Day of Action

Our summer Days of Action were a huge success — 800 volunteers knocked on 85,000 doors in 71 ridings across the province.

But we’re just getting started and we need your help. Join us on September 23rd for our first fall Day of Action so that we can #WynneTogether come June 2018.

Sign up here: https://ontarioliberal.ca/day_of_action

Game Changing Policies for Youth!

I’ve never been prouder to be a Liberal than I am right now. Our government under the leadership of Premier Kathleen Wynne has made unprecedented strides to make life easier, and more affordable for everyone in Ontario — and in particular Ontario’s young people. From Free Tuition and free online textbooks, to the new OHIP+ and our plan to increase the minimum wage, we have made so much progress.

Take a moment. These are policies that the Ontario Young Liberals have made possible:

The OYL has always believed that a young person’s decision to go to post-secondary education should not be determined by financial circumstances. That’s why we passed a policy at the 2011 Summer Fling (our annual policy conference) proposing a 30% off tuition grant. While significant, having that policy adopted into the 2012 Ontario Budget was only the first step towards creating more opportunity and fairness for students. Thanks to the new OSAP program that was introduced in the 2016 Ontario Budget, more than 210,000 students from across the province will be receiving Free Tuition this year. Beyond Free Tuition, more students will also benefit from larger grants and loans. In all, 80% of students will accumulate less provincial debt thanks to these important changes.

Pharmacare has also been a priority policy for the OYL. Our Liberal government is leading the way with our bold plan to cover the cost of over 4200 prescription drugs for people ages 24 and under as of January 1, 2018. The new OHIP+ is the first universal pharmaceutical care plan of its kind in North America. This plan will keep parents from having to choose between putting food on the table or paying for their child’s prescription medication. And through coverage for prescriptions like birth control, mifegymiso and PrEP, young people will be able to make decisions about their sexual health without having to worry about the cost.

The list goes on: from LGBTQ+ rights to increased financial literacy for students, we’ve always been leading the charge for progressive policies. While there is a lot we have to be proud of, we cannot afford to be complacent. In June 2018, we know that this is all at stake. Under the leadership of Patrick Brown, everything we have fought so hard for is up for grabs – ready to be thrown off the table.

But if I can be honest, I’m not too worried. If I have learned anything throughout my time in this Party, it’s that Young Liberals refuse to be complacent. Want proof? If we settled for “good enough,” we wouldn’t be seeing students with financial need go to post-secondary this year with Free Tuition. If we said: “it can’t be done,” young people would not start receiving free medication come January 1st.

Learn more about these important policies here, and join us as we continue our fight for progress. Who knows, you could help us figure out what our next game-changing policy will be!

– Alana

2017 OYL AGM

We are excited to officially announce that the 2017 Ontario Young Liberals Annual General Meeting will be held in Oakville on the weekend of July 22/23! Centrally located in a region with a strong history of Liberal success, we’re planning on making this the best AGM in recent memory!

More information regarding registration will be released shortly, and we are working to continue the tradition of affordable rates for the best OYL event of the year. Of course, you must first be elected as a delegate from your riding or campus club in order to vote at the AGM. All delegate selection meetings must be called by June 27th at midnight, and must take place by July 11th.

Beyond making friends and enjoying exciting guest speakers, the AGM serves to elect the next OYL executive. With an upcoming provincial election, this year’s vote will be even more important than usual for Young Liberals across the province. The deadline for nominations to be received by the Chief Returning Officer is July 1. 

You can find the official call here. It’s going to be a celebration of the incredible achievements of Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal Party in the past three years and a look towards the future, we hope you can join us!

Can’t wait to see you in Oakville!

A Budget to be Proud of

With this week’s visionary budget, Premier Kathleen Wynne has made history. By making significant investments in health care and education, our government has ensured that Ontario will continue moving forward as a fair and progressive place to live. These investments will help our province, and especially its youth, get ahead in these turbulent times.

This budget understands that one of the best ways to help young people get ahead is by supporting them during and after their education. This is why free tuition for students who need it most will begin this September, and why graduates won’t have to start paying back their loans until they’re making 35 thousand dollars a year. This means that a good education is within reach for more youth than ever.  Important investments in education is also why planning has begun for Ontario’s first French language university.

That wasn’t all of the exciting news, of course. Starting next year, prescription medication will be free for all youth under 25. This means that less youth will have to worry about affording the care they need. This bold plan was initially passed at Summer Fling, and is a reminder of the progress that can be made when Young Liberals have a role in the policy process.

This budget takes important steps in reaffirming our progressive values. More importantly, it reminds us that Premier Kathleen Wynne understands the challenges that youth face and is serious about confronting them. As a Young Liberal, there’s a whole lot in this budget to be proud of.

Yours,

Najva Amin

President, Ontario Young Liberals

President Najva Amin on Biennial 2016

20160528_162120

President Najva Amin has written an op-ed discussing the modernized constitution, progressive policy resolutions, and influence of energetic youth delegates at the Biennial National Convention this past weekend.

The Liberal Party of Canada made history this past week, modernizing itself into a 21st century political movement controlled by its grass-root supporters. Joined in Winnipeg for the first time since the historic 2015 election, the Liberal Party resoundingly passed a modernized constitution while supporting progressive policies backed by enthusiastic supporters. The 2016 Liberal Biennial Convention was brimming with positive energy, and showed why the Liberal Party is the only voice for forward-looking Canadian values.

After Justin Trudeau’s definitive victory in the 2015 federal election, our Party embarked on a cross country consultation, asking Liberal supporters how the LPC constitution could be improved. The answer was clear: our supporters wanted a constitution that was more open, accessible and flexible the ever before. The result was a truly modernized constitution that reflected the values that our supporters hold dear. The new constitution makes our movement more inclusive than ever by removing mandatory membership fees. It empowers our supporters by making the policy development process more interactive and participatory. Most importantly, it unifies our Party under a single constitution while guaranteeing that regional voices will never be silenced.

The renewed constitution is an important step towards strengthening our movement, but Liberals have much more to be proud of from this weekend. On Saturday, Liberals in Winnipeg passed the “Condemning all forms of Islamophobia” policy resolution with broad support. The policy commits the Liberal Party to countering the Islamophobic prejudice and hate that has seen an unfortunate surge in the past year and under the old Conservative administration. Written by grass-root supporters in Ontario, this policy reflects the inclusive Canadian values that the Liberal Party alone champions.

Progressive change like this wouldn’t be possible without the support of an energetic, forward-thinking movement. With a historic 3000 delegates bringing their enthusiasm to Winnipeg, the Biennial Convention was proof of the excitement that runs through the Liberal Party’s base. This excitement extends to the Ontario Young Liberals that showed the influential role of youth within our movement.

The opinions and fresh ideas of Young Liberals from across the country were heard louder than ever. Alexander Cohen, formerly of the Ontario Young Liberals, was elected as the Young Liberals of Canada’s Director of Communications under the leadership of Mira Ahmad. Our province’s youth voiced their opinions on policy resolutions that could impact young Canadians everywhere. Most importantly, we ensured that issues meaningful to youth remain central to our movement for years to come.

This weekend, the Liberal Party of Canada modernized itself into a movement for the 21st century while reminding us all why Liberals are the only voice for inclusive Canadian values.  This is obviously something to be proud of, but our work doesn’t stop there. The 2016 Biennial Convention was proof of the progress that can be made by dedicated Canadians intent on positive change. It’s a lesson we should always remember and be very proud of.

Najva Amin

President – Ontario Young Liberals

Najva Amin is the President of the Ontario Young Liberals, works for Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca, while pursuing her Master’s in public policy at York University.

President Najva Amin on International Women’s Day 2016

 

IWD(1)

In celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day, President Najva Amin has written an op-ed on the leadership that Liberals at all levels have demonstrated by pledging for gender parity.

International Women’s Day is both an opportunity to celebrate the success of women worldwide and to challenge ourselves to work even harder towards the goal of gender parity. There is much to celebrate, of course. Women are entering politics like never before at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. The election of Ontario’s first female premier in 2013 and the influx of new female MP’s in the 2015 federal election are opportunities to celebrate the enormous strides that inspiring women across the country have taken towards the goal of gender parity.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Pledge for Parity”, because true progress can only be achieved if each and every one of us commit to protecting and advancing the status of women. Under the leadership of Justin Trudeau and Kathleen Wynne, Canada has become a global example of the impact of elevating the role of women in politics. Parity in politics has long deserved to be a serious goal of government policy, and we are proud that the Liberal Party has finally given this issue the importance it fully deserves.

Nowhere has the progressive impact of placing forward-looking women in positions of power been more evident than the Kathleen Wynne government. Since her historic rise to the helm of Ontario politics in 2013, our Premier has lead the province with effective leadership and inspiring foresight. Under her guidance, Ontario has become a pioneering leader in the fight against sexual assault.

Last March, Kathleen Wynne unveiled her ambitious “It’s Never Okay” initiative, a multifaceted attack on sexual violence and harassment. Legislation that protect women on campus and in the workplace have been strengthened. Barriers preventing sexual assault victim from coming forward have been eliminated. The “Who Will You Help’ ad campaign has gone viral and challenged millions to stand up against harassment. Clearly, we need female (and male) leaders like Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau to keep fighting to elevate the role of women throughout Ontario and Canada.

During the 2015 campaign, Prime Minister Trudeau pledged that a Liberal Cabinet would have an equal number of men and women, something that was sadly unprecedented at the time. The Liberals followed through in November of 2015, when it was announced that female MP’s, many of them newly elected, would be at the helm of important Ministries in the newly minted Trudeau Government. From Chrystia Freeland as Minister of International Trade to Jane Philpott as Minister of Health, there are now more women in influential positions than ever before. This will finally put issues that impact women at the forefront of government policy. More importantly, it will inspire young women across the country to join the push for gender parity within their communities.

The Liberal government’s drive towards effective female leadership goes far beyond Cabinet appointments. Prime Minister Trudeau has recently appointed Katie Telford as his chief of staff, a position at the center of the government’s decision making process. Katie is one of many women who have taken high level positions within the Prime Minister’s trusted team of advisors. This continues at the provincial level, where many ofthe Premier’s most senior and closest advisors are filled by women. The importance of this cannot be overstated. The Liberal Party knows that myopic, ineffective governance is impossible to avoid without female leadership at all levels of the decision making process.

Our Party’s dedication to female leadership extends all the way to the Ontario Young Liberals (OYL), where the OYL Executive is full of driven female leaders. Empowering passionate young women to take up leadership roles within our party helps breakdown barriers preventing women from entering politics and achieving true gender parity. In doing so, our OYL Executive is developing the next generation of female politicians.

Despite all these signs of hope, there is still much to be done. The World Economic Forum predicted in 2015 that the global gender gap would stubbornly persist until 2133. The Prime Minister knows that we cannot wait patiently for discrimination against women to vanish. This is why Canada has become a global leader in the protection of women’s rights. We have shown leadership by using gender equality analysis to guide our international development programs. We have been applauded by the UN for our government’s long overdue Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This kind of global leadership is necessary if discrimination against women is ever to be truly eliminated.

As a progressive party in power on both the federal and provincial level, the Liberal Party has accepted the responsibility of being a voice for women across the county and a driving force for uplifting change. Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Wynne have placed the removal of the gender gap and equality at the center of their governments’ mandate. This is leadership to be proud of. If the rest of the world can follow Canada’s leadership, the future is bright when it comes to global gender parity, and I am thrilled to watch Canada lead the way on such an important issue.

-Najva Amin is the President of the Ontario Young Liberals and is currently enrolled in her Master of Public Policy, Administration and Law at York University.

 

 

 

Welcome, Alana

Dear friends,

It gives me great pride to announce the appointment of Alana Kiteley as Riding Director of the Ontario Young Liberals. I’d like to thank the many impressive young Liberals who applied for the position; the quality and diversity of your applications speaks to the strength of our organization. Though the decision was tough, we’re looking forward to seeing all that Alana will do for riding clubs across Ontario.

Through her involvement with the Western Liberals, on multiple riding campaigns and currently with the Ontario Liberal Fund, Alana’s exemplary work speaks volumes about her dedication to our party and our province. She’s spent several years working for the Hon. Deb Matthews, as a volunteer Constituency Assistant, on her 2014 re-election campaign and at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Entering her final year at Western, she also holds important positions in student government, and has been recognized multiple times as a leader in her community.

We’re very excited about this appointment, and looking forward to continue to found new riding clubs and grow our existing ones as we work to make Justin Trudeau Prime Minister on October 19.

Welcome, Alana!

Yours,

Najva

Najva Amin
President, Ontario Young Liberals

President Najva Amin on International Women’s Day

 

11042676_10152572860377024_8367500497781101283_n

President Najva Amin has written an op-ed to mark this year’s International Women’s Day, on the particular significant that this year’s IWD has for women in Canadian political life.

Politics is often referred to as a blood sport; a tough, malicious game. A large part of this mythology comes from the central role that masculinity has historically played in Canada’s political discourse. This is inevitable—for nearly our entire history, government has been run by and for men. For too long, women have been denied a role in the policies and politics that govern our lives.

Progress has been slow. Nellie McClung and the “Famous Five” are giants for their work, which culminated in women being officially recognized as “persons” under the law and allowed to sit in the Senate. While legal status for women was a ground-breaking moment, full equality has taken much longer. For too long, women haven’t been able to see politics as accessible to them. They haven’t seen it as a means to affect change. They haven’t seen it is as a way to realize their aspirations. No more.

We are at crucial moment. In Ontario and across Canada, the voices and priorities of women are finally beginning to occupy the place they deserve. All has not been achieved. Yet Canadian women are positioned for meaningful progress. Finally, we have the leaders, policies and personalities to be empowered as real players in the political process.

Firstly, leadership. Last year, Kathleen Wynne proved that a woman cannot just rise to the helm of Ontario’s governing party, but win the confidence of the people of Canada’s largest province. As part of her expansive agenda, Premier Wynne has championed women’s issues, including this week’s groundbreaking action on combatting sexual violence. Of the fifteen new Liberal MPPs elected last June, nine are women. The Premier’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed—CNN called her one of the most inspiring women of 2014. Federally, The Liberal Party of Canada has made the recruitment of more women a priority—over a third of nominated candidates nationwide are women.

Secondly, policies. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party of Canada is willing to back up its rhetoric on women’s issues with action and policy. For years, many across Canada, especially young Liberals, have pushed for stronger action on a woman’s right to choose. We view this not just as a Liberal policy, but a Liberal value. Our leader shares this conviction, evidenced by his commitment that all Liberal candidates must support women’s fundamental rights. I am proud to be part of a party that recognizes that choice is not a topic to be debated, but a right to be protected.

Lastly, personalities. Not only have women attained leadership roles and influenced policy, they’ve become good at politics too. Both the federal and provincial Liberals have a woman as party president, and I’m especially proud that the Executive Board of the Ontario Young Liberals is majority female. This a prelude only. The Ontario Liberals owe their incredible victory in last June’s provincial election in no small part due to one woman: the brilliant Pat Sorbara. Her herculean efforts to keep our party in government are much of the reason she currently serves as the Premier’s Deputy Chief of Staff. Sorbara’s work in Ontario is mirrored at the federal level, where the talented Katie Telford will serve as our party’s Campaign Co-Chair during this fall’s election. A veteran of Stephane Dion and Gerard Kennedy’s offices, Telford holds much of the party’s fate in her hands. The ascent of these two successful women to the top of the “backroom” marks a new era for women’s participation in Canada’s political life.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is “empowering women, empowering humanity.” With the right leaders, policies and personalities; this promises to be a new era for women in public life. As a young woman engaged in politics here in Ontario; I feel this is a unique moment. This International Women’s Day, we can be optimistic. When it comes to Canada’s politics, women are empowered like never before.

Najva Amin is the President of the Ontario Young Liberals and a graduate of the University of Toronto.


 

La politique est souvent désigné comme un sport sanglant; un jeu malicieux et difficile. Une grande partie de cette mythologie est venu du rôle central que la masculinité a joué dans le discours politique du Canada. C’était inévitable, pendant la majeure partie de notre histoire, les gouvernements ont été gérée par et pour les hommes. Pendant trop longtemps, les femmes se sont vu refuser un rôle dans la politique et dans les politiques qui régissent leur vie.

Les progrès ont été lents. Nellie McClung et les «Cinq Femmes Célèbre» ne peuvent passer sous le silence pour leur travail qui, au fils des ans ont faits en sorte que les femmes soient officiellement reconnues comme des «personnes» en vertu de la loi et qu’elles ont maintenant le droit de siéger au Sénat. Alors que, le statut juridique des femmes a été un moment révolutionnaire, la pleine égalité a pris beaucoup plus de temps. Pendant trop longtemps, les femmes n’ont pas été en mesure de voir la politique comme étant accessible. Elles ne l’ont pas vu comme un moyen de changer les choses. Elles ne l’ont pas vu comme moyen de réaliser leurs aspirations. Nous sommes à un moment crucial. En Ontario et partout au Canada, les voix et les priorités des femmes commencent enfin à occuper la place qu’ils méritent. Tout n’a pas été atteint. Pourtant, les femmes canadiennes sont positionnées pour faire des progrès significatifs. Enfin, nous avons les dirigeantes, les politiques et les personnalités qui ont les habilités pour être perçu comme de véritables actrices importantes dans le processus politique.

Tout d’abord, le leadership.

L’année dernière, Kathleen Wynne n’a pas seulement prouvé qu’une femme peut prendre la direction d’un parti au pouvoir, elle a aussi réussi à gagner la confiance des électeurs de la plus grande province du Canada. Dans le cadre de son vaste programme, la première ministre Wynne a défendu les questions relatives aux femmes, y compris la création d’un Comité Spécial sur la Violence Sexuelle. De plus, parmi les quinze nouveaux députés libéraux élus l’an dernier, neuf d’entre elles étaient des femmes. Le succès de la première ministre n’est pas passé inaperçu: elle a été nommée l’une des femmes les plus influentes du monde, par CNN en 2014. Au niveau fédéral, le Parti libéral du Canada en a fait une priorité de recruter un plus grand nombre de femmes comme candidates pour s’assurer qu’elles aient une bonne représentation.

Deuxièmement, les politiques.

Justin Trudeau et son équipe du Parti Libéral du Canada sont prêts à supporter un discours avec des actions et des politiques sur les questions relatives aux femmes. Pendant des années, un grand nombre de personnes aux travers du Canada ce sont joint aux Jeunes Libéraux du Canada pour s’assurer qu’une pression soient faite pour que des actions soient prise pour laisser aux femmes le droit à choisir. Nous ne considérons pas seulement ceci comme une politique Libéral, mais une valeur Libéral. Notre chef supporte cette valeur, comme en témoigne son engagement que tous les candidats libéraux doivent soutenir les droits fondamentaux des femmes. Je suis fier de faire partie d’une équipe qui reconnaît que le choix des femmes n’est pas un sujet à débattre, mais le droit d’être protégé.

Pour terminer, les personnalités.

Non seulement les femmes ont atteint des rôles de leadership et influencé des politiques, elles sont devenus bonne en politique. Que ce soit au niveau fédéral ou provincial, la présidence du parti Libéral est occupée par une femme et je suis particulièrement fière du fait que le Conseil exécutif des Jeunes libéraux de l’Ontario est majoritairement féminin. D’ailleurs, la majorité des députés Libéraux de l’Ontario doivent leur victoire incroyable lors de la dernière élection provinciale à une femme: la brillante Pat Sorbara. Ses efforts herculéens pour garder notre parti au gouvernement est une grande partie pourquoi elle est actuellement la directrice général adjoint de la Première Ministre. Le travail de Sorbara en Ontario se reflète aussi au niveau fédéral, où la talentueuse Katie Telford servira à titre de co-présidente de la campagne pour notre parti lors de l’élection du mois d’Octobre. Une vétérane du bureau de Stéphane Dion et de Gerrard Kennedy, Telford détient une grande partie du sort du parti dans ses mains. L’ascension de ces deux femmes au sommet des coulisses politique marque une nouvelle ère pour la participation des femmes à la vie politique du Canada.

Le thème de la Journée internationale de la femme cette année est «l’autonomisation des femmes, l’autonomisation de l’humanité.” Avec les bonnes dirigeantes, politiques et personnalités; cela promet d’être une nouvelle ère pour les femmes dans la vie publique. Comme une jeune femme engagée dans la politique ici, en Ontario; Je crois que c’est un moment unique. Cette Journée internationale de la femme, nous pouvons être optimistes. Quand il s’agit de la politique du Canada, les femmes ont du pouvoir comme jamais auparavant.

Najva Amin est président des Jeunes libéraux de l’Ontario et diplômé de l’Université de Toronto.