© Guardian photo by Teresa Wright
Justin Trudeau in Brudenell for the Liberal caucus meeting Wednesday.
ROSENEATH – Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is defending his choice to delay releasing his party's policy platform until 2015.
Trudeau and the entire federal Liberal caucus is in Prince Edward Island this week for their national caucus retreat.
During the meetings, MPs and senators shared the concern they've been hearing from Canadians in their ridings and across the country.
Trudeau says the discussions this week will be part of a long-term plan to elicit input and ideas from experts and all Canadians on what they believe the Liberal party's policies on key issues should be.
"People want answers, but people want to be part of generating those answers," Trudeau said.
Reporters pressed him on why he plans to wait two years before offering substantial policies for Canadians to examine, especially while, in the meantime, he throws stones at the Conservative government's policies and initiatives.
Trudeau pointed out he is the leader of a third party in the House of Commons and that he does not believe there is any rush to push out policy before engaging in meaningful dialogue and consultation.
"My responsibility is to put forward a comprehensive, robust, platform that is going to demonstrate to Canadians that the Liberal party is working hard for them and responding to their concerns," Trudeau said,
"I'm not going to shortcut that process, which is a serious and responsible process, just because people want to know right now and they're impatient to know."
"People want answers, but people want to be part of generating those answers," Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau
P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz, who addressed the caucus over lunch Wednesday, faced similar criticism when he was still leader of the Opposition in the provincial legislature and had not yet released a full platform.
Despite the pressure Trudeau is facing to come out with policy now, Ghiz said waiting is a good strategy.
"You don't want to be premature with your policies," Ghiz said.
"You don't want to go out all at once and say, 'Here's what we're going to do,' because that would be an indication that you didn't listen to Canadians, you didn't listen to the canidates that you're going to nominate."
He said he offered this advice to the national caucus as they work to make themselves appear a credible alternative to the Harper Tories moving toward the election in 2015.
The Liberals' national caucus meetings continue this afternoon and tomorrow morning. The politicians will get a break from their meetings this evening when they attend a barbeque at Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay's home. Hundreds of local party supporters are expected to attend.
Guardian reporter Teresa Wright is at the Rodd Brudenell Resort covering the Liberal caucus meetings today. Check back to The Guardian's website throughout the day for updates. Full details and coverage online later today and in tomorrow's print and e-edtions.