Proportional representation, assisted suicide to be discussed at federal Liberal convention

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

There's a belief out there that Justin Trudeau has been selling the sizzle and not the steak.

Since even before he became Liberal leader, his opponents have chided him for not really presenting any policy ideas; for being slim on details and big on generalities.

Well, get ready for a lot of policy talk, by him — and the Liberals — over the next couple of weeks.

Later this month, Grits will convene in Montreal for their biannual policy convention.

What makes this policy convention more meaningful than others is that Trudeau has continuously said that he wants to develop policy from the grassroots by "listening to Canadians."

In other words, what we see come out of the Liberal grassroots in Montreal could very well form the core of the party's platform heading in to the 2015 election campaign.

[ Related: Justin Trudeau seen as best leader to manage Canada’s economy: poll ]

As explained by the Canadian Press, economic policy resolutions put forward by Liberal MPs are the ones to watch.

"The caucus resolutions...reveal that the Liberal leader is now willing to consider the notion of a voting system based on proportional representation — an idea he rejected during last year's leadership contest as too confusing and too partisan.

"One calls for a royal commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the income tax system and recommend ways to make it simpler, fairer and more globally competitive, while reducing the tax burden on the middle class."

Another policy resolution put forward by the caucus, according to CP, is one that would see a job-creating infrastructure fund worth about $18 billion a year.

[ More Politics: Are Canadian governments addicted to debts and deficits? ]

In addition to the above, Liberal delegates will be at least discussing numerous policy resolutions put forward by electoral district associations (EDAs) and Liberal committees across the country.

If a policy resolution is passed, at a convention, it becomes part of the party doctrine. A future Justin Trudeau government, however, isn't obligated to adopt the policy.

Here are some of those resolutions:

- Resolution 90: Assisted suicide:

"BE IT RESOLVED that voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide be permitted under the Criminal Code of Canada in the circumstances set out by Justice Smith in her decision in the British Columbia case of Carter v. Canada (Attorney General)."

- Resolution 150: Third gender documentation

"WHEREAS countries like Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, have taken steps to include a third gender option on government documentation, and official identification;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the LPC adopt a policy of gender inclusivity by adding a third category to all government documentation and official identification requiring or requesting identification of a gender;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT parents will be able to register their children as being of an indeterminate sex if their babies show intersex characteristics;"

- Resolution 126: A Department of Climate Change

"BE IT RESOLVED that a Liberal government create a Department of Climate Change to focus Canada’s efforts toward understanding and addressing the potential impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events and to promote municipal, regional, provincial and industrial opportunities that will arise therefrom."

- Resolution 98: EI for political candidates

"BE IT RESOLVED that EI coverage be extended to workers who take a leave (voluntarily or as required by their employer) to enter a political campaign as candidates of recognized political parties in Canada, for both provincial and federal elections;"

- Resolution 161: Tax credits for employers who allow telecommuting

"BE IT RESOLVED that a new Liberal government would introduce new tax credits for employers, and amend federal labour laws, to expand telecommute work options, particularly for parents of children 5 years and under;"

The full list of all 161 resolutions can be seen here.

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