Michael Penny

Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Michael Penny brings a unique and valuable skill set to the role Development Officer.

Michael earned his Masters of Public Administration from the University of Regina and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick. He brings years of service of professional experience in policy and market research data collection in the private sector.

Posts & Activities by Michael Penny

  • The Affordability Equation

    Concerns about cost of living, wages, and affordability have been an important part of Canada’s political discourse for many years. But we felt something was happening. Canadians seem to be more anxious about the future and their ability to maintain a standard of living they expect.

    We also felt that many populist movements, both in Canada and abroad, have effectively tapped into this anxiousness and leveraged it for political gain often with a regressive, anti-immigration and anti-government tone.

    Together with the Broadbent Institute, we set out to explore how the public feels about the issue, what is driving their concerns, and what solutions they think might work.

    Our objective is to offer progressives in Canada insight into the broader issue and how to offer a progressive solution to the growing affordability crisis.

    Read the report here:


    Download The Afforadability Equation

  • Charting the Path to National Pharmacare in Canada

    National Pharmacare has been a topic of discussion in Canada for over half a century, yet we remain unique among the world’s high-income countries with universal health coverage in that we still do not include outpatient prescription drugs in our national benefit package. There is a growing sense that we will never be able to achieve the full potential of universal health coverage without national Pharmacare.

    Download: National Pharmacare in Canada Report

  • Progress Summit Thank You


    Thank you for registering for Progress Summit 2019. If you are travelling from out of town, please take advantage of the hotel discount offered by our partners.

    To book your room at the Westin at a discounted rate, please click right here now.  There are limited spaces available at these discounted rates. 

    To ensure that all your guest details are accurately forwarded to our registration desk and caterers, please ensure you have filled out the Summit Pass Registration Form for all guests prior to arrival.

  • Petition: Suspend Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States

    The Broadbent Institute is calling on the Prime Minister of Canada and his Government to Immediately condemn the recent cruel actions of the United States Government against immigrant families and suspend the Safe-Third-Country Agreement.


    Please read, sign, and share this petition:

    10,634 signatures

    Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Hussen,

    I am calling on you to honour our country’s longstanding commitment to human rights by suspending the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.

    U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration have imposed multiple inhumane and discriminatory changes to its refugee and immigration system. In early 2017, President Trump made an executive order for a travel ban on 7 Muslim-majority countries; leaving many stranded at ports of entry around the world. Then in late 2017, news broke that President Trump would end temporary protected status for thousands of individuals, many of them young people who’ve been in the United States for the majority of their lives. And now, the world is watching with despair and grave concern as families seeking asylum are being detained and children being forcibly separated from their parents.  The photographs of these thousands of children being held in cages have shocked the conscience of Canadians.

    The Safe Third Country Agreement holds that both Canada and the U.S are “safe” countries for those seeking asylum. Manifestly, the U.S. no longer meets this standard.  Countless refugee advocates including Amnesty International Canada and the Canadian Council for Refugees have called on Canada to recognize the ongoing inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in the U.S. by rescinding the Safe Third Country Agreement.

    As a signatory of the 1951 Refugee Convention, Canada has a legal and moral responsibility to provide asylum to those who seek it - including migrants at the Canada/U.S. border. Given the deteriorating situation in the U.S. we need to act immediately.  Please do what is right. Uphold and fulfill our international commitments and suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States now.

    Add signature

  • Michael Penny



    613-688-2071 Ext.214

    Originally from Regina, Saskatchewan, Michael Penny has a passion to improve digital advocacy and innovation in progressive politics.

    Michael earned his Masters of Public Administration from the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick. 

  • App

  • Maeva Vilain


    Maeva Vilain is a city councillor in Jeanne Mance, one of the Plateau Mont-Royal districts in Montreal. Elected under the banner of Projet Montréal, she is on the team of Mayor Valérie Plante, who has been running the city since November 2017. Maeva sits on the Committee on Economic Development and Housing as well as that of the Inspector General.

    She was the political attaché to the NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice from 2011 to 2017. She worked on safeguarding Canada Post and electoral reform. She has also been a journalist for Radio-Canada International, specializing in international news and the integration of newcomers to Canada.

    Maeva was born and raised in Paris (France). She graduated from the Institute of Political Studies in Lille (France) and has a certificate in journalism from the University of Montreal. She immigrated to Montreal at the age of 23. She is the mother of two young children.

  • Peggy Nash


    Peggy Nash is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University, Faculties of Arts and Community Services, in the field of women’s advocacy and leadership.  A former NDP Member of Parliament from Toronto, she served as Official Opposition Critic in the portfolios of Finance and Industry. She also served as president of the federal NDP during the leadership of Jack Layton. Prior to her first election in 2006, she was a senior labour negotiator with UNIFOR, in the auto, transportation and service sectors.  She also pioneered initiatives to end gender-based violence, promote a national childcare program, and boost women’s political involvement.  She is a co-founder of the multi-partisan organization Equal Voice, and was a long-time executive committee member of the Canadian Labour Congress.  In 2009, she was named a YWCA Women’ of Distinction.  She is a frequent media commentator and an international speaker on the economy, women’s rights, and democratic engagement.

  • GameChangers_wordmark_(1).png


    Thanks for joining the Game Changers!

    The United Steelworkers are generously matching all donations this month!

    Your donation today is worth twice as much - a donation of $100 is worth $200!

    All donations in support of our Change the Game campaign will be used to rethink and renew social democracy and advocate for innovative and expanded social programs.

    With your help, we can change the game for good!




  • GameChangers_wordmark_(1).png

    Thanks for joining the Game Changers!

    The United Steelworkers are generously matching all donations this month!

    Your PAC donation today is worth twice as much - a donation of $25 is worth $50!

    All donations in support of our Change the Game campaign will be used to rethink and renew social democracy and advocate for innovative and expanded social programs.

    With your help, we can change the game for good!





  • Research Reports A-Z

    GrnEntrpnrpng.png  A Green Entrepreneurial State as Solution to Climate Federalism

    Snrs.png  An Analysis of the Economic Circumstances of Canadian Seniors

    Elctrl4All.png  An Electoral System for All

    TFSA.png  Behind the Headlines: Who’s Really Benefiting From Higher TFSA Limits?

    PRsubm.png  Broadbent Institute submission to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform

    ElecRefrm.png  Canadian Electoral Reform: Public Opinion on Possible Alternatives

    ABcoal.png  Climate, Health, and Alberta’s Coal-Fired Power Plants

    YthVote.png  Could a Progressive Platform Capture Canada’s Youth Vote?

    DblTrbl.png  Double Trouble: The Case Against Expanding Tax-Free Savings Accounts

    Grnjotmrw.png  Green Jobs for Tomorrow

    Hvs_HvNts.png  Haves and Have-Nots: Deep and Persistent Wealth Inequality in Canada

    NetChng.png  Networked Change In Canada

    CdnVlues.png  Polling: Canadian Values are Progressive Values

    prgstrmp.png Progress Summit 2017: Progress in the Age of Trump

    SocDemo.png  Reflections on the Social Democratic Tradition

    RtChrties.png  Right-leaning charities continue to claim 0% political activity to CRA

    stpchng.png  Step Change - Federal Policy Toward a Low-Carbon Canada

    HrpersCRA.png  Stephen Harper's CRA: Selective Audits, "Political Activity" and Right-Leaning Charities

    CRAsubm.png  Submission: CRA's online consultation on charities’ political activities

    Big_plit.png  The Big Split: Income Splitting's Unequal Distribution of Benefits Across Canada

    brstx.png  The Brass Tax: Busting myths about overtaxed Canadians

    infrBC.png  The Economic Benefits of Public Infrastructure Spending in British Columbia

    infra.png  The Economic Benefits of Public Infrastructure Spending in Canada

    MlnllDlg.png  The Millennial Dialogue Report

    gilded.png  The Return of the Gilded Age: Consequences, Causes and Solutions

    SocDemCdnFed.png  "The Social Democracy of Canadian Federalism" by Tom Kent

    WlthTx.png  The Wealth Gap: Perceptions and Misconceptions in Canada

    disablBC.png  Toward Adequate Income Assistance for People with Disabilities in British Columbia

    Equal.png  Towards a More Equal Canada

    UnionComm.png  Union Communities, Healthy Communities

  • Devon Crick



    613-688-2071 Ext.203


    Devon Crick is in love with social justice.

    He believes that there is nothing that we cannot accomplish if we work together towards a common goal.

    He believes that Social Democracy is worth believing in; that it is rooted in an important historical tradition of constant struggle, hope for a better tomorrow and a tireless sense of determination to create a better world for all us.

    He also happens to have a BA in Law (Hons) & over ten years of experience in fundraising and training for different non-profits, consultancies & associations.

    Some would say that he is a people person.

  • At a time when far-right conservative forces are gaining strength around the world and here at home, we must reinforce our progressive foundation with smart policy research that can take on the challenge.

    We need to develop and promote social democratic ideas, values and policies far and wide.  The Broadbent Institute’s Policy and Research work is vital now more than ever.  

    Your support for this fund will help ensure the continued growth and vitality of our ideas and the education of a new dynamic generation of leaders.

    Policy and Research funding makes our work taking on the right-wing think tanks possible. 

    Please make your contribution today.

    Thank you.




  • Reflections on the Social Democratic Tradition


    Download the full report here: Reflections on the Social Democratic Tradition 


    Reader's Guide

    The purpose of Reflections on the Social Democratic Tradition is to provide a political history, overview and critical evaluation of the social democratic tradition in Western politics - and in Canada in particular - in this moment of upheaval, inequality and decline in democracies around the globe.

    The paper serves as a starting point for the Broadbent Institute’s project Change the Game and seeks to shed light on some fundamental questions:

    • What is social democracy?

    • What gains can we attribute to it, and are they still relevant today?

    • Who benefitted from social democracy and what has been lost as the social democratic project has lost ground?

    This reader’s guide offers a summary of the paper and provides some key questions for reader’s to ask and consider as they read.

    What is social democracy?

    The term social democracy designates both a social and political movement and a distinctive political theory that developed in opposition to liberal capitalism in the second half of the nineteenth century. As used here, the term social democracy means the full extension of democratic principles to both the social and economic sphere and overlaps closely with the concept of democratic socialism, which denotes building a different kind of economy.

    Social democracy is about more than capitalism plus a welfare state, and very much remains a goal rather than a reality.

    The historical roots of social democracy lie in the movements of the industrial working class and the ideas of socialist opponents of liberal capitalism. Social democracy thus has a more tangential and more recent relationship to feminism, anti-racism, the environmental movement and struggles for the recognition of disability rights and Indigenous rights. Social democratic renewal is very much about building deeper linkages to other social movements promoting equality and recognition of differences other than those based upon social class.

    Social democracy’s evolution

    The first section of the paper (see page six) explores the relationship between social democracy and the rise of social citizenship and the recognition of economic and social rights. While social democrats can take a great deal of credit for the (temporary and contested) transformation of liberal capitalism into the Keynesian welfare state, this was not exclusively a social democratic achievement. Moreover, social democrats advanced a distinctive view of the welfare state with rights to education, health and welfare based upon citizenship as opposed to much more narrowly targeted and residual social programs. Social democrats also supported a strong labour movement as a key foundation for equality and economic democracy.

    The social democratic tradition has recognized that inequality of both condition and opportunity is rooted in the concentrated ownership of private capital and in the fact that the logic of capital accumulation limits the workings of political democracy. Until well into the post-war period, economic democracy in the sense of social ownership and regulation of private capital was very much on the social democratic agenda.

    The second section of the paper (see page 13) looks at the historical development of the social democratic political movement from the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century until the Golden Age of the immediate post-war years. Prior to the First World War, the expansion of labour and democratic rights led to increased political representation and socialists had to come to terms with the fact that capitalism was capable of both advancing working-class living standards and implementing social reforms, contrary to the tenets of orthodox Marxism.

    Socialism came to be seen by some reformists as a goal to be achieved gradually through the political institutions of liberal democracy, as opposed to a moment of transition. The division between democratic and revolutionary socialists became explicit after the Bolshevik Revolution, but democratic socialists and social democrats retained a vision of a post-capitalist economy. The Great Depression and a divided left kept democratic socialism mainly on the sidelines in the 1930s, with the exception of Swedish social democracy, which promoted Keynesian policies and the expansion of the welfare state.

    The third section (see page 21) of the paper examines social democracy from the heyday of the Keynesian welfare state to the Great Recession of 2008. The post-war period saw the implementation of many social democratic policies and a significant decrease in economic and social inequality alongside full employment and strong economic growth. This seemingly confirmed that capitalism could coexist with the recognition of labour and economic and social rights, leading many to reject socialism in the sense of social ownership as an ultimate goal. This shift also took place against the backdrop of the rise of a skilled middle class, the decline of the traditional industrial working class, the mass entry of women into the workforce and, perhaps, a more individualist political culture.

    The heyday of social democracy was also marked by the rise of the new social movements and a new left calling for fundamental change, including the pursuit of less material goals than traditional social democracy. The emergence of stagflation (high inflation combined with rising unemployment) in the 1970s set the stage for the return of more market orthodoxy (free-market liberalism, or neoliberalism), including the attack on full employment, government regulation, the labour movement and the welfare state by the political Right. Democratic socialists saw greater socialization of private investment and a major role for public investment as the means to maintain economic growth and full employment, but many social democrats increasingly embraced neo-liberal ideas, albeit with an emphasis on maintaining past advances and maintaining equality of opportunity.

    The final section of the paper (see page 36) very briefly summarizes current prospects for social democracy at a time when neoliberalism has clearly failed to deliver shared economic and social progress. The key elements of an alternative economic and social agenda exist, including an emphasis on new forms of social ownership, the importance of public investment, and the central importance of environmental transition. A renewed social democracy will also mean building a broad social movement for change in close alliance with other movements including feminist and anti-racist movements.

    Key questions:

    1. What were the primary innovations of social democracy?

    2. Do you agree with the definition of social democracy? What does it leave out?

    3. What were/are the blind spots of social democracy? Did social democracy reinforce or create barriers and discrimination?

    4. What is the relationship between social movements, trade unions and political parties in the creation of social democracy?

    5. Is social democracy fundamentally at odds with neo-liberalism?

    6. How can social democracy become an inclusive project allied with other left movements?


    Download the full report here: Reflections on the Social Democratic Tradition