President Najva Amin on Biennial 2016

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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.

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