Mel Watkins: Comment on Towards a More Equal Canada

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It is uncertain which is more puzzling: the sudden surge in inequality in developed countries in recent times, or the failure of this to generate a sufficient response in the form of a countervailing politics.  

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Get a jump-start on 2013 – the Next Up program is coming to Ottawa

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Thinking about New Year’s resolutions?

Personally, I have never been very good at them... which made me think: why not get a 47-day head start?

You can bet that a more progressive and equal Canada will be at the top of our resolutions in 2013, but why not get the ball rolling now? I’d like to share with you a special chance for you to play an important role for the next cohort of Canadian change leaders.

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Broadbent Institute Grows Team with New Executive Director Rick Smith

OTTAWA—The Broadbent Institute is excited to welcome Dr. Rick Smith as its new Executive Director. Smith will take the helm of the rapidly-growing think-tank from Kathleen Monk, who will remain with the Institute as Senior Advisor.

“I am delighted to welcome Rick to the team,” said Broadbent Institute founder Ed Broadbent. “Rick is a talented organization-builder with a proven track record of positive growth in the Canadian not-for-profit community.”

Rick Smith joins the Broadbent Institute following nearly ten years as Executive Director of Environmental Defence, a leading Canadian charity with a focus on pollution reduction and human health.  He is co-author of Slow Death by Rubber Duck, a bestselling 2009 book on the negative effects of toxic chemicals in everyday life.

With a Ph.D. from the University of Guelph, and history of work with a variety of progressive organizations, Smith’s career has been equal parts policy and politics.  A strong proponent of the "green economy", Smith is one of the founders, with the United Steelworkers, of Blue Green Canada. He also played a central role in the creation of the Ontario Greenbelt, the largest in the world, and the Ontario Green Energy and Green Economy Act.  

“Through its training of young activists, creation of high quality social democratic policy research, and commitment to leading public debate on those questions most critical to Canada’s future, the Broadbent Institute is rendering an important service to our country.  I look forward to all that our growing team will achieve in the years ahead,” said Smith.

“As our founding Executive Director, Kathleen Monk has provided energetic, commendable leadership and built a solid foundation upon which the Broadbent Institute can continue to grow,” explained Broadbent. “On behalf of the Board I want to thank Kathleen for staying on as Senior Advisor as we embark on this next phase of the Institute’s future.”

Rick Smith will begin his work at the Broadbent Institute on January 7, 2013.

Is Income Inequality a Problem in Canada?

This post originally appeared on the blog of TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin.

As part of TVO's contributions to the cross-media series "Why Poverty?", The Agenda is conducting online interviews with people who explore issues of poverty and who are trying to help the poor build better lives. 

Our latest is an interview with Andrew Jackson of the Broadbent Institute, a recently-founded progressive think tank named in honour of former federal NDP leader Ed Broadbent. Jackson talks to the Agenda about income inequality, the subject of a recent Broadbent Institute report, "Towards a More Equal Canada."

There will always be people that will have more than others. But Jackson argues that income inequality has reached levels in Canada that are a detriment not just to the poor and working poor, but to the middle class. 

This week, TVO's focus regarding "Why Poverty" is on the working poor. For more on that specific topic, check out TVO's infographic on the working poor in Ontario.