star. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
  14. ^ "Shadow Cabinet." NDP. Accessed 6 December 2011.
  15. ^ "NDP to attend Durban to promote Canadian leadership and jobs." NDP. December 2, 2011. Accessed December 6, 2011.
  16. ^ "Two more Quebec MPs step out to endorse Peggy Nash for NDP leadership". Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  17. ^ "Death of scientific evidence mourned on Parliament Hill - CBC News".
  18. ^ Lui, Laurin (5 February 2013). "Laurin Liu: How MPs can fix Parliament". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  19. ^ "Guaranteed Income Supplement should be automatic, NDP says". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-01-18.
  20. ^ " NDP bill would crack down on ‘Wild West’ of unpaid internships ".
  21. ^ "LEGISinfo - Projet de loi émanant d'un député C-636 (41-2)".
  22. ^ "This NDP MP Wants a National Eating-Disorder Strategy | VICE | Canada". VICE. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
  23. ^ "Liberal MP Linda Lapointe deletes photos of her 'unacceptable' Halloween costume: Laurin Liu, the riding's former MP and a Chinese-Canadian, calls the outfit shocking and offensive" CBC. November 16, 2015. Accessed November 18, 2015.
  24. ^ "Voter Information Service - Who are the candidates in my electoral district?".
  25. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived 2015-08-15 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]