Posted by NationBuilder Support · March 29, 2014 10:17 AM
Broadbent Institute and Equal Voice to celebrate Australia’s first female Prime Minister
OTTAWA—Equal Voice and the Broadbent Institute are hosting a special event tonight to celebrate Australia’s first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard this weekend. Equal Voice, a national organization dedicated to the election of women in Canada, will name Ms. Gillard a Global Champion for Women in Politics. Ms. Gillard is in Ottawa as the keynote speaker at the Broadbent Institute’s inaugural Progress Summit.
“We are so pleased to have the opportunity to honour Ms. Gillard for her remarkable leadership. She is only one of only very few women to ever lead a G20 country and we are delighted to seize this opportunity to celebrate her,” notes Raylene Lang-Dion, National Chair of Equal Voice.
Ms. Gillard served as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia, and the Australian Labor Party leader, from 2010 to 2013 by forming a coalition government. She was the first woman to hold either position. During her tenure, she did not shy away from calling out sexist behaviour from other politicians in the legislature. In 2013, she lost the party leadership to Kevin Rudd.
“Ms. Gillard is a role model for women in politics and public life,” said Kathleen Monk, Senior Advisor at the Broadbent Institute. “A capable leader whose government ushered in many progressive social and environmental policies, such as paid parental leave, Australia’s first national program for people with disabilities and carbon pricing.”
A small number of tickets remain available for tonight’s event. They can be purchased on site on location at the Delta Hotel, Penthouse suite located at 101 Lyon Street North. Tickets are $50. All proceeds after costs will go to advancing women in politics.
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.
“There are many people who think we can only have a greener economy by having less of the other things, and other people who think we can have more of the innovation and prosperity but only by having a less green economy. I think that’s fundamentally wrong,” said panelist Chris Ragan, associate professor of macroeconomic and economic policy at McGill University in Montreal, adding the two sides need to stop being pitted against each other.
The Broadbent Institute’s first-ever Progress Summit is being held at the Delta hotel in downtown Ottawa from March 28-31. On Saturday, Mr. Ragan, Bruce Lorrie, president of the Ivey Foundation, Tom Rand, Cleantech adviser at the MaRS Institute, and Clare Demerse, a fellow with the Broadbent Institute and director of federal policy at the Pembina Institute, took part in a discussion on “The (good) business of building a green economy.”
Panel moderator Jeremy Runnals, managing editor of Corporate Knights magazine, said it doesn’t take a hard look to see that change is underway globally when it comes to economic policies and the environment. Over the past year-and-a-half, global economic leaders, including International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde, have spoken out about the economic impetus to address climate change, he said.
Globally, a transition to clean energy is already well underway, said Ms. Demerse, with more than $1.5-trillion invested in the global clean energy sector to date. Ms. Demerse said in some international markets, alternative energy technologies like wind and solar are already “cost competitive with the fossil fuel alternative.” With an international shift towards green energy policies and a reduction of carbon emissions, Ms. Demerse said there’s a strong fiscal argument to investing in new energy sources that are environmentally friendly.
“At this point in Canada we’ve got a couple of options. One is we can choose to build that resilient, diversified clean energy economy that can compete successfully in a low-carbon world, or we can run the risk of sinking billions more into infrastructure for oilsands production that the world’s markets ultimately may not want,” said Ms. Demerse.
She said greenhouse gas pollution from the oilsands is at a level that oilsands growth is set to undue other efforts made to reduce carbon emissions over the years. Ms. Demerse said if countries around the world begin taking the environment more seriously, oilsands development will look increasingly “fragile.”
“So making that clean energy transition, I would argue, is a safer economic choice for Canada, even before we look at the risks we would run economically from climate change itself,” she told attendees.
Mr. Ragan, who qualified himself as a macro economist and not an environmental economist, said finding “clever” policies that encourage both innovation and environmental protection would create a better economy overall.
A redesign of our current fiscal structure is a “crucial piece” of the puzzle, he said. Governments need to be prepared to make those kinds of shifts, like imposing new taxes on activities that create pollution, while in turn lowering taxes on personal income to address “both halves of that package.”
“None of this ought to be, in a sensible world, a partisan issue,” said Mr. Ragan, who later added that Canada has been “passive-aggressive obstructionists” in the global environmental conversation in the last few years.
In response to Mr. Runnals questioning whether an economic indicator other than GDP should be used to measure economic growth, Mr. Ragan said in terms of calculating national assets, when a tree is cut down to make lumber, we should probably also be accounting for the loss of that tree, an idea that was met with applause from attendees.
Mr. Lorrie said better information and better measurements will help bring about more investment in green technology, and said right now there’s an information-gathering deficit, pointing to the cessation of the long-form census as an example.
Mr. Rand said “energy incumbents” continue to invest in finding more oil and gas reserves which are likely to be limited by environmental regulation as the world works to combat climate change, rather than investing to find new sources of energy. Mr. Rand said he thinks enhanced geothermal energy is the “holy grail” of clean energy. Despite the fact that clean energy investments make economic sense, Mr. Rand said the market isn’t rational, and companies need to be incentivized to invest in clean energy.
Ms. Demerse said Canada needs to take its own approach to improve environmental regulations and shift to a green economy and can’t look to the U.S. as a marker because the circumstances simply aren’t the same as the U.S. does not have an oil sands equivalent.
Posted by NationBuilder Support · March 29, 2014 4:30 AM
Canadian musicians to rock the capital
OTTAWA–Women from around the world will take centre stage as the Broadbent Institute’s inaugural Progress Summit kicks off its first full day in Ottawa.
Following a speech by Broadbent Institute chair Ed Broadbent laying out the paths to build a progressive Canada, three keynote speakers will take the floor through the day, beginning with Mariana Mazzucato of the University of Sussex talking about the economics of innovation. Mazzucato, author of The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, will be followed by Axelle Lemaire, a Canadian-born French National Assemblywoman.
The summit’s main keynote takes place at 4:30 p.m. Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will discuss the future of progressive politics. Following her keynote address, the Broadbent Institute and Equal Voice will host a special event to celebrate Australia’s first female Prime Minister.
In the evening, Canadian musician Sarah Harmer, along with Toronto’s Blurred Vision and Sally Folk of Montreal, will take the stage to entertain summit participants.
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 that you're criticized [through] social media, and people will see the most awful things written about them and really stress and worry about that. You've got to find some of the tricks to say, 'I'm going to keep all that at arm's length. 'I can 't let twitter tell me what to think about myself.'"
She said mistakes big and small can happen, but that women in politics need to remember the larger picture.
"Don't worry about the small things, focus on the big things, the big purpose that got you into politics in the first place...Always be clear about your purpose. You won't survive in politics unless you know why you're there…be strong in yourself. Shape your own image of yourself, and don't let others, whether it be pages of the newspapers, or TV cameras or something else, shape your image."
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 sessions by Mitch Stewart, a series of briefings that also featured members of the institute’s newly appointed field of high-profile “leadership fellows” also involved in the sessions, took place the day before the official start of the summit that headlines former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard as a somewhat controversial keynote speaker.
Elected as Australia’s Labour Party prime minister in 2010, Ms. Gillard included opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage among her main policy positions.
The two-day summit hosted by the Broadbent Institute—a left wing or progressive version of the Calgary-based Manning Centre, a right-wing training ground and networking institute founded by former Reform Party leader Preston Manning—features activists, authors, professors and social democrat politicians with panels and individual presentations covering a range of social and economic themes, including green politics, indigenous peoples’ rights social networking advocacy campaigns and defence of trade union rights.
Some of Parliament Hill’s top journalists, including author Susan Delacourt ofThe Toronto Star, Canadian Press bureau chief Heather Scoffield, and Maclean’s magazine columnist and author Paul Wells, are moderating several of the panels.
Mr. Stewart, founding partner at 270 Strategies, a longtime political activist, and Battleground States director for the Obama campaign in the 2012 presidential general election, was unable to speak in detail about his remarks and presentations behind the closed doors of “summit leadership training,” but explained them in general terms during an interview with The Hill Times.
A recent national Liberal policy convention in Montreal also featured closed-door campaign training sessions for party activists, but a presentation on online campaigning from another former Obama organizer was open to journalists.
“We talked about the lessons that we learned on the Obama campaign of running an effective campaign, running an effective organization, talking about setting goals, what are the strategies that can help you achieve those goals, and then what are the tactics that can help your strategy achieve those goals, giving some real-world examples and then workshopping a little bit with some Canadian specific examples,” Mr. Stewart said, without elaborating on the Canadian content.
“We’ll talk a lot this afternoon about relationship building, telling the story itself, narrative building, we’ll talk a lot about goal setting, and kind of melding the relationship-building aspects of the campaign with the cold, hard data and analytics of a campaign and how you employ the organization to help you achieve goals that the data and analytics inform,” he said.
Asked if Canadian political parties had reached the same level of sophistication as the Democrats and Republicans, in terms the kind of data-based voter contact campaigns and online networking that first propelled Mr. Obama into the White House and led to his re-election in 2012, Mr. Stewart replied: “I think they are exploring ways of trying to catch up. Your data and privacy acts are different here than they are in the United States. We have access to a lot more information than parties here do, to their voters. Not everything is transferable or replicable.
“In the United States, voter files are basically public information,” Mr. Stewart said. “If you’re a registered voter, everything you put down on your voter registration card, you could have access to, what your address is, anything you put down there,” Mr. Stewart said.
Importantly, electors in most of the states also register as either Democrat or Republican supporters. In Canada, that information can only be obtained through direct voter contact, either by door-to-door canvassing or telephone calling, and usually through election writ periods.
Although the Democratic Party maintains a vast database of state and federal electoral information centrally in Washington, D.C., it is securely guarded from unauthorized access from either inside or outside the party.
“We have a whole staff of people that manage, for sure, and most states have a person too,” Mr. Stewart said.
“The information on there, there is some proprietary information based on door knocks or phone calls, what candidates they support, but there are very tight limitations on what you can use a voter file for and what you can’t,” he said.
In a ruling over court challenges of the outcome in six federal election districts for the 2011 general election in Canada, based on allegations of fraudulent calls to voters who did not support the Conservative party, Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley said as part of his judgment that the voters’ home telephone numbers were likely drawn from the Conservative party’s main voter contact and information data base.
However, Judge Mosley ruled there was not enough evidence to rule that misleading calls in any of the six electoral districts affected the outcome of the vote.
A media relations expert providing consulting assistance to the Broadbent Institute, chaired by former NDP leader Ed Broadbent, said summit attendees are not exclusively members or supporters of the NDP.
“There’s a wide group of grassroots volunteers, some of whom will likely be volunteering on NDP or for other political parties,” said Caitlin Kealey of MediaStyle.
Posted by NationBuilder Support · March 28, 2014 5:38 AM
OTTAWA–Progressives from across Canada are gathering in Ottawa for the next three days to map out a fair, sustainable and prosperous Canadian economy.
“Convening a gathering of Canada’s most impressive thinkers and leaders for the Institute’s inaugural Progress Summit is a role I cherish,” said Ed Broadbent, chair of the Broadbent Institute.
“We are dedicated to finding the best way forward for a more equal Canada, and I am optimistic that coming out of this Summit we will have real policy answers for the challenges and opportunities facing our country.”
Throughout the weekend, participants will be learning from the best and the brightest from Canada and around the world, including keynote speaker Julia Gillard, the former Prime Minister of Australia.
“The best ideas come through vigorous discussion and debate,” said Rick Smith, the Broadbent Institute’s Executive Director. “The Summit won’t disappoint -- and will no doubt inform the nation’s policy debates and give new momentum to the Canadian progressive movement.”
The summit will focus on shared prosperity, building a green economy and democratic renewal. Leading organizers and experts in online engagement will share their expertise on how to craft winning campaigns.
There is also a focus on celebrating women in politics, with all four keynotes being prominent women. In addition, the Broadbent Institute and Equal Voice are hosting a reception on Saturday evening for Gillard. Australia’s first female Prime Minister will be named an Equal Voice Global Champion for women in politics.
The summit kicks off with a welcome reception Friday evening and wraps up on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday night, Canadian musicians Sarah Harmer, Blurred Vision and Sally Folk of Montreal are performing for participants.
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 political parties ignore.
He’s intent on countering the influence of Canadian think-tanks such as the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, established in 2005 by former Reform leader Preston Manning.
“Mr. Manning, from his point of view and from the conservative point of view, has done very well,” Broadbent said in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen.
“They have had an impact on the public debate. And it’s time we did some catch-up, frankly.
“Mr. Manning’s institute does it on the right and we want to do it on the left in Canada.”
Call it the battle of think-tanks. Left versus right. Broadbent versus Manning. Progressive versus conservative.
The two organizations have now become parallel incubators for ideas in Canadian politics, unrestrained by the formal partisan ties that can stifle debate among true believers within parties. Moreover, unlike most traditional think-tanks, both organizations offer training on how to achieve political change — all the way from community groups or city hall to provincial and federal politics.
This weekend in Ottawa, the Broadbent Institute, founded in 2011, will hold its first annual “progress summit.” About 600 people are expected to attend.
The conference will feature topics such as: income inequality; the federal government’s “attack” on the labour movement; the rights of indigenous peoples on natural resource development; and how businesses can build a “green economy.”
The institute believes in the merits of learning from “progressives” elsewhere in the world. Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard will headline a list of speakers that includes a French politician describing the “rise of the right” in Europe, and a human rights “marketing director” based in Washington, D.C.
There will be a session on how to use Google and social media in campaigns, and on “lessons from winning progressive campaigns in the U.S. and Canada.”
The event is virtually a mirror image — with different policy leanings — of the annual Manning Centre conference, the most recent of which was in Ottawa in early March.
Chuck Strahl, a former Conservative MP who chairs the Manning Centre, said the country is well-served by having parallel think-tanks because political parties are more focused on winning elections.
“The parties themselves are forced, if you will, to focus on what they do best and that leaves it open for other organizations like the Manning Centre and the Broadbent Institute to delve into some of the big issues. We don’t have to get elected to anything.”
Strahl said he welcomes the emergence of the Broadbent Institute.
“It’s not really a competitor; it’s a competitor for ideas. We’re not tilling the same soil here. We’re looking for people on the conservative end of the spectrum, but we both have the same sort of objective: to engage them in civil society.”
Broadbent said his institute faces a big challenge getting its message out because many of the country’s prominent think-tanks, such as the Fraser Institute and the C.D. Howe Institute, are predominantly conservative.
Broadbent’s institute is not a registered charity, nor does it plan to become one. It funds its operations through donations — often $5 or $20 from thousands of donors, says executive director Rick Smith — and will have a budget of over $1 million in the next year
There is a strong NDP tinge to the group; some key players have held prominent jobs in the party.
But the institute proclaims it is an “independent” and “non-partisan.” It has the support of Allan Gregg, once the Progressive Conservative party’s chief pollster, and John Laschinger, formerly campaign manager for many federal and provincial Progressive Conservatives.
Indeed, Smith said the institute appeals to a broad range of Canadians.
“On any given day, the vast majority of Canadians are untethered from any particular party affiliation. They’re open to good ideas and they’re looking for a good debate about the issues of the day. That’s is the kind of audience we’re trying to cater to and reach.”
Posted by NationBuilder Support · March 26, 2014 8:00 PM
Broadbent Institute and Equal Voice to celebrate Australia’s first female Prime Minister
OTTAWA—Equal Voice and the Broadbent Institute will host a special event to celebrate Australia’s first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard this weekend. Ms. Gillard will offer remarks on her career in politics and Equal Voice, a national organization dedicated to the election of women in Canada, will name Ms. Gillard a Global Champion for Women in Politics.
WHO: Former Australian PM Julia Gillard; Equal Voice’s National Chair Raylene Lang-Dion; and the Broadbent Institute’s Kathleen Monk
WHAT: Remarks by Former Australian PM Julia Gillard, followed by a cocktail reception
DATE: Saturday, March 29, 2014
TIME: 6:15pm – 8pm
LOCATION: Delta Hotel, Penthouse 101 Lyon St N OTTAWA, ONTARIO
Posted by NationBuilder Support · March 24, 2014 3:43 PM
OTTAWA—Leading thinkers in Canada will be meeting in Ottawa this week for a summit where they will map a path to a fair, sustainable and prosperous Canadian economy. The Broadbent Institute’s first annual Progress Summit will be held Friday, March 28 to Sunday, March 30 at the Delta Ottawa.
Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia Mariana Mazzucato, author of "The Entrepreneurial State"
Anastasia Khoo, Marketing Director, Human Rights Campaign
Axelle Lemaire, Quebec-born French National Assemblywoman for Northern Europe
Ed Broadbent, Chair, Broadbent Institute
Don Drummond, professor at Queen’s University and Canadian economist
Alex Himelfarb, former Privy Council Clerk
Mitch Stewart, 270 Strategies Founding Partner and Battleground States Director for the 2012 Obama for America campaign
Posted by NationBuilder Support · February 13, 2014 4:32 AM
Broadbent Institute congratulates Gillard, looks forward to her participation in the Summit
OTTAWA—The Broadbent Institute is delighted by the news that former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was named yesterday to lead the Global Partnership for Education, an international initiative to provide quality childhood education in developing countries. Gillard is giving the keynote speech at the Institute's Progress Summit in Ottawa on March 29th.
Gillard will be joined as a keynote speaker by economist and author Mariana Mazzucato, Canadian-born French MP Axelle Lemaire, and Human Rights Campaign's Director of Marketing Anastasia Khoo. A dynamic roster of panel speakers will also add their voices to the debate on fairer and more sustainable approaches to building a prosperous 21st century Canadian economy.
"Progressives like Julia Gillard will offer unique perspectives on cutting-edge ideas," said Broadbent Institute Executive Director Rick Smith. "The summit is all about bringing together top-notch policy experts to provide an innovative and tangible contribution to the Canadian public policy debate."
The Progress Summit will take place from March 28-30 in Ottawa. The latest speakers list, including keynote speaker biographies and photos, is available online at www.broadbentinstitute.ca/en/summit.
For more information, or to request media accreditation, please contact:
Mike Fancie, Broadbent Institute 613-866-3606 or mfancie at broadbentinstitute dot ca