“By adopting our new constitution, our party has taken a bold step. One that help will help us build the most open, innovative, and effective political movement in Canadian history.”
Leader, Liberal Party of Canada
Download the Constitution
Read Justin Trudeau’s letter about the changes
Review the by-laws
Early in 2016, Justin Trudeau asked LPC President Anna Gainey and your LPC Constitutional and Legal Advisors to lead a working group on determining the constitutional changes needed for the May 2016 Winnipeg Convention.
Tasked with redesigning the party from the ground up, the goals of the working group were to create a more open and accessible party; to modernize the party for the 21st century; and to create a unified party under one constitution that removes many of barriers created by past divisions.
The working group sought direct input from all members and supporters of the party, and 2,116 Liberals completed an online survey to share their opinions, and an astounding 1,279 Liberals provided written comments and advice.
Over the last decade, the Party has held similar consultations. They resulted in important reforms such as the 2012-13 leadership contest and supporter category. This latest round of feedback collection was a natural continuation of that process.
Some of these previous consultations include:
The new constitution includes several pages of detailed transition information. Some changes took effect immediately, while other changes require the National Board to pass new by-laws, to come into effect January 1, 2017.
At the Convention, we promised that the adoption of the new constitution would be the beginning – not the end – of a consultation process. As such, by-law consultations took place.
In August, By-law Working Groups were established, each one led by an elected member of the National Board and consisting of representatives from the provinces, territories, and commissions. The working groups have led various forms of consultations, including the National By-Law Survey.
Based on the feedback and opinions of over 4000 Registered Liberals, the first draft of the by-laws were written. These drafts were posted online for further consultation. Throughout November, the working groups and National Board reviewed the feedback from Registered Liberals and developed new drafts.
The National Board voted to pass the by-laws in December, and they will take effect on January 1, 2017.
The new Liberal constitution:
Opens up the Liberal Party of Canada more than ever before, with Canadians who share our values now being able to register as Liberals without being forced to pay a $10 membership fee.
Opens up the policy development process to allow a more flexible, interactive and participatory process for all Liberals, who will now also be able have their voice heard without travel and expense.
Opens up conventions to any Liberal who wants to attend, and gives the party more flexibility in the timing and process of conventions, including eliminating the unnecessary delegate selection meeting process.
Continues the important work of the Liberal commissions, whose existing constitutions will all be continued, as is, into by-laws of the National Board.
As Liberals we showed strength and leadership today.
By adopting our new constitution, our party has taken a bold step. One that help will help us build the most open, innovative, and effective political movement in Canadian history.
The new constitution opens up the Liberal Party of Canada more than ever before - and removes the $10 barrier to participation by making registration free.
It also opens up our policy process – making it more flexible and interactive for all Liberals to participate in.
And it modernizes our movement to win in 2019 – by unifying the party with one streamlined constitution, instead of the 18 constitutions we have now.
It achieves all of this while strongly supporting the regional voices, Commissions, and EDA organizing – all of which help us effectively engage Canadians every day.
Significant change is never easy, especially when it means challenging our own traditions. And I want to express my most sincere appreciation for the views, questions and the discussion leading up to the vote on the convention floor today.
And our work is just beginning. We will want even more input and feedback from Liberals from coast to coast to coast during the process of drafting the by-laws. I encourage you to stay tuned for details on the transition, and I look forward to working closely with you as we keep striving to make our movement even more open to Canadians and their ideas.
Leader, Liberal Party of Canada