FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Canada’s largest annual progressive policy conference kicks off with call to change the game



Ed Broadbent warns progressives of dangers of complacency in the face of rising hate

OTTAWA — Broadbent Institute founder Ed Broadbent kicked off on Thursday the country’s flagship progressive policy conference with a call to change the game.

Speaking to hundreds of attendees at the sold out conference, Broadbent called on delegates to kick-start the next round of transformations to ensure Canada achieves its true potential for justice, prosperity, democracy and sustainability.

“As we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on what’s going right and what we need to improve,” said Broadbent. “Generations of progressives have imagined a better country and fought hard to make it so. But our work is far from done.”

“I’ve always believed, whether in hockey or in politics, that offence is the best defence. With rising incidents of racist and hateful acts, growing alienation, deepening inequality, and increasingly precarious work, it’s not enough to just hold on to the progressive gains we have achieved. The time is now for us to push hard for progress. We need to change the game.”

Broadbent is part of a lineup of leading thinkers, policy experts and organizers on stage over the next two days at Progress Summit 2017. He will lead a panel discussion Thursday afternoon exploring the future of social democracy -- its challenges and opportunities -- in Canada and abroad.

Other Progress Summit speakers on Thursday include Roosevelt Institute President and CEO Felicia Wong, co-author of the forthcoming Rewrite the Racial Rules: Building an Inclusive American Economy; labour leader and Democratic National Committee Vice-Chair Maria Elena Durazo; journalist and activist Desmond Cole; newly elected Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark and new leader of Project Montréal, Valérie Plante; former executive director of the Texas Organizing Project Ginny Goldman; British Labour Party activist and former chair of the Young Fabians Martin Edobor; Member of German Parliament Dagmar Freitag; and a video address from highly acclaimed innovation economist Mariana Mazzucato. The day will wrap with a “Beer & Politics” session discussing the global response to the rise of the right.

Friday’s line up includes a presentation of exclusive new polling by Stratcom for the Broadbent Institute looking at Canadian opinion on economic security and levels of support for progressive policy, and the “Great Debate” on whether free trade deals have actually been in the public’s interest. Renowned author and activist Alain Deneault will also be speaking on Friday, as will Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, documentary filmmaker and former RCMP officer Will Prosper, Black Lives Matters Toronto co-founder Sandy Hudson, and Manitoba MLA Nahanni Fontaine.

The full schedule and list of speakers is available at:


For more information please contact Maria Dobrinskaya, [email protected], 1-604-657-6160