It is the first time Liberal Party faithful will be together since winning a majority government in October 2015 and sure to be quite the celebration, but there are still significant matters at hand this weekend.
Building on the nation-to-nation relationship will play as a major theme with the policy convention being held right here in Winnipeg, once dubbed the most racist city in Canada by Maclean’s Magazine.
Thursday night’s opening ceremony at the Convention Centre heard from a residential school survivor and now Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation in British Columbia, Dr. Robert Joseph.
He told the 2,000 members in attendance there is a new awakening sweeping across the country.
“A massive shift of national consciousness and thanks in part to the Liberal Government and this party,” said Chief Joseph.
The Trudeau Government has agreed to implement all recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission while also launching a national inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Dr. Joseph believes Canadians are starting to take notice.
“The number of Canadians willing to engage in reconciliation is truly inspiring,” he said.
“Let us create a future of inclusion, let us truly learn from the past.”
Members will also have a significant decision on their hands. It probably won’t effect the life of the average Canadian, but the Canadian wanting to become a card-carrying Liberal.
On overhaul to the party’s constitution is on the table and party President Anna Gainey told supporters it will bring The Grits into the present day.
“Our new Liberal constitution is a once in a generation opportunity to modernize, strengthen and open up our party,” said Gainey.
The biggest change would be the elimination of the $10 membership fee, according to Gainey.
“It is time to take the money out of nomination contests,” she said.
The new constitution would also reshape how policies are created and debated along with consolidating all branches of the party under a single set of rules.
“We cannot afford to make a U-turn on the openness and modern organizing that have defined our recent success,” said Gainey.
Members will vote on the matter on the Saturday, the same day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver his keynote speech in Winnipeg.