OTTAWA -- As the famous Canadian political philosopher, and Broadbent’s lifelong friend, Charles Taylor, put it, “Ed always stood for decency and a belief that Canada could provide a better life for all, one based on mutual respect.” In his final speech to Parliament, Ed underlined that we must focus on what brings us together across partisan division: “On 75% of the issues we’re on the same side… we tend to think that those 25% of issues that divide us are the only things that matter.”
The Ed Broadbent Democracy Fund is a non-partisan initiative dedicated to the promotion of democratic values and practice. The Fund is being led and supported by Ed’s friends and colleagues from across the political spectrum. Its first project will be to support the Broadbent Institute’s Emerging Leaders Program.
“By equipping a diverse group of emerging leaders from across Canada with skills and mentorship opportunities, we are ensuring the longevity and health of our country’s democratic institutions,” said Jen Hassum, the Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute.
Bill Knight who served as an MP with Ed, and has been a strong champion of the Institute since its creation said, “Ed was increasingly concerned about inspiring the next generation to defend democracy and to fight the undermining of freedoms. He taught us that democracy is alive but needs constant renewal.”
Manon Massé, Québec solidaire MNA for Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques and former party co-leader, remembers “The way he listened and made a real effort to understand our point of view earned Ed Broadbent the respect of Quebeckers, despite his laborious (but enthusiastic!) French and our differences on the national question. Proud of his working-class origins, I always appreciated that he stayed true to his ideas and to his political battles.”
Ed Broadbent was elected in 1968 and became leader of the federal NDP in 1975. In 1988, he launched the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, pioneering Canada’s support of democracies around the world. He created the Broadbent Institute in 2011, now Canada’s largest and most influential progressive think tank - and a leader in training, media, and advocacy.
Please visit the Ed Broadbent Democracy Fund’s web page launched this week for more information.