I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones well during these challenging days. Our thoughts are with all of the frontline workers and persons who have been impacted by this pandemic. But spring is here and better times are ahead!
In this, the Broadbent Institute’s 10th Anniversary year, I’m hopeful: hopeful that all Canadians who want a vaccine will soon receive one, hopeful that permanent changes to our labour laws go further to protect the health and rights of workers including paid sick leave, hopeful that the holes in our healthcare system are soon fixed, and hopeful that our seniors are protected from predatory private, for-profit, care facilities.
As we think about priorities for our future, we can derive some lessons from the past. Political choices after WWII made sure people had better outcomes in life. We built our cherished Medicare, the Canada Pension Plan and a world-class public education system. Right now, we need governments to make similarly positive political choices. The pandemic has revealed deep fissures in our society that need to be repaired. Income inequality is on the rise. Racism and discrimination are widespread. Climate change continues unabated. And social programs that need to be improved and expanded have instead been left to fray under the strain of COVID.
We need to demand more from our governments if we’re going to truly build back better! The Broadbent Institute’s recent research and reports on the pandemic recovery plan have received praise from scientists, academics, medical professionals and politicians from across the country. We’ve done our best to help guide the conversation to help ensure that all Canadians come out of this pandemic stronger.
“These Principles are very important, they remind us as social democrats not simply where we’ve been, but where we want to go.” -- Ed Broadbent
Ed Broadbent has spent his whole career fighting for this kind of fundamental change to our political system - reminding us that political choices should always favor the health and well- being of our citizens over corporations. As the latest installment of this lifelong commitment to Canadians, he’s just given us a gift. Ed’s been working on a project for some time and just this spring he finished his final draft. We are calling it: the Broadbent Principles for Canadian Social Democracy.
These 6 principles will serve as a guide for social democrats to take action, linking our proud legacy of advocacy with a roadmap for the future:
- Furthering economic and social rights in addition to political rights.
- Creating a green economy that leaves nobody behind.
- The transformative potential of electing social democratic governments responsive to robust social movements.
- Workplace democracy including the right to a trade union and the fundamental role of the labour movement.
- The dismantling of structural systems of oppression.
- Fully implementing the rights and title of Indigenous peoples and supporting their goal of achieving self-governance.
I’m sure you agree all people have equal worth and equal rights. To achieve this requires important social and economic benefits taken out of the market and transformed into universal rights, such as in health care, education, social welfare and housing. Here at the Institute we believe the crises we face—whether unequal economic outcomes, racism and discrimination, climate change and environmental degradation, and declining democratic participation — require an activist public sector and a strong civil society willing to take action. And that’s not all. We need a government that will ensure it has the resources to protect its citizens from future challenges. And enshrine those protections into improved laws that cannot be easily undone.
“A market-based economy must not be allowed to produce a market-determined society.” -- Ed Broadbent
To this end, the Broadbent Institute has launched a campaign aimed directly at the federal level to ensure our social programs are enhanced and protected:
Friend, for too long Canada’s most wealthy, the multi-millionaires and billionaires, have not paid their fair share of taxes. Leaving the heaviest lifting to people who can’t afford to pay more.
Our Tax The Rich Campaign aims to put a new tax on extreme wealth and on excessive profits made by large corporations during the pandemic. The campaign also demands that the federal government immediately close tax loopholes that allow wealth to be hidden and hoarded by the extreme rich. These funds would be used to enhance and improve social programs and introduce new programs like: Pharmacare, Childcare, Dental Care, Seniors care and long term care facilities. Also, investments in education, cleaning our environment, ending systematic racism, and true reconciliation.
Today, in recognition of Ed Broadbent’s 6 Principles, I’m inviting you to take action and join our Tax The Rich Campaign.
Here are the three steps I’d like you to take right away:
- Sign the petition and tell your member of parliament to #TaxTheRich
- Make a monthly donation of $5, or $10, or $20 to our Tax The Rich Campaign
- Visit: Broadbentinstitute.ca/Tax_The_Rich and invite your friends to join.
With a federal election on the horizon, now is the time for us to make a big push! We must get the word out to voters across Canada to Tax The Rich, and that means everyone needs to participate. We’ve partnered with Canada’s leading progressive organizations to make this campaign a success but it hinges on the support of politically intelligent and active people like yourself to make it all work. We need you to join our cause. Friend, Please join our campaign today.
Let’s celebrate our 10th Anniversary with action and get this done together!
All my best,
-Rick Smith, Executive Director