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Summary of the New 2016 Liberal Party Bylaws




  • Makes it easy for Canadians to register as Liberals and remain registered
  • Based on your feedback, the qualifications for registration have been added as an appendix to the by-law
  • An interim by-law and transitional provisions will allow for a consistent set of rules during ongoing nominations

Read the full by-law  


How can someone register as a Registered Liberal?

Go to to register today!

Why is the term for Registered Liberals 3 years?

Respondents to the National By-law Survey clearly supported having an expiry date for term of a Liberal’s registration, although views were split on whether it should be 2 and 5 years. The 3-year term is a compromise between those two options, and also balances the Party’s obligations to keep people involved with making sure that the supporters who are involved still want to be engaged.



  • Opens up the policy process so more Registered Liberals can participate
  • Reaffirms the importance of participation by Liberal Electoral District Associations, Provincial or Territorial Board, and Commissions
  • A further Policy Process document will be published for each national convention

Read the full by-law  


How does this by-law open up the policy process so more Registered Liberals can participate?

The Policy By-law makes a clear commitment to organize more online debate and prioritization of policies, which will allow more Registered Liberals to participate in the policy development process than ever before.

Why is the process not outlined in the by-law?

The National Policy Committee has a clear requirement to establish a process for each National Convention. This allows the Committee to adapt the process to account for changing timelines, new technologies, and different circumstances for each convention.



  • Unifies processes across the country making it easier for Registered Liberals to get involved
  • Based on your feedback, the size of the EDA Board of Directors is increased and the current MP or nominated candidate are included with a voting position
  • The frequency of General Meetings is increased to annual, from the original proposal of every 2 years

Read the full by-law  


How does this new by-law help my EDA be more campaign-focused?

An EDA can create any committees, such as action committees, canvassing teams, or an election readiness committee. These committees, their structure and procedures are determined by the EDA, allowing them to meet the needs of each riding. An EDA can also create non-voting Directors on the Board of Directors to help lead these efforts.

How does this new by-law provide flexibility for EDAs?

The composition of the EDA Board of Directors gives each EDA the flexibility to structure their six additional voting directors. These positions can be general Directors-at-Large, represent a specific demographic or language (ie Francophone youth, senior male, etc.) or fulfil a specific function.

Beyond the voting officers, why is the EDA Board of Directors limited to 6 additional voting directors?

One of the goals of the EDA By-law is to make our governance structures efficient, to allow EDAs to focus on fundraising, election readiness, and outreach. The Board of Directors is set at a size that will to allow the board to handle the governance aspects of the association more efficiently.

The people who would normally be engaged in a large board of directors will continue to be engaged through committees and working groups of the EDA, which focus on fundraising, election readiness, and outreach.

Why are the Treasurer and Fundraising Chair appointed and non-voting?

The Treasurer and Fundraising Chair are appointed positions because of the technical nature of their roles. It is important that the EDA is able to find people who have the right skills for the role.

The positions are non-voting because they are appointed rather than elected. It is a common best practice of governance that individuals in an appointed position do not vote on the same board that appoints them. This is consistent with the structure of the National Board.

How are the commission representatives selected for each EDA?

The Commission representatives to the EDA Board of Directors will be selected in a manner prescribed by the Charter of each Commission. These Charters will be developed over the next few months.

How do we transition from our current executive to the new Board of Directors?

The current EDA executive will continue to function in its current state until your next General Meeting. At that meeting, a new Board of Directors will be elected in accordance with the new EDA By-law.

Why does the Party Secretary call our local General Meeting?

The national Party Secretary will call General Meetings with the recommendation of the EDA Board of Directors. The Party Secretary can ensure that the rules are applied consistently across the country. This also allows the Party to ensure the availability of party staff, a chair, and returning officer for each meeting.

How does an EDA request their General Meeting to be called?

The EDA Board of Directors will work with the local Field Organizer to make arrangements for the upcoming General Meeting.

How does the Meeting Chair submit the results of the General Meeting?

The Meeting Chair should communicate the results of the General Meeting to the National Office via an online form that will be posted on This form will include the names and contact information of all officers and directors elected at that meeting, and any additional positions created.



  • Allows each commission to maintain its unique identity and structure
  • Provides for a consistent set of rules governing the common elements of commissions

Read the full by-law  


What is a Charter?

While there is only one Commission by-law, it recognizes that each Commission has a unique identity and may operate differently in some aspects. The Charters are appendices to the by-law that describe items specific to each Commission.

Why are the old Commission Constitutions being used as Charters?

The old Commission Constitutions are being used as the Charters until each commission has had an opportunity to fully review their constitution and develop their Charter.



  • Standardizes and simplifies processes across the country
  • Provides flexibility for the size and composition of provincial boards

Read the full by-law  


How does this by-law provide flexibility for the provincial boards?

Each provincial board can add up to one director-at-large for every 10 electoral districts in that province. These positions can be general Directors-at-Large, represent a specific demographic, region, or language (ie Francophone youth, senior male, etc.) or fulfil a specific function. This allows each province to determine the composition of their board that best reflects the needs of that province.

Why is the PTB structure listed in the appendix not consistent with the Constitution or By-law?

Each PTB will have to elect a new board consistent with the new Liberal constitution and the PTB By-law at the next Provincial Convention. Until that time, the PTB will continue to operate with its current structure, which is listed in the appendices of the by-law.



  • Removes outdated delegate selection systems in accordance with the new constitution, and opens up national conventions more than ever before

Read the full by-law  


Who can attend a Convention?

Any Registered Liberal is eligible to register to attend any Convention of the Liberal Party.

Can I attend a convention in a different province than where I live?

Yes, a Registered Liberal can attend any convention in any province. However, you will not be eligible to vote at a provincial convention other than in your home province.



  • Standardizes rules for all elections of officers and directors to any board of directors
  • Applies to all elections for EDAs, PTBs, Commissions, and the National Board

Read the full by-law  


What elections does this by-law apply to?

This by-law addresses all elections of directors and officers to National Board, a Provincial Board, an Electoral District Association, or any level of a Commission (Club, Section, or National).

Who can be a candidate in these elections?

The eligibility for positions is determined by the Constitution, in the by-law, or the Commission Charter relating to the office you are seeking to hold. (ie, the eligibility requirements to run for a position on your local Electoral District Association are in the EDA By-law)



  • Provides the administrative framework for the National Board and National Management Committee to function

Read the full by-law  


What are the National Board and Management Committee?

The National Board is a team of volunteers from across the country who provide oversight and guidance to the Party in matters both strategic and fiduciary.

The Management Committee is a sub-committee of the National Board composed of the Leader, the President, Vice-President (English), Vice-President (French), Policy Secretary, Party Secretary, two Directors from a province or territory, one of the representatives of the Commissions who are members of the National Board, and one representative of the National campaign Committee.



  • Established a simplified framework for the Permanent Appeals Committee
  • Gives the committee flexibility to address the needs of each appeal

Read the full by-law  


How does the Permanent Appeals Committee address appeals?

When an appeal is submitted to the Permanent Appeals Committee (PAC), it will create a panel of three people to hear the appeal. The process for hearing that appeal will be determined by the panel, and can be different for each appeal in order to address any appropriate regional, logistical, or linguistic considerations.



  • Role of the Chief Agent reflects the requirements of the Canada Elections Act

Read the full by-law  


Who is the Chief Agent of the Liberal Party of Canada?

The Federal Liberal Agency of Canada has been appointed by the Party as the Chief Agent.


These by-laws are meant to adapt and change. So keep sending us your feedback at, and we’ll keep listening.


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