A year later

by Aaron Wherry on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 8:00am 

The Broadbent Institute has launched a memorial campaign at DearJack.ca, which Sarah Layton introduces in an op-ed for the Star.

Since then, many people have told me how my dad’s message has moved them to action in their own lives. That’s the best tribute anyone could ever pay him. I know how much he’d love to see those personal stories shared. And I’d like to invite you to do just that — between now and Aug. 22, the anniversary of his death.

If my dad’s message has moved you, write him back. Let others know how you’re renewing your own love, hope and optimism in this country of ours. You can do that by visiting http://dearjack.ca. Created by the Broadbent Institute, this is an online space where you can express yourself in whatever way feels right — in text or in images. I’ll be visiting the website and I’d be honoured if you’d join me.

Canadians to share how Jack Layton's vision lives on

OTTAWA- A new social media initiative provides a forum for Canadians to share how Jack Layton's message of love, hope, and optimism lives on.

Spearheaded by the Broadbent Institute, the Dear Jack initiative is supported by the Layton family and people across the country.

"Jack showed us that being compassionate and loving in politics can and will lead to success. I've seen Canadians across the country embrace Jack's message. I'm excited to see his legacy recognized through DearJack.ca," said Olivia Chow, Layton's widow.

Jack Layton stepped down as Leader of the Official Opposition one year ago today. His remarkable career, determined battle with cancer, and powerful parting letter inspired Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

"This is an inspiring way for Canadians to come together to express how Jack's work lives on," said Kathleen Monk, Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute.

Expressions in words, pictures, and video can be posted at DearJack.ca. Tweets featuring the hashtags #dearjack and #cherjack will also appear on the site; a Dear Jack Facebook page supplements the campaign.

"My family has been deeply touched by the support of Canadians over the past year. Every day, people strive to make this country even better, just as my dad encouraged us all to do in his last letter. DearJack.ca is a powerful platform for expressing how we're affecting change and for inspiring one another", said Mike Layton.

On August 22, family and friends of Jack Layton will commemorate the one year anniversary of Jack Layton's passing in Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square where multimedia highlights from the Dear Jack initiative will be screened. Other commemorative grassroots events are expected to take place across Canada the same day.

Love, hope, optimism: Think tank wants Canadians’ views on Jack Layton’s final message

24 July 2012, Globe & Mail

A think tank founded to advance Jack Layton’s social-democratic ideals is asking Canadians to share their thoughts about how the former NDP leader’s final message of love, hope and optimism has affected their lives.



Jack Layton: How did his message of hope inspire you? (Op-Ed by Sarah Layton)

24 July 2012, Toronto Star (Op-Ed by Sarah Layton)

You called him Jack Layton. I called him Dad. He would have been 62 last week. And I can hardly believe that more than a year has passed since we celebrated his last birthday. So much has happened since — in our family, across our country.



Social Media Campaign Invites Canadians to Share How Jack Layton’s Vision Lives On

OTTAWA -- To celebrate the continued strength of Jack Layton’s vision in the lives of Canadians, the Broadbent Institute is spearheading a social media campaign.

DearJack.ca, the campaign’s primary platform, will go live tomorrow, July 25, the day Layton stepped down as Leader of the Official Opposition last year; it will culminate on August 22, the anniversary of his passing.

Available for comment: Mike Layton, son of Jack Layton

For more information and to arrange an interview:

David MacIntyre, 613-314-7414, info@broadbentinstitute.ca


Unions, equality and democracy (Op-Ed)

12 July 2012, ipolitics.ca (Op-Ed)

Right-wing commentators like to claim that unions undermine good economic performance. But respected organizations such as the OECD, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have shown this isn’t so. They have recognized that unions promote more equitable societies, and that countries with strong unions have less extremes of rich and poor, stronger public services and social safety nets, without adversely affecting good economic performance.

So why are Conservatives in Ottawa and the provinces disturbingly adopting the anti-union rhetoric of the American right?



This day in history: July 7, 1975

9 July 2012, Vancouver Sun

[This day in history: July 7, 1975] Ed Broadbent was elected leader of the federal New Democratic Party, replacing David Lewis.



12 April 2012, Montreal Mirror

ANGEL: Canadian wealth-spreading Attention, mean-hearted, close-fisted Canadians (cough Stephen Harper cough): your miserliness is not approved of by your countrymen. At least, that’s according to the first-ever poll commissioned by the Ed Broadbent Institute.


Majority think income inequality undermines Canadian values: New Poll

Nine out of ten Canadians think reducing income inequality should be a government priority

OTTAWA - Canadians want action on income inequality and they are willing to do their part, suggests a new poll conducted by Environics Research for the Broadbent Institute. Over three-quarters of Canadians (77%) deem income inequality a serious problem and nine out of ten Canadians (89%) think reducing income inequality should be a government priority.

Most Canadians (71%) saying the widening gap between rich and poor undermines Canadian values.If income inequality is left unchecked, 79% of respondents said it will have a long-term, negative impact on Canada by reducing our standard of living.  Seventy-five percent said it would increase crime and 72% said it will reduce our quality of health care and public services.

The most encouraging finding from this poll is the willingness of Canadians to do their part to address income inequality. Eight out of ten Canadians (83%) say they support fair taxation and are in favour of raising taxes on the wealthiest. Interestingly, even high-income earners are willing to pay slightly more in taxes. Only our governments fail to share Canadians' support for reasonable taxation.

"Gross inequality isn't inevitable. It's a political choice. But only by insisting our governments pursue policies that are equitable for all Canadians can we ensure a fair, safe, healthy, and vibrant democracy for Canada," said Ed Broadbent.

Three quarters (73%) of Canadians, including a majority of Conservative voters, support gradually increasing corporate tax rates back to 2008 levels. These opinions are widely shared, cutting across regions, income levels, and political affiliations.

"Any government or political party that prioritizes the tackling of income inequality will not only reflect current public opinion, they will garner tremendous support because they will finally be addressing an issue that represents a fundamental Canadian value: equality," Broadbent added.

These findings lay the groundwork for the Broadbent Institute's "Equality Project" which will engage Canadians and decision-makers in a renewed agenda to reduce inequality in Canada.

"The option of raising taxes to protect the social programs we cherish and to address income inequality has been absent from public debate for too long. Our research shows Canadians are prepared to do their part and they expect the wealthy, corporate Canada, and their own governments to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem."

Progressive think-tank to lead the way with new ideas

VANCOUVER - Former New Democrat Party leader Ed Broadbent announced the launch of the Broadbent Institute today. The progressive think-tank will focus on developing social democratic ideas for the 21st century and training the next generation of campaigners and activists.

"My friends, it's our task to lead the way with new ideas," said Broadbent. "This Institute is about thought and action - new solutions for problems facing Canadians."

The Broadbent Institute's mission is to identify, develop, and support individuals and policies that can advance our common vision of free, equal, and compassionate citizenship in Canada.

"Fresh thinking and action outside the established patterns is what's needed for the future, and that is what this institution is all about."