Balanced budget, electoral reform back on policy agenda for Liberals at convention

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OTTAWA — Balanced budgets and electoral reform are back on the agenda for Canada's Liberals this week as the party holds its first in-person policy convention in five years.

The Liberal government is coming off a rough few months, hounded by allegations it is failing to protect Canadians and the electoral system from foreign interference.

Some Liberals see the three-day convention as a chance to regroup and remember who they are and what they are trying to do.

Others want to revisit old policy debates, including a call from the Quebec wing of the party to campaign in the next election on a promise to finally balance the budget.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's successful 2015 campaign arose in part around his unexpectedly popular promise to run small deficits for three years to invest in policies that would jumpstart a stagnating economy, but his government has not balanced the books once in almost eight years.

Trudeau is expected to address the convention Thursday night, but is poised to miss most of the event as he travels to London for the coronation of King Charles on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2023.

The Canadian Press