Liberal Convention: The New Party Constitution

Liberal Convention: The New Party Constitution

By Andrew Thomson | March 31, 2021 11:35amET

Halifax 2018 was the first Liberal convention under the party’s new constitution. 

Here are the key planks of the version passed nearly unanimously at the 2016 convention in Winnipeg:

  • Removal of membership fees upon registration as a Liberal member.
  • One constitution across the entire Liberal Party of Canada, instead of different documents governing various boards, committees, commissions, and associations.
  • Allowance of any Liberal to attend a party convention or general meeting.
  • The leader to designate the two chairs of the national campaign committee.
  • A policy development process that includes “flexibility to accommodate changing technology, conditions and electoral cycles.”


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Trudeau took to a “pro” microphone at that Winnipeg convention to argue the party needed to replace a constitution that represented the “closed, insular thinking” that nearly killed the party. He called the former version not a “venerable treatise” but a hodge-podge of 18 documents applying to various commissions and provincial wings.

The new constitution passed with 97-per-cent support.

Watch Justin Trudeau’s speech:

TOP PHOTO: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Liberal President Anna Gainey, left, and Liberal Youth President Mira Ahmad and an overwhelming majority vote for the new party constitution at the 2016 Liberal Biennial Convention in Winnipeg on May 28, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods