The Broadbent Blog


Disclaimer: the opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Institute.

Reconciliation and human rights for Indigenous peoples: the pathway ahead


In January 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal released a historic decision finding that the Government of Canada was racially discriminating against over 165,000 First Nations children. Leading up to the decision, the Government of Canada spent more than 8 million dollars in legal fees trying to have the complaint dismissed on technical grounds. After the decision was issued, the Government of Canada tried to evade human rights scrutiny by arguing that reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples would best be achieved through consultations, rather than orders from the Tribunal. The authors argue that this distorted version of reconciliation is in fact incompatible with the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and domestic and international human rights law.

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2017: the year progressive politics came roaring back



This time last year, I will confess, I wasn’t feeling so hot.  A maniac had just taken over the White House, reverberations from Brexit were echoing around the globe, and neo-Nazis were building momentum throughout Europe.

As 2017 dawned, it felt like the forces of dangerous far-right bigotry were on the march everywhere.

But if the past twelve months showed that politics can get ugly in unexpected ways, it also showed that the majority of people won’t stand for hate.

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Cannabis legalization and equity in Canada


Recreational cannabis is almost legal in Canada, former cops are cashing in, yet our government is still hesitant to advance any measures that would repair some of the social damage caused by almost a century of cannabis prohibition. 

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Drowning in debt


It is hardly news that Canadian households are deeply in debt. Total debt is now (2016) at a near record high of 172.1% of household disposable (after tax) income.

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Bill C-362 and “Tax Fairness”: Closing loopholes and bringing money back to Canada


This blog post is part of a series of posts that will be focusing on the tax avoidance by Canada’s most wealthy. This series was sparked by findings in the Paradise Papers — the latest leak that revealed the offshore tax haven activities of former Canadian elected officials and political insiders. Tax avoidance is wrong. It robs the Canadian government from paying for and maintaining our health and social programs; ones that work to improve the lives of all Canadians. A government crackdown on offshore tax havens is urgent and necessary.

“Tax Fairness” is a phrase being bandied about more and more lately. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard Liberals say “tax fairness” over the past 6 months, I would be very wealthy indeed. But for all the talk, where’s the action in addressing this terrible problem? A recent Environics poll shows that 90% of Canadians agree that using tax havens to avoid paying taxes is morally wrong, even if it’s legal.  And almost all agree that the law should be changed to make the use of tax havens illegal.

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Energy democracy – an essential component of a social democracy


The Broadbent Institute's new project, Change the Game, takes a critical look at the history of social democracy in Canada, with the intention of learning from the successes and challenges of the past in order to build the best possible path forward. We invite you to join us in rethinking and renewing social democracy by reading other entries in this series.

In his reflections on the social democratic tradition Andrew Jackson argued that we need to democratize the Canadian economy by increasing social ownership of capital.In the energy sector this means identifying mechanisms such as community ownership and a greater role for the public sector, ensuring that the corporate assets associated with energy production “flow to all citizens”, and are not monopolised by large private or public organisations – in short, energy democracy. Following Jackson, we believe that the expected de-carbonization of energy production can facilitate such a transition.

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Expand tax credits to lower the welfare wall


In last month's Fall Economic Statement, the federal government promised to enhance the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) through additional annual funding of $500 Million starting in 2019. Canadians were invited to provide input on how the additional funding should be used, with the details to be announced in the 2018 federal budget.

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Bernie’s impactful talk encouraging thoughtful conversation about Canadian health care


After attending the Bernie Sanders Live in Toronto event, Fellows from the Muslim Youth Fellowship wrote about their experience and what they learned from Senator Sanders’ visit to Canada.

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Why a National Housing Strategy must focus on those with low income


If you find yourself agreeing with the Conservative opposition’s critique that the Liberals’ new National Housing Strategy doesn’t do enough for the “middle class”(an arbitrary category), you may be unaware of the depth of income inequality and the state of housing affordability in Canada.

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Changing the Game with Bernie Sanders


Last month I got to spend some quality time with my fellow social democrat, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

As you may know, for decades, Bernie has been leading the fight for a universal healthcare system in the U.S. - a fight that was at the core of his inspiring campaign to be the Democratic Presidential nominee.

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