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Joyce Murray took her seat yesterday in the back row of the House of Commons for her first Question Period as a Liberal MP.

On the party's front benches, Bob Rae was hugging Michael Ignatieff in a bid to quell lingering questions of loyalty, both to each other and toward leader Stéphane Dion.

There was no need for Ms. Murray to broadcast her loyalty to the Dion team.

When Mr. Dion's 2006 campaign was dismissed as an afterthought, Ms. Murray was one of the few working hard to make his unlikely leadership bid a success.

The former B.C. environment minister first became impressed by Mr. Dion when she heard him speak at the home of Liberal heavyweights Mark Marrissen and Christy Clark. Within days, Ms. Murray was enlisted as the B.C. co-chair of Mr. Dion's leadership bid.

"He's a guy with a vision for reconciling people and the planet," she said, noting that she joined Mr. Dion at her own expense in Bali, Indonesia, for last year's United Nations climate-change talks. "I saw how he was greeted as a hero by international experts and politicians and leaders for the job that he did as the conference president two years before."

The fact that Ms. Murray barely held on to the Liberal stronghold of Vancouver Quadra during the recent by-election generated much fodder for observers. Analysts opined on the strength of the Conservatives, the weakness of the Liberals and questioned the wisdom of Mr. Dion's warm relationship with the Greens.

If Ms. Murray has theories of her own, she isn't saying. But she clearly harbours no resentment that the Greens may be attracting Liberal voters.

In the halls of Centre Block during her first day, Ms. Murray ran into Elizabeth May. She waited patiently as the Green Party Leader rummaged through her purse for a business card and seemed open to Ms. May's emphatic suggestion that they get together for dinner.

"I think Elizabeth May is a very capable leader. I've got lots of admiration for her. Clearly our leader does as well and that's why he's hoping she can succeed in getting elected in her riding," said Ms. Murray, noting the Green Leader has said Mr. Dion should be the next Prime Minister. "Her vision for a greener Canada is one that I share and so do many people in Vancouver Quadra."

Murray's first day

Highlights of Joyce Murray's first day as an opposition MP

Celebratory breakfast

Looking over Parliament Hill from the restaurant at Ottawa's Westin Hotel, Ms. Murray had breakfast with several friends who made the trip with her from Vancouver, as did her daughter, Dawn Brinkman, a 23-year-old UBC student, and her mother, Charlotte Murray.

Swearing in

After being sworn in, her daughter held her hand tightly and rubbed her back excitedly, appearing more energized by the ceremony than Ms. Murray.

First questions

About halfway through Question Period, Ms. Murray rose to ask two questions about allegations the Conservatives attempted to bribe former Independent MP Chuck Cadman.

Environment post

While the two other new Liberal MPs, Mr. Rae and Martha Hall-Finlay, received high-profile critic posts, Ms. Murray's duties are so far limited to serving as vice-chair of the Liberal caucus committee on the environment. That suits Ms. Murray fine; she says she wants to focus on environmental issues and general issues of concern to her riding.

Office with a view

So far, she has two staff in her Vancouver office and has a stack of résumés from Liberal staffers in Ottawa to fill her office on the top floor of the Confederation Building. It's not as nice as her ministerial office in Victoria, she said, but it has a much better view. Bill Curry