Feb 25, 2013 / 6:13 am
Justin Trudeau isn't the only millionaire in the Liberal leadership race.
He may not even be the wealthiest of the nine contenders.
On paper at least, that title may well belong to Joyce Murray, which will likely come as a surprise to rival George Takach, who has portrayed the Vancouver MP as a lefty tree hugger who knows little about business or creating "real jobs."
According to Murray's campaign, her net worth, along with that of husband Dirk Brinkman, is about $5 million, the vast majority of which is tied up in their business, Brinkman and Associates Reforestation Ltd.
The company, which Takach has compared to a student house-painting business he once operated, employs more than 1,000 people in five countries and grosses about $30 million in revenue per year, according to Brinkman.
Still, Brinkman stresses that he and Murray are not rolling in dough. Their company's profits are mostly reinvested in environmental restoration projects, some of them undertaken for free for First Nations and others.
"We're not formally a social enterprise but we do tend to take any profits we're making and look at where can we do something," Brinkman said in an interview.
The couple also own a $1.4-million home in Murray's notoriously pricey Vancouver Quadra riding.
"We're not wealthy," said Brinkman. "If you were to look at our home here, it looks more like a cottage than it looks like a big home, though it's a comfortable home."
Comfortable would seem to be the word to describe all of the main leadership contenders, who agreed to disclose varying degrees of detail about their financial status.
The Canadian Press sought the information after Trudeau voluntarily disclosed details of his $1.2 million inheritance from his famous father, former prime minister Pierre Trudeau. He also revealed details of his profitable public speaking career, which earned him more than $1 million over six years, including $277,000 in the four years after he became an MP in 2008.
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