Ed Broadbent reflects on the "intellectual battle" he had with Pierre Trudeau over social and economic rights, the notion of liberal civil individual rights vs collective rights, and how that led to the inclusion of Section 35, the recognition and affirmation of the collective rights of Indigenous people, in the Constitution. Ed Broadbent is the founder of the Broadbent Institute and former leader of the federal New Democratic Party.
The current federal election has highlighted for me the difficulty of having a truly informative debate about health care in Canada. Of course some of the difficulty derives from the nature of politics, and of the media, but even this is made worse by a lack of clarity about the nature of Medicare in Canada, and foundational legislation like the Canada Health Act. This lack of clarity makes it easier for some politicians to mislead Canadians about their real positions, and may even cause Medicare friendly politicians to unintentionally obscure the issues.
Every party’s platform slogan speaks to the future they want you to believe only they can bring you. Liberals say, “Forward. For Everyone”. The NDP are “Ready for Better”. The Greens call on us to “Be Daring”. Conservatives want to “Secure the Future”. Putting slogans aside, most of us are now deeply aware that securing our future is critically tied to the actions we take to reduce climate change over the next ten years. At the crux of it lies the fate of the oil and gas sector, and the Conservatives remain in dangerous denial of that fact.
This year workers were in our headlines much of the time for their service on the frontlines of the pandemic. To me though, the work they did together to call for safer workplaces with decent wages deserves just as much praise. Two examples come to mind.