A more open Liberal Party

Watch the explainer 

"We need to be courageous in how we move our party and our country forward, and to show once again that the Liberal Party of Canada is not afraid to challenge the status quo - even if it means breaking with some of our traditions. Our proposed new Liberal constitution represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernize, strengthen, and open up our movement for the 21st century." Justin Trudeau Leader, Liberal Party of Canada

See what others are saying

The opportunity for a new Liberal constitution

Our Winnipeg Biennial Convention this May represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernize, strengthen, and open up our movement for the 21st century. Today’s politics demands a more open approach than ever before in how we engage Canadians and their ideas, and we also need to update how our party works together to earn Canadians’ trust and support.

In 2015, our success was too often held back by the vastly divided and complicated nature of our party’s 81-page national constitution, and the more than 18 constitutions that affect the national operations of our party. All other major federal parties have just one constitution.

These major constitutional obstacles often required significant time and resources as we built the 2015 campaign, but that might not be possible a second time in 2019.

More open than ever before, and strengthening Liberal voices

The proposed new Liberal constitution:

Opens up the Liberal Party of Canada more than ever before, with committed Liberals 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.

One party, one goal: Modernizing our movement to win in 2019

The proposed new Liberal constitution:

  • Unifies the Party under one constitution and national board, while maintaining and guaranteeing regional voices and representation.
  • Supports Electoral District Associations (EDAs) as the central engagement unit for Liberals in our communities, while making it easier for the Party to assist EDAs without 338 different constitutions and varying financial rules.
  • Focuses regional boards on their core mandate of working with EDAs on election readiness and engaging Canadians, including supporting policy development.
  • Maintains the existing voting composition of the National Board, with the positions of Policy Chair and Membership Secretary being renamed Policy Secretary and Party Secretary.
  • Eliminates party structures that had fallen into disuse or no longer served their intended function.
  • Ends the formal legal blended structure for Atlantic provinces (which presented legal challenges) while maintaining the successful status quo on staffing, organizing, and cooperation in these provinces.
  • Substantially maintains all of the existing open leadership rules, which successfully attracted over 300,000 supporters during the 2012/2013 Liberal leadership race.

Building a new Liberal movement: Renewal and consultation

Early this year, 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 giving their opinions, and an astounding 1,279 Liberals provided written comments and advice.

The response was overwhelming – and here’s a sense of what we heard:

  • 98%support modernizing the Liberal Party of Canada constitution

  • 91%believe the Liberal Party of Canada should have one constitution like all other major federal parties

  • 96%want to make membership more open and accessible

  • 99%support steps to make the policy development process more innovative and open

This 2016 round of feedback builds upon a series of comprehensive consultations with the party membership on these topics over the past decade, which was instructive to the 2016 working group and has already resulted in other important reforms such as the 2012-13 open leadership contest and supporter category.

Some of these previous consultations include:

  • 2006 Red Ribbon Renewal Task Force
    30-page report, and Justin Trudeau served as a task force chair focused on youth involvement
  • 2009 Special Committee on Party Renewal
    46-page report
  • 2009 Change Commission
    39-page report and 17-page follow up two years later
  • 2011 consultations leading to supporter category
    79-page Building a Modern Party background paper

Voting on a new Liberal constitution

The vote on whether to adopt the proposed new constitution will take place at the 2016 Liberal Biennial Convention in Winnipeg from May 26-28 during the constitutional plenary session, and all delegates attending the convention will be eligible to vote.

To pass, the proposed new Liberal constitution requires the support of at least two-thirds of voting delegates in attendance for the plenary.

Transitioning to a new Liberal constitution

The new constitution includes several pages of detailed transition timeline information.

If the new constitution is approved on May 28, some of the changes will take effect immediately, some changes will take place over the remainder of 2016 as the National Board of Directors passes new by-laws, and some changes will start taking effect on January 1 2017.

Support for a more open party

"I am proud of our Liberal Party, and I am proud of its inclusiveness and our commitment to embrace all Canadians. This is what is reflected in our new constitution - one that opens up our party to committed Liberals at no cost, regardless of their background, and invites them to help us build a better Canada."

Kim Rudd
MP, Northumberland–Peterborough South

"Representing a rural riding makes it even more important that as a party we are open to everyone. By moving forward with the new constitution more people across rural ridings are going to be able to participate in our social movement."

Marc SerréMP, Nickel Belt

"Having been an EDA board member since 2008, a 3-term EDA President and current member of the National Board, I have experienced first hand the many ways our current constitution often held us back as a party. From making it difficult for Canadians who share our values to join our Party, to the way our local and regional constitutions conflicted with our national one; we have long been due for party renewal. I couldn't be prouder to support the new constitution and look forward to voting for it in Winnipeg! Opening up the membership process by removing fees and creating one national document to govern our Party are only two examples of how we are once again modernizing and adapting to the new realities of modern day politics. I urge delegates at the Winnipeg Convention to take part in a historic moment in LPC history and help usher in a new era of real change."

Veena BhullarNational Chair, Council of Presidents

"I am thrilled to see the new constitution is providing the much needed changes our Party needs in preparation for the 2019 election. Being more inclusive, streamlining administration and setting a positive tone moving forward will no doubt keep our Party relevant and successful for the years to come."

Mark GerretsenMP, Kingston and the Islands

“It is with great enthusiasm that I invite delegates to support our Party’s proposed new constitution! The new constitution reflects the openness and modern character of the last campaign and of the movement we have created. We are the most modern party in Canada and our constitution should reflect this.”

Pablo Rodriguez
MP, Honoré-Mercier

"Having worked on helping to shape national constitutions before becoming involved in politics, I can confidentially say that the current Liberal constitution needs to be modernized. Our new constitution will ensure not only good governance, but it also offers a structure which will allow for all Liberals to have their voice heard. That is why I support the new Liberal constitution."

Sven SpengemannMP, Mississauga–Lakeshore

"I fully support the modernization of our party through the new constitution. As the party prepares itself for the next election it is important we have a simple and clear constitution to guide us. We had a great result on October 19th 2015 because we had rebuilt the party from the grassroots - this is an opportunity to continue that work."

Navdeep BainsMP, Mississauga—Malton

"We support this new constitution and the direction and values it represents. We hope it will be ratified when it comes time for the vote. The new Liberal Party of Canada constitution will formalize and define the strong relationship we have always had with our federal counterparts. We will work with them to ensure a seamless transition, if the constitution is adopted. We look forward to a continued partnership with the Liberal Party of Canada. We support them fully in their efforts to modernize the Liberal movement throughout Canada to better engage members."

Joel ReedPresident, New Brunswick Liberal Association

"Modernization is key for continued momentum and, ultimately, continued results. The Party must reflect on inner change if it truly wishes to engage societal change. We have an opportunity to embrace openness and show the country that we continue to be ready to lead at all levels. That's why I support the proposed new constitution for the Liberal Party of Canada."

Sachit MehraPresident, Liberal Party of Canada (Manitoba)

"I completely endorse the new Liberal constitution. The modernized constitution will ensure a cohesive approach to support the Liberal Party of Canada while reflecting the interests of local riding associations and their constituents. The new constitution reflects Liberal values and will provide a strong foundation for years to come."

Patty HajduMP, Thunder Bay–Superior North

"Campaign 2015 demonstrated that if the Liberal movement is truly inclusive, Canadians will respond with their engagement and their trust in our vision. Now going forward, our new constitution is the clearest message we can send to say we have taken that trust to heart, and we will continue to innovate, increasing the representation of regional voices, eliminating barriers to membership and offering a unified, streamlined approach to governing."

Carla QualtroughMP, Delta

“We worked so hard to earn the trust of Canadians in 2015, and the proposed new Liberal constitution would open up our movement to their ideas and make it easier for them to get involved in shaping our Party’s future. I look forward to supporting it in Winnipeg.”

Ruby SahotaMP, Brampton North

“The new constitution will make our Party more inclusive and more representative.”

Karl TrudelPresident – Policy Commission, LIberal Party of Canada (Quebec)

"The proposed new Liberal Party of Canada constitution will remove barriers to participation and help us to become an inclusive and energized social movement. It will give us the flexibility to adapt and respond better to Canadians in the 21st century and make sure all voice are part of the conversation."

Anita VandenbeldMP, Ottawa West–Nepean

"Justin Trudeau’s proposed new constitution represents an opportunity to open our Party’s doors to new supporters. A new constitution will ensure riding associations can achieve their goals while assuring better coordination at all levels. In Winnipeg, let’s support our leader and the new Liberal Party of Canada constitution!"

Pierre Choquette
President, Liberal Party of Canada (Québec)

"The new constitution will modernize our party and will enable us to build on the significant progress our organization has made over the past few years. I strongly support the constitutional changes."

Jonathan WilkinsonMP, North Vancouver

"I believe we are on the right track with the changes being proposed to our constitution. We have to continue to be a truly inclusive party that appeals to all Canadians who respect equality, diversity and fairness. I am happy to support our leadership as we continue to bring real change to everyone."

Karen McCrimmonMP, Kanata–Carleton

"The new proposed Liberal Party constitution is groundbreaking and progressive. It really shows Canadians that the Liberal Party is committed to openness, fairness and transparency. I will be voting in favour of this great piece of work and I hope you will too."

Iqra KhalidMP, Mississauga–Erin Mills

"I'm looking forward to supporting the proposed new Liberal constitution, and how it would make our party more open than ever before. It modernizes how we engage Canadians for the 21st century, while protecting the strong Provincial Boards, Commissions' voices, and the EDAs that are the backbone of our party."

Manjot HallenPresident, Liberal Party of Canada (British Columbia)

"As a Party and as a social movement we need to be able to serve Canadians. That is what we are all about - serving Canadians. To do this, we must be as open as possible to all Canadians. We have a unique opportunity to help ensure we can do that by adopting this new constitution and coming out of Winnipeg strong, united and ready to serve."

Andrew LeslieMP, Orléans

"When I supported Justin Trudeau during the leadership race, I joined a team whose innovative vision of politics was both inclusive and effective. This approach has translated into success both in the years our Party was rebuilding, as well as in the last campaign. The new Constitution will formalize the Party’s modernization process which will open our doors to all Canadians and make the LPC one single party. I am proud to add my voice in support of the new Constitution and to all those who made it happen."

Mélanie JolyMP, Ahuntsic-Cartierville

"Our Liberal movement has accomplished a great deal for Canadians over the last few years, with the success of Campaign 2015 a clear sign we're on the right path. But we all know we can do more to bring more voices and fresh perspectives to the table as we shape our vision for 2019 and beyond. I believe our new constitution is the key step we need to take to get us there."

John AldagMP, Cloverdale–Langley City

"Inclusive. Open. Welcoming. Like Canada, these are the values that the Liberal Party embraces. In order to keep in step with these values, we need to make sure that our Party reflects the Canada of today and can adapt to the Canada of tomorrow. The new constitution does just that. It expands our membership base, modernizes our constitution and makes our party more accessible for the future."

Bob NaultMP, Kenora

"Open. Engaging. Flexible. That's what we need our Party to be at its core. As a former riding president and PTA executive member I see this constitution as a great progression as a modern Party. Let's make joining our party the most simple of experiences and then together let's go knock doors!"

Bardish ChaggerMP, Waterloo

"As the President of LPC-Yukon, I support the proposed new Constitution and commend the time and energy invested by everyone from across the country who helped bring it to fruition. The proposed Constitution offers a stronger, renewed foundation that will modernize the Party, maximize efficiencies and create greater synergies, coast-to-coast-to-coast."

Blake RogersPresident, Federal Liberal Association of Yukon

"Politics must always be about people yet far too often political parties maintain obstacles that stifle genuine democratic engagement. In Winnipeg, Liberals can send a different message to Canadians by voting for a constitution that embraces openness and inclusion."

Peter Fragiskatos MP, London North Centre

"The new Liberal Party of Canada constitution is the next step in the evolution of the movement we started last year during election 2015. By opening the doors to our party and inviting each and every Canadian to join us – we not only strengthen our party but each other as well. The new constitution will make it easier for all Canadians to participate in the political process, and help bring thousands of Canadians in riding's from coast-to-coast-to-coast into the Liberal family. As Members of Parliament for the Niagara Region, we fully support the new constitution and encourage all delegates to ensure its passing."

Chris Bittle & Vance Badawey MP, St. Catharines & MP, Niagara Centre

"Democracy works best when more people have an opportunity to participate in the process. That's why I'm excited to support the proposed 1Party constitution at #wpg2016 which will enable even more Canadians to help build a stronger Party and a better Canada for all."

Raj GrewalMP, Brampton East

"Our new constitution says to me that we are open, broadly based and inclusive -- the same things we strive for as a society. I am happy to support this big step forward."

Pamela Goldsmith-JonesMP, West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country

"I first joined the Liberal Party of Canada at the age of 14 and had the opportunity to participate in multiple biennial conventions where various local associations tried to make changes to the Constitution with no success. The changes proposed in this constitution reflect what the grassroots has been trying to do for many past biennial conventions. This is why I support the new constitution."

Francis DrouinMP, Glengarry–Prescott–Russell

"By doing away with membership fees and simplifying our national governance, we will modernize and strengthen and create a true Liberal movement for the 21st century."

Randeep SaraiMP, Surrey Centre

"I unreservedly support the adoption of the new Liberal Party of Canada constitution. As a Liberal volunteer for over 25 years I've seen first hand that the Liberal Party performs best when it is inclusive and that is why we must continue to tear down barriers that prevent involving more Canadians in our Party. Eliminating membership fees. Modernizing our policy process. Ensuring our EDAs are the central engagement unit for Liberals in our communities. The 1Party constitution, a culmination of 10 years of consulting grassroots members, ensures that our Party's very foundation is structured so that we can win majority governments in 2019, 2023 and beyond."

Tyler BanhamPresident, Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario)

"I am pleased to see and fully support the proposed new constitution for the Liberal Party of Canada. The changes put forth in the proposed constitution allow us to further strengthen the momentum and our recent modernization efforts. The new constitution will allow our party to be more inclusive and transparent."

Pierre BoctiPresident, Markham-Thornhill Federal Liberal Association

"After many years of talk, I am very happy to see a concrete proposal to help our party grow and improve. I am proud to support this proposed new constitution because I am excited to see the Liberal Party at the forefront of innovation."

Joe HorneckPresident, Mississauga Centre Federal Liberal Association

"Our Liberal movement's new constitution is the boldest, most courageous step we can take to modernize and stay at the forefront for innovative, twenty-first century campaigns. While other parties continue to put a price tag on membership, we have invited all Canadians to bring nothing but their passionate engagement and their perspectives into our conversation, and to grow with us as we set our sights on Campaign 2019."

Joyce MurrayMP, Vancouver Quadra

"Fellow delegates, after many consultations, I am proud to endorse the proposed constitution. This document will set the stage for the framework that will allow us to work together more efficiently, and will equip us with the tools to face adversity in the coming years. In short, this first step is part of the challenge we face over the past few years, that of our Party’s continued renewal process. By adopting the new constitution, we will have a stronger, more open and modern party that will help us reach new heights."

Alain BardVice-President (male), representing Western Quebec, Liberal Party of Canada (Québec)

"The changes proposed in our new constitution will provide a greater place for regional voices and representation, and I believe that by eliminating the membership fee to join the Liberal movement, we are saying, in the boldest way possible, we are ready to craft a more inclusive, innovative vision for this country - for 2019 and beyond."

Harjit SajjanMP, Vancouver South

"By favouring openness and advancement, the new constitution allows us to achieve our liberal values. This proposal sets the stage for regional activism in which everyone can achieve real change."

Marili DesrochersSecretary, Liberal Party of Canada (Québec)

"During a long race for the nomination and campaign for office, I met thousands of fellow Louis-Hébert residents, always reaching out to those often overlooked by traditional politicians. This made me realize that party membership is a thing of the past. We must open every door to political engagement and remove roadblocks dividing the parties and the political class from the people. This is precisely what the new Liberal Party of Canada’s Constitution has just done. A constitution that makes us all the more a universal political movement firmly rooted in the 21st century — A Constitution I am proud to support."

Joël LightboundMP, Louis-Hébert

“I see the proposed changes to the LPC Constitution as a positive step which will help make becoming a member of the LPC easier for Canadians across the country. The transparency and simplicity in the model should help attract new members and will promote growth of the party.”

Josh EganPresident, Charlottetown Federal Liberal Association

“I believe our new constitution is a bold, smart move for the Liberal movement. It will ensure we are at the forefront of modern political campaigns as we prepare for 2019."

Scott BrisonMP, Kings–Hants

“From the very beginning, our Liberal movement has truly connected with Canadians by challenging the status quo, by saying yes to bold, innovative ideas. Our new constitution says to Canadians we don’t want to build barriers to participation with membership fees; we want to bring more grassroots voices into the national conversation and continue the work we’ve started with Campaign 2015, creating a modern, innovative Liberal party for today and tomorrow.”

Lawrence MacAulayMP, Cardigan

"I am proud to be a part of a party that is so open and inclusive. Our constitution needs to reflect these values. The proposed new constitution brings together these values and modernizes our structure so that we can continue our hard work. This is why I am supporting the proposed new constitution for the Liberal Party of Canada."

Lloyd LongfieldMP, Guelph

"I am supporting our new constitution because I know it is the next great step in our Liberal movement to engage with Canadians with true inclusiveness, supporting regional voices with a unified, streamlined policy development process. And by eliminating a membership fee, we’re affirming the price of admission in shaping our vision is nothing more than their best ideas."

Ginette Petitpas TaylorMP, Moncton–Riverview–Dieppe

"With a simple, streamlined approach to governance we will modernize and strengthen the support we can give to regional voices and provide a greater breadth of ideas as we plot our course for the 21st century."

Gudie HutchingsMP, Long Range Mountains

"As the riding president in Surrey Centre and the Chair of the BCFLC, I support these much needed and welcome changes to our constitution to modernize and bring it into the 21st century and forward into the future."

Arne GulstenePresident, Surrey Centre Federal Liberal Association

"This constitution is the result of a lot of listening, and the lessons learned in the last campaign. Our election win in 2015 was the result of bringing thousands of new volunteers into the fold. This new constitution will continue that work – and I am proud to support it!"

Sonia SidhuMP, Brampton South

Add your name to support an even more open, innovative, and unified Liberal Party

  • We currently have your information in the system as "%last".
    Do you want us to change the name in the system to "%new".
    Or is this entry made by "%new" and not "%last" ?