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Progressives set positive tone for building a better Canada at close of summit

OTTAWA—The country’s largest annual progressive politics conference came to a close today with a renewed commitment to bring in a progressive agenda to build a better Canada.  

The Broadbent Institute’s second annual Progress Summit brought together over 800 delegates from across Canada to hear from leading thinkers, policy experts and organizers over three days in this critical election year.

“The energy at the Progress Summit has simply been amazing and it gives me great hope. Canada’s progressive movement is strong, focused and committed to advancing innovative ideas and using the best tools to make change happen,” said Ed Broadbent, the Institute’s chair.

In his closing address, Executive Director Rick Smith, said: “Ed has challenged us to step up to do two jobs this year: defeat bad conservative ideas and ensure they are replaced by progressive ones. It’s going to take the combined efforts of all of us to accomplish these goals.”

The keynote speakers were renowned philosopher Charles Taylor, former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, and Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian.

Speakers included Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Official Opposition leader Tom Mulcair, Anna Greenberg, 2014 Democratic pollster of the year, TD Bank’s Chief Economist Craig Alexander, Edelgard Bulmahn, Vice President of the German Parliament, civic leaders Mike Layton and Ausma Malik, broadcasters Shad and Wab Kinew, and HSBC Canada’s Chief Economist David Watt.

Harry Leslie Smith, a 92-year old veteran and author of Harry’s Last Stand, also spoke. “I am here to tell you to go out and fight for economic and social justice all across Canada in this election year. I know we can win this fight because we did it before and all it takes is perseverance and guts,” said Smith.

The summit included a training day on grassroots organizing and digital campaigning with Wellesley College’s Hahrie Han, author of How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century, and the New Organizing Institute, based in Washington, DC.


For more information, please contact:

Sarah Schmidt, Director of Communications, 613-857-2814 or sschmidt(at)broadbentinstitute(dot)ca