Victoria, Saanich Liberals successful at policy convention

Homelessness policy proposal will be debated at the federal Liberals’ coming national policy convention

Elizabeth Wells is the policy chair for the Victoria Federal Liberal Riding Association and a fourth-year poliitical science student at UVic.

Elizabeth Wells is the policy chair for the Victoria Federal Liberal Riding Association and a fourth-year poliitical science student at UVic.

Despite not having a representative in parliament, a set of Victoria and Saanich-Gulf Island federal Liberal party members earned major success at the party’s recent B.C. policy convention held in Victoria.

Of the 70 policy proposals presented, only five were selected and one of those was a plan to better integrate all levels of government when dealing with homelessness, as presented by Oak Bay’s Elizabeth Wells, policy chair of the Victoria Liberal Riding Association.

As a result, the homelessness policy proposal will be debated at the federal Liberals’ coming national policy convention in Winnipeg in May, and Wells, a fourth-year political science major from the University of Victoria, plans to be there.

“We wanted this to be part of the federal Liberal party’s national platform, there is lots of promise about what they’re doing,” Wells said.

Wells debated for the homelessness policy at the biennial B.C. policy convention which drew 700 delegates and three members of cabinet, Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities Carla Qualtrough and Minister of Defence Harjit Sajan, who flew from meetings in Washington, DC to attend the event.

Key points of the policy include a national housing strategy, providing access to housing support programs and increasing housing access and supply. The policy was supported by Liberal volunteers from Saanich-Gulf-Islands.

Wells hopes to be the on the stage to support the policy in Winnipeg, too.

“We need more co-ordination between the federal, provincial and municipal levels. Over the past 25 years the federal governments have been pulling away from integration, and we need increased integration,” she said.

With the tent city downtown and the recent release of Krista Loughton’s documentary Us and Them, the timing is right, Wells said.

If passed in Winnipeg, it’s expected the policy would be adopted by the governing party to steer Canadian policy and investment.