The Liberal have launched the Canada 150 website to coincide with the Montreal conference March 26-28. A few weeks ago, I was given indication from former National Director Rocco Rossi that this adventure would engage the grassroots in a very substantive and innovative way. Given the recent tour, and some of the details within this endeavor, it would appear advice is being solicited and ultimately listened to. I sense something more than a simple "pat on the head" approach, hopefully that's the case. No matter your political persuasion, this type of outreach is healthy, a theme within a theme to bridge the disconnect between politicians and people. No party needs this re-connection more than the Liberal Party of Canada, so the desire to engage is a positive sign.
Here is itinerary:
FRIDAY MARCH 26 (10:00 – 17:15)
Welcome and opening remarks
Setting the context: Today to 2017
Jobs Today and Tomorrow: The Productive Society in 2017
The Workers of Today and Tomorrow: Meeting the Challenges of Diversity, Demographics and Community
Learning as a National Priority
Canadian Innovation: Generating and Leveraging Success
SATURDAY, MARCH 27 (8:30 – 17:30)
The Creative and Competitive Economy
Will Canadian Culture Matter in 2017?
Replacing Walkman Regulation in a Post-iPod age: New Directions for the Digital Society
Real Life Issues for Canadian Families: How Do We ‘Care’?
Policies for Securing Retirement in the Turbulent 2000-Teens
Choosing Social Priorities
Energy, Environment, Economy: Growth and Responsibility in 2017
Geopolitics and Canadian Interests in the North American Energy Market
Clean Energy and Canada’s Potential in the Low Carbon World: What’s Missing?
SUNDAY, MARCH 28 (8:30 – 15:00)
A Strong Presence in the World of 2017: Commerce, Values, and Relationships
Where will the World be in 2017? Ideas Shaping the Future
Canada’s Presence in the World of 2017: Where are the Priorities?
Canadians Making a Difference in the World
People can participate online, the conference streamed online and "interactive tools" available to "ensure" Canadians have a seat at the table, people can ask questions from home. The party will submit a weekly discussion paper on the website, soliciting feedback, leading up to the conference. There is also an outreach for Canadians to send their "bold" (hey, the word does exist in the Liberal lexicon!) ideas, in the form of a 500 word submission or YouTube presentation. Two winners will be brought to Montreal and their submission will be discussed. In totality, the presentation congeals into anything but an elitist affair, more rightly a conversation that draws from all quarters. Hard to find fault with this endeavour, the flavor is entirely attractive.
Ignatieff's recent tour is the kickoff. Apparently Montreal related discussions began today during the caucus meeting. You can see a co-ordinated gameplan, which hopefully culminates in something we all desire- namely a Liberal Party that has reconnected, armed with "bold" and innovative ideas, that Canadians can relate to, and invest in. The feel and tone of this launch leaves reason for optimism.