TORONTO—Ed Broadbent is calling on Canadians to take action on income inequality. During a speech last night to a packed room of Economic Inequality.ca supporters in Toronto, the Broadbent Institute founder challenged Canadians to demand leadership from their governments in reducing inequality.
“The rise of extreme income inequality over the past two decades of major political, economic, and social change has taken us too far in the wrong direction,” explained Broadbent. “Values and politics clearly matter. Canadians can have a more equal, fair and just society, but we need to make better political choices.”
A majority of Canadians are ready to take action. The Broadbent Institute conducted research earlier this year which shows that 77% of Canadians are concerned about growing inequality, and are ready to do their share – including 2 of 3 Canadians who are willing to pay higher taxes to protect our social programs.
“Extreme income inequality is the result of the rise of precarious and low-paying jobs combined with a growing ‘winner-take-all’ corporate culture,” added Broadbent. “I call on Canadians across the country to demand that their governments take meaningful action to reduce inequality now.”
To launch the next phase of the Equality Project, the Broadbent Institute will release a new paper on income inequality in the coming weeks.
The Broadbent Institute seeks to equip the next generation of progressive thinkers and activists with the ideas and tools they need to build a more progressive Canada.
NOW editors pick a trio of this week’s can’t-miss events
Fight violence against women
Time to make violence against women an issue for all genders. We know the issue is way too relevant – more than 10 sexual assaults in the Bloor-Christie area alone in the past few months. At the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event, September 27, men (and women) walk in high heels to raise awareness of the issue. Participate and gather pledges to boost the White Ribbon Campaign. Noon to 2 pm, Yonge-Dundas Square. Pre-register at walkamiletoronto.org.
Ed Broadbent talks equality
It’s been one year since Occupy Wall Street made its debut and triggered a mass response to the ever-widening income gap. Now a group of progressives at economicinequality.ca aiming to chart next steps is tapping the brain of one of the country’s most experienced campaigners for social fairness, former NDP leader and founder of the Broadbent Institute, Ed Broadbent. The former pol outlines his Action Agenda For Equality. September 27, 7 pm. Free. Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil.
Greenpeace shares its secrets
Changing things up needs crafty organizers, so here’s your chance to be the best campaigner you can be. Greenpeace hosts Ontario Earth Defenders’ Activist Skillshare & Retreat, a weekend of learning how to build stronger enviro and social justice movements, featuring workshops on developing strategy, working with media, utilizing non-violent direct action and more. Friday to Sunday (September 21-23), $50 (sliding scale, transportation from T.O. included). Orangeville area. Pre-register 416-597-8408 ext 3062.
The Broadbent Institute wants to know how Jack Layton's message has inspired Canadians in the year since he lost his battle with cancer.
One year ago Wednesday Federal NDP leader Jack Layton told the country he was stepping down, "at least for now".
A "new form of cancer", he said, was discovered the week before and he would be unable to stand as the official Leader of the Opposition.
The news came in wake of his meteoric rise in popularity during the 2011 Federal election campaign, a campaign he started shortly after hip surgery.
In February 2010 he had also announced that he been diagnosed with prostate cancer but he said it would not interfere with his duties as leader of the New Democratic Party.
He proved himself a more-than capable leader during the 2011 leadership debates and, under his leadership, the party won 103 seats, more than double its previous high, in the 41st Canadian General Election on May 2, 2011.
Layton led his party and the Opposition for almost two months before Parliament rose for the summer on June 23.
By the end of the 2011 election campaign 97 percent of Canadians beleived Layton was the man who would make the best Prime Minister of Canada.
Sadly, on August 22, 2011, Layton lost his battle with cancer.
But he left behind a message of love, hope and optimism.
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world,"
he wrote in a letter he gave to his partner, Olivia Chow, to share with Canadians, "in the circumstance in which I cannot continue," he said.
Canadians now have an opportunity to share what Layton's message has meant to them through DearJack.ca They are invited to sign in and tell the world how his message has inspired them to change the world.
On the first anniversary of Layton's passing many of his family and friends will visit Nathan Phillips Square on to celebrate Jack’s message of love, hope, and optimism.
Canadians are also encouraged to organize gatherings and events to mark the date of his passing on August 22 and to share those events at DearJack.ca