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A way forward for Canada's progressives

The end of March marked an important moment for Canada’s progressive movement.

Between March 28 and 30, more than 600 Canadians from across the country converged in Ottawa to take part in the Broadbent Institute’s inaugural policy conference, the Progress Summit.

I’ve never seen assembled in one place such a diverse group of progressives, young and old – francophones, anglophones and allophones; Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals; environmentalists, trade unionists, social


Maclean's: which way forward for progressives?

Aaron Wherry / Maclean's

At one point last Saturday afternoon in the main ballroom of the Delta hotel in downtown Ottawa, epicentre for the Broadbent Institute’s first annual Progress Summit, Alex Himelfarb, a former clerk of the privy council and now co-editor of a book entitled Tax Is Not a...

Ed Broadbent adds 'democracy' to issues defining left versus right

Canadian Press

Left and right-wing politicians have traditionally clashed over economic, social and environmental policy.

Now Ed Broadbent is adding democracy to the list of issues that differentiate so-called progressives from conservatives — at least in Canada.

The former NDP leader says the Harper government's proposed overhaul of national election laws has turned what used to be a shared value...

Progress Summit 2014: earnest, hopeful and on the offence

Laura Beaulne-Stuebing /

Progressives who gathered in Ottawa this weekend will not hesitate to say they’re on the right side of history on so many things – the environment, labour rights, gender equality. Some may not admit this as easily, but they’re also getting tired of, as they say, just being right all the time. They want to win.

That’s no secret, though — the first annual Progress Summit, put on by the left-leaning...

Frank words and pointed advice at Broadbent Institute summit

Karl Nerenberg /

When the founding leader of the Reform party, Preston Manning, retired from politics to start an Institute bearing his name, folks around him said the Manning Institute would not be a 'think tank' but a 'do tank.'

The Institute that bears the name of one-time NDP leader Ed Broadbent has similar 'do tank' ambitions and they were on display this past weekend.

From Friday to Sunday, the...

Feds try to ‘demotivate, demoralize’ opposition against controversial elections overhaul bill, says Leadnow’s Biggar

Chris Plecash / Hill Times

The federal government sees the public isn’t interested or engaged in its controversial elections overhaul bill and is using that to “demotivate and demoralize” political opponents, says Jamie Biggar, executive director of Leadnow.

Asked what could be done to mobilize the public against Bill C-23, Mr. Biggar suggested that Democratic Reform Minister Pierre...

Global shift to greener economies happening because of economic benefits, panelists say

Laura Ryckewaert / Hill Times

Governments and economic leaders around the world are increasingly speaking out about the economic impetus to address climate change and the need to shift to green economies, but Canada is dragging its feet and investing money and attention into further developing existing, traditional energy sources, experts said Saturday at a Broadbent Institute summit panel on green economies....

Resilience is key to women's success in politics, former Australian PM Julia Gillard says

Jenny Uechi / Vancouver Observer

Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was in Ottawa this weekend for the Broadbent Institute Progress Summit. Speaking to Raylene Lang-Dion from Equal Voice, a multi-partisan organization dedicated to electing more women in Canada, Gillard gave some advice for women aiming to enter politics: 

"You've got to be resilient," she said. "Politics in today's world is somewhere...

Former top Obama adviser Mitch Stewart talks about narrative building, melding cold, hard data, analytics at Broadbent Institute summit

Tim Naumetz / Hill Times

A former top campaign organizer for U.S. President Barack Obama, now working on a political action committee backing Hilary Clinton should she seek the presidency in 2016, gave closed-door briefings and workshops to union organizers, activists and NDP volunteers Thursday as part of a Broadbent Institute  “progress summit” for political action.

The workshops and strategy...

Progressive think-tank gears up to take on conservatives

Mark Kennedy / Postmedia 

For years, Ed Broadbent fought his battles on the front lines of Canadian politics as leader of the federal NDP.

These days, he’s taking his fight to a different plain — to the battle of ideas, of influence and of political relevance.

He is chair of a think-tank — the Broadbent Institute — that champions “progressive change,” trains activists and confronts some of the long-term issues...


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