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Highlights: 2014 Liberal Convention Live

Here are highlights from this past weekend as CPAC covered the 2014 Liberal convention in Montreal. About 3,000 delegates gathered to debate policy and hear from party leader Justin Trudeau.

1) Trudeau's Speeches

Justin Trudeau first took to the podium on Thursday evening.

Many journalists at the convention have reported that a video feed of Trudeau rehearsing tonight's speech was mistakenly broadcast into the media filing room about one hour ago.Andrew Thomsonon February 20 at 5:29 PM

Some of our immediate reaction to Trudeau's Thursday speech and an earlier talk with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers:

John Ivison: Summers' talk laid an intellectual foundation for the next Liberal platform.Andrew Thomsonon February 20 at 8:19 PM

Tim Harper: Trudeau's interaction with children could work beyond convention hall and media cynics.Andrew Thomsonon February 20 at 8:22 PM

Trudeau delivered a second speech on Saturday afternoon.

Trudeau criticizing Conservative and NDP approached to the Senate.

On Harper: anyone who appoints Duffy, Brazeau and Wallin might want to be careful about campaigning on judgment.Andrew Thomsonon February 22 at 2:56 PM

Too much and too little government is an enemy of opportunity, according to Trudeau.Andrew Thomsonon February 22 at 3:04 PM

Need to ensure responsible resource development to assuage international community: TrudeauAndrew Thomsonon February 22 at 3:10 PM

Trudeau: negativity cannot be this country's lifeblood.Andrew Thomsonon February 22 at 3:19 PM

Reaction on CPAC -- both on-air and online -- was fast:

Did you people note his emphasis on responsibility regarding the land and the environment? And how this produced a standing ovation ?Pat Barclayon February 22 at 3:56 PM

However, Trudeau did not hold a news conference to end the convention. 

2) Andrew Leslie

A major story at the convention was Lt. Gen (ret'd) Andrew Leslie, a Liberal foreign policy advisor and expected 2015 candidate. Recent reports of Leslie claiming $72,000 as part of a military relocation program, for a move within the same Ottawa neighbourhood, led to criticism from Defence Minister Rob Nicholson: 

Leslie gave a speech and than held a news conference, where he faced numerous questions on his talks with different political parties. 

Leslie: Conservatives welcomed me to politics with a 21-gun salute.Andrew Thomsonon February 21 at 12:43 PM

Statement from Conservative party spokesman Cory Hann: "Andrew Leslie approached the Conservative Party of Canada. His lack of judgment and defense (sic) of excessive taxpayer spending further underscores why he is Justin Trudeau's senior advisor."Andrew Thomsonon February 21 at 2:55 PM

We've asked the Conservatives for specifics on when Leslie made his alleged approach. If there's a response (or not) we'll let you know.Andrew Thomsonon February 21 at 2:56 PM


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3) Policy

2012: Thirty resolutions were deemed “priority” for the main plenary session: 13 submitted by the provincial wings and various party commissions, and another 17 chosen through online voting on the Liberal website.

The first group included a call to break ties with the monarchy and create an elected head of state, implement a national housing strategy and a national food strategy, and high-speed rail corridors for Windsor-Quebec City and Edmonton-Calgary.

Among the resolutions gaining online support were:

• The creation of an independent “parliamentary science officer”
• Establishing a national water policy
• A Renewal Commission to suggest Liberal party reforms
• Legalizing marijuana, along with taxation and regulation
• Preferential ballots for federal elections
• A “comprehensive public assessment” of the Alberta oil sands.Andrew Thomsonon February 20 at 6:16 PM

There were also policy sessions to send resolutions to a Sunday plenary, and from there, the party's official policies:

About to begin policy session on justice, veterans, seniors, housing, and pension issues.
by Andrew Thomson

As the main policy session, the rest of Canada's attention was on the men's gold-medal hockey game versus Sweden. That included the party leader:

Thirty-two resolutions passed the plenary to become official party policy. However, the leader maintains a veto over the election platform.  

Policy resolutions called for more action on democratic reform, infrastructure, government-funded child care, and the decriminalization of assisted suicide. 

4) Senate presence

Only a handful of senators removed from the Liberal caucus at the end of January attended the convention: 


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All 32 Liberal senators were ejected from caucus in late January to sit as independents. A Senate Liberal caucus has instead been created, even though their roles as party organizers and fundraisers have been curtailed. 

So the Liberal party's national board of directors submitted this resolution for special consideration. It's known as a "sense of convention" resolution, and is intended to confirm Justin Trudeau's decision to restrict caucus membership to elected MPs. 

Resolved, that we as the Party assembled in Convention: 
1) support our Leader in his decision that effective immediately only elected Members of 
the House of Commons will serve as members of the Liberal Caucus, 
2) direct the National Board of Directors to determine by our next biennial convention how 
our LPC Constitution should be amended to reflect this new composition of the Liberal 
Caucus, and 
3) in the interim, direct our National Board of Directors to interpret the LPC Constitution 
in such a manner as to be consistent with the new composition of the Liberal Caucus

A video feed of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau rehearsing his opening night speech behind closed doors was broadcast into the media room:

Vote appears to be solidly in favour of Trudeau's decision, though he himself did not vote.Andrew Thomsonat 11:31 AM yesterday

Motion passes 525-32.Andrew Thomsonat 11:34 AM yesterday


Finally, CPAC's Holly Doan spoke with Margaret Trudeau, mother of Justin and former wife of prime minister Justin Trudeau:

2014 Liberal Convention - Margaret Trudeau Interview


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