Editor's Note: Ed Broadbent was awarded this year's Lifetime Achievement Award at Maclean's Parliamentary of the Year Awards. Here is his acceptance speech, delivered Tuesday night at an awards ceremony in Ottawa.
I want to thank Maclean’s for this award, for which I am deeply appreciative.
At the age of 18, when I entered Glendon College York University in 1965, I found myself drawn to a 28 year old political philosophy professor who, contrary to most of the staidly dressed professors at Glendon, wore turtle-neck sweaters and was whispered to be a committed socialist and anti-war activist.
Celebrated political theorist and socialist historian Ellen Meiksins Wood passed away at her Ottawa home on Thursday at the age of 73 after battling cancer. Ellen is survived by beloved second husband Ed Broadbent, founder and board chair of the Broadbent Institute, and brothers Peter Meiksins of Cleveland and Robert Meiksins of Milwaukee. She was predeceased by her first husband, Neal Wood (1922 – 2003).
In a recent feature interview with Amanda Lang, host of CBC's The Exchange with Amanda Lang, Broadbent Institute Chair Ed Broadbent spoke about inequality, politics, government, social democracy and more.
Twenty-five years ago, the House of Commons unanimously passed Ed Broadbent's resolution to abolish child poverty by the year 2000. We are far from that goal.
Child poverty as measured by the Statistics Canada Low Income Cut Off has fallen since 1989, meaning that the proportion of families forced to spend a well above average share of their budgets on food, clothing and shelter has diminished somewhat.
But it is a different story if we use the low income measure, which looks at the gap between poor children and the middle class, calculating the number of children who live in a family which has less than one half of the income of a comparable middle income family.