Staff

Rick Smith

A prominent Canadian author, environmentalist and non-profit leader, Rick is the Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute.

From 2003 to 2012, he served as Executive Director of Environmental Defence. He is the co-author of two bestselling books on the health effects of pollution: Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects Our Health (2009) and Toxin Toxout (2014). A Quill & Quire “Book of the Year”, Slow Death by Rubber Duck has been featured by the Washington Post (which said it “is hard-hitting in a way that turns your stomach and yet also instills hope”), Dr. Oz, Fox News, and Oprah Magazine, and translated into six languages.

Rick is a former Chief of Staff for the federal NDP, and has led many successful campaigns for important new public policies at the federal and provincial levels related to environmental and consumer protection, urban planning and green jobs creation. Originally from Montreal, he holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Guelph, is currently a Director of Équiterre and the Greenbelt Foundation, and a member of the Panel of Environment and Sustainable Development Advisors for the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development of Canada. When not working in an airport terminal somewhere, he lives in east end Toronto with his wife Jennifer Story and their two young boys.

Posts & Activities by Rick Smith


  • Harper Government Continues Attack on Labour Rights

    bargainingrights-wader-byncsa2.0_0.jpgIn a series of recent landmark decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that basic trade union rights, including the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike, are protected by the freedom of association provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    The Court has struck down federal and provincial laws that deny some workers the right to join a union, which unilaterally change collective agreements without consultation and due process and which limit the right to strike in the event of an impasse in bargaining.

    Read more

  • Statement on the launch of Unifor

    On behalf of the Broadbent Institute, I’d like to congratulate the Canadian Auto Workers and the Canadian Energy and Paperworkers’ Union on today’s launch of their new union, Unifor.

    A strong and effective labour movement is critical for the prosperity of all Canadians. This bold move today is important not just for Unifor’s 300,000 members, but for the future of Canada itself.

    The Broadbent Institute looks forward to working with Unifor over the years ahead for good jobs, a renewed democracy, and a sustainable and prosperous Canada.