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So, hi everyone and welcome to the Liberal Party of Canada’s virtual convention. So good to see so many of your faces on my computer screen.

Now, before we get to the president’s opening remarks, there are a few things we should go over with regard to the amazing program we have planned, which of course ends on Saturday afternoon with a speech from our leader, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Sorry, what’s that? Someone hasn’t muted their mic. I think it’s Mark Carney. Mr. Carney, if you could just hit the mute button? It’s on the lower left of your screen.

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It’s the button that says, “Mute microphone.”

Great. Thanks.

So, as you know, our party doesn’t want an election. Mr. Trudeau has said so himself. And our convention co-chair, Terry Beech, has made it clear that “we’re certainly not focused on the election” at this convention. This explains why our convention programming will be heavily focused on planning for an election this fall that we are absolutely not focused on.

We’ve got some great talks under the “organizing and readiness” banner that you will want to check out as you go about not focusing on an election that would come just two years after the last one, and which could only happen if we let it happen, but we won’t because who wants that, right?

There’s “Safe and Inclusive Campaigns” on Friday at 11, “Being the Liberal Candidate” Friday at 3:30, the Laurier Club panel discussion on election readiness, also on Friday at 3:30, “Fundraising Success” on Friday at 4:30, and “Preparing your team for Victory,” also Friday at 4:30.

Makes you wish you could be in two places at once! Ha ha.

What? Sorry?

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Mr. Carney appears to have unmuted his mic again. We’ll wait. Take your time.

Where were we? On Saturday, we have “Winning Close Races” at 11:30 in the morning, followed by “Election Readiness Update” at 12:30, then “When ‘all politics is digital’: Digital-first organizing in 2021 and beyond” at 2:15 and, finally, just before Mr. Trudeau’s keynote address, “Staying connected while apart: Best practices for virtual community engagement” at 3:15.

As you can see, lots of options for not focusing on the election that our Liberal minority government has absolutely no desire to call this fall when the pandemic is basically over and we are leading in the polls and the opposition is weak [cough Erin O’Toole cough cough].

Now, some of you have complained that making time for all these talks and training sessions about a subject no Liberals are focused on has meant cancelling some others that we were all looking forward to.

I’m of course referring to “Prorogation: A Liberal Perspective,” “WE Charity: Staying apart while connected” and “Holy Crap, What If We’re Elected To Another Minority And There Is No National Emergency That We Can Use to Sideline Parliament Until We Can Call Another Election We Don’t Want!”

We’re sorry to lose those, but politics is about making tough choices and focusing on the things that you are certainly not focusing on at the moment.

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Okay. We have time for one or two questions before moving on. Here’s one that was e-mailed to us from a concerned Liberal Party member in Burnaby, B.C.

She writes, “I read the convention program and saw lots of discussions about building back better, planning a robust recovery and championing middle-class opportunity. I was surprised there was nothing in there about planning for the next pandemic, such as building domestic vaccine and PPE capacity, and developing a better national response plan. No Liberals want an election, of course. But they also don’t want another pandemic. Wouldn’t it be a good idea not to focus on the next pandemic to the same degree the party is not focusing on the next election?”

Well, that’s a great question. I’m sure Mr. Trudeau would love to answer it but he seems to have lost his internet connection. Those old Ottawa cottages, you know.

Would anyone else like to tackle this one?

Anyone?

Anyone?

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Mr. Carney? No?

Okay, everyone. Have a great convention!

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