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By Chris Hannay (@channay)
Although Leader Tom Mulcair's confidence vote is the main focus of attention at this weekend's NDP convention in Edmonton, party members and unions from across the country will be debating many policies. You can read the full list of resolutions, but here are some highlights.
> Minimum wage. A federal $15 minimum wage was one of the first major policies that Mr. Mulcair announced before last year's election, and apparently it is still quite popular within the party. The policy is being pushed again by the United Steelworkers, the NDP's Quebec contingent and ridings in Toronto. Many delegates also propose various ways to increase access to employment insurance.
> Minimum income. The federal Liberals have expressed interest in setting a guaranteed income, which would be a major addition to Canada's social safety net. Multiple ridings – from Quebec, Northern Ontario, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Victoria and more – want the federal New Democrats to push for it, too.
> The Leap Manifesto. Dozens of ridings want the NDP to sign on to the radical climate plan, which Mr. Mulcair declined to do last year as he tried to present a more moderate platform in the election.
> Electoral reform. Although it's not clear what the status of the Liberal's electoral reform is, there are multiple proposals for the New Democrats to adopt proportional representation as their official policy. Critics are worried another option – ranked ballots – would give Liberals an extra edge in elections. On a related note, one proposal – from popular MP Peter Stoffer's former riding of Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook – would like the New Democrats to recognize that abolition of the Senate would be nearly impossible to achieve, and that the party should consider a new position to improve the Red Chamber.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS MORNING
> Unlike its interventionist approach in the foreign activities of other Canadian companies, Ottawa says a weapons shipment involving a Canadian company that broke an international arms embargo in Libya is not the government's concern.
> A tale of two provinces: the Ontario Liberals are moving to cancel all fundraisers with the premier and cabinet ministers, while the B.C. Liberals say they will not ban corporate donations that bring in millions of dollars a year for the party. Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, meanwhile, is the attraction at a Toronto law firm's $500-a-ticket reception.
> Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is offering to hold a by-election for the province's NDP leader, Cam Broten, who lost his seat in this week's election.
> The federal government is conducting a sweeping financial-sector review, which will be the subject of intense lobbying. (for subscribers)
> The federal government is working to finish infrastructure agreements with provinces as soon as possible to set the rules for how new project funding from the budget will flow.
> Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is set to announce today the beginning of public consultations on the future of the military, the Ottawa Citizen is reporting.
> And the Liberals recently struck an independent panel to recommend appointees to the Senate, which resulted in seven senators being named from Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. The bill for the new process? $170,000.
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WHAT EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT
"If not Tom, who? New Democrats have barely whispered that question, but they're facing it this week. Tom Mulcair's leadership is on the line when NDP convention delegates cast ballots in a review vote on Sunday. He could well fall short. A few prominent critics say he should go. But there's a rare impersonal dynamic to the whole thing, because there is really no rival in the wings." – Campbell Clark (for subscribers).
John Ibbitson (Globe and Mail): "Unless there is a breakthrough at a June meeting of finance ministers – which is possible but shading toward unlikely – pension reform may become the biggest Liberal election promise that never comes to pass – a depressing prospect for those in need of help with their retirement." (for subscribers)
Gary Mason (Globe and Mail): "Clearly, [B.C. Premier Christy] Clark has not had the same pangs of guilt about taking advantage of a deeply flawed and terribly undemocratic system as her Ontario counterpart, Kathleen Wynne."
John Ivison (National Post): "The mission, should [Brad] Wall choose to accept it, is to defeat the telegenic scion of a political dynasty that many true-blue Conservatives consider an abomination – I'm talking, of course, about former justice minister Peter MacKay."
Susan Delacourt (iPolitics): "It should be obvious by now that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has no special fondness for the Liberal party – at least the old version of it."
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