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WHEREAS:
  • more than 1 in 4 Canadians will be affected by mental health issues;
  • suicide is the leading cause of death among young adults in Canada;
  • persons undergoing treatment for mental health issues require broad support;
  • those close to persons affected by mental health issues are also impacted;
BE IT RESOLVED a Liberal Government consult on and develop a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy.
WHEREAS:
  • almost 3,000 Canadians died from opioid-related causes in 2016, and it is estimated that the number will surpass 3,000 in 2017;
  • our Liberal government has restored harm reduction as a key pillar of Canada’s drug strategy, saved lives by passing Bill C-37 and facilitating the approval of more supervised consumption sites, and regulated cannabis as part of our commitment to evidence-based decision-making;
  • in 2001, Portugal took two broad measures to combat the harms associated with drug abuse: first, Portuguese policymakers significantly expanded treatment and harm reduction services; and second, they eliminated criminal penalties for low-level possession and consumption of all illicit drugs and reclassified these activities as administrative violations;
  • since 2001, a person found in possession of personal-use amounts of any drug in Portugal is no longer arrested, but ordered to appear before a dissuasion commission comprised of representatives from law, medicine, and social work, which can refer a person to a voluntary treatment program, or impose administrative sanctions;
  • since 2001, in Portugal, the number of deaths from drug overdose has dropped significantly, adolescent and problematic drug use has decreased, the number of people in drug treatment has increased, the number of people arrested and sent to criminal courts has declined by 60%, and the per capital social cost of drug misuse has decreased by 18%.
BE IT RESOLVED the Government of Canada should treat drug abuse as a health issue, expand treatment and harm reduction services and re-classify low-level drug possession and consumption as administrative violations.
WHEREAS:
  • poor mental health places a burden on all Canadians, particularly those living in poverty and/or working in positions with no provision of health care insurance;
  • one in five Canadians experiences a mental health problem;
  • accessible fully funded mental health programs and services have been advocated by many for years;
  • examples of effective community based mental health services exist and have resulted in effective care;
  • studies of effective services to treat mental illness through co-management of mental and physical ailments, where appropriate, has resulted in recovery rates of 60%;
  • the sponsors of this resolution researched the literature and held public consultations with 99.5% of respondents supporting this Resolution.
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urges the Government of Canada to:
  • amend the Canada Health Act and develop a national framework to ensure the inclusion of mental health services within Medicare;
  • in consultation with provincial and territorial governments and indigenous groups, establish a systematic universal system of effective funded mental health programs and services as a component of Canada's Health Care funding.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a pilot program evaluate the effectiveness of community based partnerships led by mental health and primary care professionals in each region of Canada for up to a 5-year period with annual reports to Parliament on effectiveness, cost and outcomes.
WHEREAS:
  • the United Nations and the World Health Organization have declared that all nations should ensure universal access to necessary medicines and Canada does not;
  • drug coverage is a fundamental component of receiving proper medical treatment and individuals should have access regardless of financial ability;
  • Canada’s public and private drug plans leave many patients with little or no coverage, resulting in 1 out of 10 patients not taking their prescribed medication;
  • a moderate increase in public spending would reduce the burden on employers, unions, and private insurers;
  • a recent report from the Parliamentary Budget Office, estimates that Pharmacare would save Canadians between $4 billion and $11 billion per year;
  • there have been repeated calls to include prescription drugs in Canada’s universal health care system, including:
    • Royal Commission on Health Services (1964, chair Justice Emmett Hall)
    • National Forum on Health (1997, chair Prime Minister Jean Chrétien),
    • Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada (2002, chair Roy Romanow),
    • Citizens Reference Panel on Pharmacare (2016, chair Peter MacLeod),
    • Several national organisations including Canadian Nurses Association, Canadian Medical Association, Federation of Canadian Municipalities
  • the Liberal Party of Canada adopted a priority resolution at the 2016 National Convention to implement a National Pharmacare plan before 2019;

BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to:
  • amend the Canada Health Act by adding, ‘prescription medicines prescribed by a licensed practitioner in accordance with an established formulary’ to the definition of covered services;
  • develop, with provincial and territorial cooperation, a universal, single-payer, evidence-based, and sustainable public drug plan, with purchasing power to secure best available pricing, beginning with a list of essential medicines addressing priority health needs and expanding to a comprehensive permanent plan to promote the health and well-being of all Canadians.

This Policy Resolution was co-sponsored by the Liberal National Caucus and the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario).
WHEREAS:
  • in 2014, more than 4 million Canadians had no family doctor;
  • waitlists for specialists and surgical procedures are among the highest they have ever been, with significant regional disparities, including for rural areas and indigenous peoples;
  • in 2017, the International Commonwealth Fund ranked Canada’s healthcare 9th among eleven high-income countries;
  • the Federal Government commissioned the Advisory Panel on Health Care Innovation, (2015) chaired by Dr. David Naylor, to identify “areas of innovation that have potential to sustainably reduce growth in health spending while leading to improvements in the quality and accessibility of care”;
  • the panel reported Canadian healthcare “in crisis”, and identified numerous areas for systemic improvement;
  • in 2017 a majority of senior Registered Liberals identified an urgent need for:
    • better access to family doctors and healthcare services
    • reduced wait times for specialists and medical procedures
    • innovation for service delivery efficiency and cost reduction;
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urge the federal government to:
  • accept the Naylor Report's findings and assume leadership in systemic reform of healthcare;
  • in cooperation with provinces, territories, and professional organizations, identify and implement methods to:
    • provide every Canadian access to family physician-led primary care
    • eliminate unreasonable wait times to access specialists and surgical procedures
    • encourage innovation in the efficient delivery of, and reduction of costs for, healthcare services in Canada;
  • measure performance of Canada’s healthcare system (including patient-derived metrics), and report regularly to Canadians.
WHEREAS:
  • the Liberal Party of Canada adopted a priority resolution at the 2016 National Convention to implement a National Pharmacare plan before 2019;
  • Canada is the only developed country with a universal healthcare system that does not include coverage for pharmaceuticals;
  • Canada has the highest per capita spending on pharmaceuticals among countries with universal healthcare systems (OECD 2016);
  • single-payer Pharmacare would save Canadians an estimated $7 billion dollars per year while improving health outcomes;
  • universal coverage of pharmaceuticals would benefit middle class Canadians struggling to pay excessive drug costs and reduce inequality;
  • a 2015 report of the Pharmaceutical Policy Research Collaboration, University of British Columbia (UBC), entitled “Pharmacare 2020: The future of drug coverage in Canada” contains comprehensive policy recommendations to meet the following Pharmacare goals:
    • Access: universal access to necessary medicines
    • Fairness: fair distribution of prescribing drug costs
    • Safety: safe and appropriate prescribing
    • Value for money: maximum health benefits per dollars spent
  • in July 2017, Canada’s Premiers agreed to improve drug coverage for Canadians and called on the federal government to collaborate on establishing a national Pharmacare program to ensure Canadians have access to needed medications;
  • inputs from experts at Universities, healthcare professionals and stakeholders across Canada contributed to the preparation of this resolution.

BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to implement a universal Pharmacare program based on the vision, goals and recommendations outlined in “Pharmacare 2020” by including it in the mandate of the Minister of Health.
WHEREAS:
  • residents in Canada have the right to affordable housing, regardless of ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or disability;
  • students, women, and Indigenous people face challenges in finding clean, safe and affordable housing;
  • there is an acute shortage of affordable public and non-market housing for those of lower income;
  • those of lower income fear housing security is not reliable or robust enough to meet current needs;
  • many housing complexes were constructed without fully accessible suites;
  • the building and development industry does not design or engineer residential housing for ready conversion for accessibility inside and outside the residence;
  • the present federal government has shown great leadership in developing a national housing strategy;
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to:
  • institute a funding program to modify existing non-market housing complexes to meet current health, safety, and accessibility codes
  • support the principle that the total cost of public non-market housing for lower income residents of Canada should not exceed 30% of their gross annual income.
WHEREAS:
  • some employers have failed to fulfill their commitment to Employee Pension Plans, depriving employees of future retirement income in addition to the loss of part or all their current contributions;
  • private pensions should be the responsibility of the commercial enterprises making the commitment, not the taxpayer;
  • the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act provide “super-priority” to numerous obligations over Employee Pension Plans;
  • the Supreme Court of Canada has favoured the payments of these “super-priority” creditors even at the expense of the original Employee Pension Plan Agreements, giving paramountcy to a flawed insolvency law over any provincial recognition of pension rights;
  • the previous government, recognizing the unjust treatment some Canadians faced with private defined benefit pensions, granted current year pension contributions super-priority status in the Wage Earner Protection Program;
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urges the Government of Canada to develop and implement an Employee Pension Protection Strategy by:
  • Prioritizing Employee Pension Plans in the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to recognize super-priority for pension debts
  • Reforming current federal legislation with the aim of protecting Employee Pension Plans during insolvency proceedings.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada call upon the Government of Canada to consult with stakeholders, organizations, and third parties in its development of the aforementioned strategy.
WHEREAS:
  • 246,000 seniors were living in poverty in Canada in 2015 (below the low-income cut-off after tax (LICO));
  • 78 % of those living in poverty are single and 69% of these most vulnerable single seniors are women;
  • seniors may face a sudden change in their financial circumstances, due to illness, reduced pension due to spousal death, or the need to carry two housing costs because of split residence requirements due to a serious illness of their spouse;
  • senior women are more likely to experience a worsening of their financial condition due to a spousal death, as the husband has traditionally been the major family income earner and pensions typically reduce to 60% survivor benefit;
  • seniors on OAS and GIS are already the most financially vulnerable;
  • a claw back is applied to OAS and GIS when additional income is realized. Subsidized housing is also affected when additional income is realized;
  • additional income could be needed for necessary home modification, medical procedure or support program, funeral costs, double housing needs, etc.
BE IT RESOLVED:
  • the Government allows seniors more flexibility to make additional income, without triggering a claw back in their OAS and GIS;
  • a sliding scale could be utilized where a percentage is clawed back that increases at certain levels of additional income and is zero below a certain threshold;
  • it can also be available only for a limited number of years so as not to trigger an unfair situation with other seniors that have the same income, however may not be getting the same GIS and OAS benefits.
WHEREAS:
  • menstrual products are essential to the well-being of people and a budget constraint should not hamper their autonomy or ability to purchase essential products;
  • no government should discriminate on the basis of sex against women;
  • Government revenue has increased despite the fact that suppliers are eligible for non-tariffy exporters under NAFTA because some US companies choose not to apply for this status.
BE IT RESOLVED that the Canadian government enact legislation to eliminate tariff codes and the taxation of essential menstrual products.
WHEREAS:
  • the Liberal Party of Canada adopted a priority resolution at the 2016 National Convention to work with provinces and develop a poverty reduction strategy aimed at providing a minimum guaranteed income;
  • almost 5 million Canadians live in poverty;
  • the gap between the highest and lowest incomes continues to grow with each passing year;
  • some economists believe that maintaining growth in industrialized countries requires a narrowing of this gap to stimulate household consumption;
  • technological advances, and in particular advances in artificial intelligence, will lead to the loss of many skilled and unskilled jobs;
  • people who lose their jobs will have to retrain, perhaps several times in their lives;
  • a guaranteed minimum income would constitute an unconditional source of income, which could be used by everyone as he or she sees fit;
  • according to some studies, the guaranteed minimum income could replace other provincial and federal government benefits and would require less administrative work, particularly because of the lack of controls;
  • a pilot project on Guaranteed Minimum Income is currently underway in Ontario and a similar project is being considered in Québec and other Canadian provinces;
  • the federal government could intervene in this jurisdiction, as it did for universal health insurance;
BE IT RESOLVED the Government of Canada:
  • review past and ongoing guaranteed minimum income pilot projects, as well as studies carried out by academic experts on the subject
  • ensure any guaranteed minimum income model is universal, equitable and sustainable for the benefit of all Canadians;
  • inform and consult with the public on the implementation of this model.
WHEREAS:
  • Canada has a deep and long-standing relationship with Ukraine, including 1.3 million Canadians of Ukrainian descent after 125 years of Ukrainian immigration to Canada, several bilateral programs and, most recently, the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA);
  • Ukrainian-Canadians make up more than 13% of Saskatchewan’s population;
  • Canadian-Ukrainian bilateral trade represents nearly $375 million/year and is expected to double with the signing of CUFTA;
  • Western Canada is expected to be the primary beneficiary of CUFTA, with nearly $140 million worth of exports a year from 2014-16;
  • Ukraine unilaterally eliminated the need for short-term visas for Canadian citizens in 2005, while Ukrainian business leaders still require cumbersome visas to engage in business activities in Canada;
  • more than one-third of Ukrainian visa applications were denied in the first quarter of 2017;
  • the EU eliminated the need for visas for Ukrainian citizens in 2017 and has seen a refusal rate of just 0.026% since its implementation (June – Sept. 2017);
  • the Liberal Party of Canada committed during the 2015 election that a Liberal government “would work to achieve this goal” [abolition of visas for short-term travel];

BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Government of Canada will eliminate the need for business and tourist visas for Ukrainian citizens with biometric passports for stays of not longer than 90 days.
WHEREAS:
  • the Government of Canada continues to invest in and helps Canadians gain the skills, abilities, and experience needed to find and maintain good employment;
  • the skills needed in our Canadian labour market continue to change and require advancement in literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking skills;
  • there should be opportunities for workers to pursue further education and skills training while advancing their careers through employment;
  • the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills under Employment and Social Development Canada recognizes that literacy and other such skills are needed for Canadians to succeed in their employment and in other walks of life;
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to establish a “leave to study” program, which may be defined as the option of employees who have been employed with an employer (of a prescribed size) for 12 months to take a leave of absence for further study directly related to their work;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that qualifying applicants to such a program receive financial remuneration through the Employment Insurance program for six months, with or without contribution from the employer;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Employment and Social Development Canada shall operate the program under joint agreement with provincial ministries of labour with the goal of advancing the priorities of each province;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the initiation of such a program may include a pilot program in each or any province or territory under Part V of the Employment Insurance Act.
WHEREAS:
  • an educated labour force is critical for economic development, developing new industries, and creating jobs;
  • many rural regions of Canada face a shortage of educated labourers in necessary sectors;
  • diversification of industries and sources of employment is important for sustainable economic growth, particularly in rural regions;
  • such diverse industries and sources of employment require specialized skills
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada call on the Government of Canada to:
  • identify potential industries for economic diversification and identify labour needs for those industries;
increase support for post-secondary education in areas of identified labour needs
WHEREAS:
  • under Article VI of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1970), Canada has a solemn obligation, under international law, to press for worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons;
  • for the past 20 years, nuclear weapons have been the only weapons of mass destruction not yet banned by international agreement (cf. Biological Weapons Convention, 1975; Chemical Weapons Convention, 1997);
  • in December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly initiated a process to negotiate a legal ban on nuclear weapons;
  • on April 7, 2017, Canadians for a Nuclear Weapons Convention, an organization of over 900 Order of Canada recipients, called on the Government of Canada to endorse “a verifiable treaty on the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons”;
  • on July 7, 2017, 122 countries approved the text of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which will be open for signature at United Nations Headquarters in New York as of September 20, 2017, and will be in force once 50 countries have acceded to it;
  • experts at the University of Waterloo and member groups of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons were consulted in drafting this resolution;
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada, during its current mandate, to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
WHEREAS:
  • Senior Registered Liberals across Canada identified the need for “stronger government efforts to create stable, quality jobs for all Canadians, with an emphasis on creating real opportunities for the younger generations” as a priority issue;
  • Statistics Canada estimates that the Canadian economy has lost 7% of its mid-skilled jobs during the past 10 years, including some 300,000 jobs in manufacturing and more recently noted that median incomes in Ontario have declined during the past decade as a result;
  • many of the middle-aged workers displaced by these losses have been forced to take lower level part-time jobs with limited benefits, resulting in a downward trend out of the middle class;
  • many younger, well-educated Canadians are also forced to take lower level part time jobs that do not support progress toward a middle-class life-style;
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED the Government of Canada:
  • take a more direct role, in concert with Canadian business and unions, to identify new business sectors that can support the higher quality and stable jobs that are necessary to support younger and middle-aged Canadians retain or attain a middle-class life style, as promised in the 2015 election platform;
  • introduce new measures that attract the investment necessary to create and retain these higher-quality and stable jobs throughout Canada.
WHEREAS:
  • the federal government has access to data pertaining to labour market trends;
  • the government has undertaken an Atlantic Growth Strategy dedicated to building a vibrant economic future for Atlantic Canada;
  • the successful implementation of this strategy will result in youth retention, job growth, and attraction to Atlantic Canada.
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urges the Government of Canada to adopt a pilot to support Atlantic post-secondary education institutions in partnering with industry and employers to match programming and students with labour market trends and job opportunities in the region.
WHEREAS:
  • profit shifting tax avoidance schemes, such as the use of tax havens, result in:
    • erosion of the national tax base
    • increasing government deficits
    • a concentration of wealth and power;
  • redressing tax avoidance involves resolving the problems of:
    • competition among countries for corporate investment
    • profit shifting to tax havens;
  • according to the organization Canadians for Tax Fairness, Canadian tax losses due to tax havens range from $10 to $15 billion a year;
  • Tax Justice Network estimates that globally governments are losing tax revenues of:
    • $500bn a year due to profit shifting tax avoidance by corporations
    • $200bn a year due to undeclared offshore wealth of individuals;
  • mechanisms for moving corrupt money, criminal money and commercial tax-avoiding money are the same;
  • concerted international action is essential to redressing tax avoidance;
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to redress tax avoidance by working internationally to eliminate tax avoidance strategies through such measures as:
  • public registries of the actual (beneficial) owners of companies, trusts, etc.,
  • public country-by-country reporting requirements for all multinationals, to tax profits in the countries where they originated
  • establishing an intergovernmental body at the United Nations to negotiate a global agreement to eliminate tax havens and redress tax avoidance.
WHEREAS:
  • the oil and gas sector are a key industry for Canada and an integral part of national economic growth and job creation;
  • interprovincial pipeline construction presents an opportunity for nation-building and Canadian infrastructure development;
  • Canada imported roughly 759,000 barrels and 736,000 barrels of oil per day, in 2016 and 2015 respectively, despite Canada having among the largest oil and gas reserves in the world, capable of meeting all Canadian oil and gas needs;
  • Canadian oil and gas independence would allow Canada to ensure that domestic natural resource extraction and usage would be carried out more efficiently, safely, and sustainably than in countries which export oil and gas to Canada;
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urge the government to:
  • implement a strategy for oil and gas independence, with attention to:
    • strong environmental and safety regulations, and oversight of the oil and gas sector
    • national job creation and economic growth; and
    • respect for the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples
    • consult with all provinces, territories, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and all other relevant stakeholders in developing acceptable infrastructure and pipelines necessary for oil and gas independence.
WHEREAS:
  • a modern integrated Canadian energy grid will enable greater energy efficiency, reliability and affordability for Canadians;
  • the creation of a modern Canadian energy grid will be fundamental to supporting Canada’s future clean energy based economy, while also creating immediate jobs needed to complete power-line connections and computerized system upgrades;
  • the International Energy Agency has estimated that Canada’s electricity sector will require $250 billion in new investment by 2030;
  • a modern integrated Canadian energy grid will enable fossil fuel dependent provinces to transition toward clean energy as a primary energy source;
  • mass market adoption of electric vehicles is projected within a decade and Canada will require a de-carbonized modern electricity grid to support the transition away from fossil fuel powered vehicles to meet the Paris Agreement on climate change;
  • Canada is working closely with European partners to address climate change while modernized energy grids are a proven and fundamental element of the European Union’s energy strategy to reduce costs and meet climate change targets;
BE IT RESOLVED the Liberal Party of Canada urge the Government of Canada to promote and commit to the creation of a modern integrated Canadian energy grid.