OTTAWA—The Broadbent Institute’s Stand up for Progress National Tour featuring Harry Leslie Smith wraps up today after the Second World War veteran traveled nearly 17,000 kilometers inspiring the next generation of progressives in the lead-up to the federal election.
Canada’s oldest rebel and author of Harry’s Last Stand: How The World My Generation Built Is Falling Down, And What We Can Do To Save It hit seven Canadian cities across five provinces, from Victoria to Halifax, in the past month. The tour ends in Oshawa today.
Harry, 92, survived the Great Depression and fought in the Second World War for the United Kingdom. After the war, he immigrated to Canada and became a supporter of building a strong social safety net as an antidote to the crushing poverty of his youth.
“It’s been such a great experience traveling across the country,” said Harry, who lives in Belleville. “I am very old but I don’t despair. After meeting hundreds of young people and progressive activists, I know we can win this fight and build a more just and fair Canada. It’s now up to the next generation to be the drivers of progressive change.”
In addition to Victoria, Halifax and Oshawa, Harry traveled to London, Regina, Calgary and Edmonton. Prior to the Canadian tour, Harry toured the U.K. during the spring election to encourage young people to vote.
“Harry has been so inspiring in every city he’s visited. He’s not a politician, economist or historian, but as an eyewitness to the history of the twentieth century, Harry’s stories about a much meaner time when there was no social safety net resonated loudly, especially with young people,” said Rick Smith, Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute. “It’s a very powerful message about why we all need to stand up for progress.”
Canada’s professional fire fighters, represented by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), were the National Tour Sponsor. The Public Service Alliance of Canada was the National Tour Partner. Additional information about the tour is available at http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/stand_up_progress_national_tour_harry_leslie_smith.
For more information or arrange an interview with Harry Leslie Smith, please contact Jonathan Sas, Director of Research, jsas[at]broadbentinstitute[dot]ca or 647-996-6473.