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2016 Biennial Convention: Policy Update

Posted on June 1, 2016

Hi Everyone,

We just returned from a wonderful three days in Winnipeg, where we had our biennial policy convention. Two of our policy proposals were passed by their respective workshops.

One was our GEOTHERMAL SUBSIDIES proposal. It asks that the Government of Canada’s tax programs such as CDE, CEE and FTS be modified so that geothermal energy is on an equal footing with solar and wind, particularly since it has some advantages that solar and wind don’t, such as 24/7 generation (the heat of the earth’s interior is always “on;” sunshine and wind are not) and its dovetailing with our oil & gas industry with respect to drilling, pumping and piping so that many of the skills we have developed in Alberta can be recycled, so to speak.

The other was our INDIGENOUS DEFINITION EQUALLY INCLUSIVE OF FIRST NATIONS, INUIT, AND METIS proposal, which was transferred to the Aboriginal Peoples’ Commission for ease of passage. It asks that the Government of Canada, as well as the Liberal Party of Canada, equally include Metis as well as First Nations and Inuit in any definition of Indigenous (which is replacing the term Aboriginal). This is very important, because in the past the Metis have been left out of many government initiatives regarding Aboriginal Peoples.

So kudos to the members of our Policy Committee team: Terry Beaulieu, Geeta Bharadia, Thana Boonlert, Andrew Doherty, Brendan Frank, Ahmad Nasser, Edmee Pamoojen, Barry Rust and Maja Veljikovic!


Among the other proposals that were passed in Winnipeg were:

A POVERTY REDUCTION: MINIMUM INCOME proposal, which asks the Liberal Party to develop a poverty reduction strategy aimed at providing a minimum guaranteed income, based on a study in Dauphin, Manitoba which found that in the period when a minimum income was administered, hospital visits dropped by 8.5%, with fewer work related injuries, fewer emergency room visits from car accidents and domestic abuse and fewer psychiatric hospitalizations.

A PALLIATIVE AND HOME CARE proposal, which asks that the Government of Canada in cooperation with the Provinces and Territories, to craft fully cost accounted programs in home and palliative care that are universal, accountable and complementary to the Canada Health Act.

A PROTECTING LGBTQ2+ RIGHTS AND REFUGEES proposal which encourages the Government of Canada to appoint a Minister of LGBTQ2+ Equity, establish a Department of LGBTQ2+ Equity Canada and proactively provide refuge to LGBTQ2+ refugees fleeing potential persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

A NATIONAL WATER SECURITY STRATEGY proposal asking that the Liberal Party update and implement the 1987 Federal Canada Water Policy with particular attention to access to safe drinking water as a human right, mapping, developing and protecting the inventory of Canada’s water resources and regulating industrial and commercial waste water emissions to the highest standards.


For those interested, the full list of the proposals adopted at the Winnipeg convention can be found at


Al Donnell, VP Policy Calgary Centre

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