Rick Smith has been the Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute since 2013. Under his leadership, the Institute has grown into Canada’s pre-eminent progressive policy and training organization with offices in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.
The Institute’s media project, PressProgress, is now Canada’s most-read source of progressive news and analysis.
From 2003 to 2012, Rick served as Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada. He is the co-author of two bestselling books on the health effects of pollution including "Slow Death by Rubber Duck”, which has been translated into seven languages and re-released by Penguin Random House in 2019.
Rick has led many successful campaigns for new public policies at the federal and provincial levels related to environmental and consumer protection, urban planning, green jobs creation, democratic reform and progressive taxation. He is a co-founder of Blue Green Canada (an environmental/trade union movement collaboration) and the Socially and Environmentally Responsible Aggregate initiative, the first attempt in the world to create a green standard for the vertically integrated aggregate and cement industry.
Originally from Montreal, he holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Guelph. He has been a Director of Équiterre, a founding Director of the Greenbelt Foundation, and is a former member of the Panel of Advisors for the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development of Canada. Rick is a regular commentator on progressive politics for Canadian media and an adviser to Loblaw Companies Limited, the largest food and pharmacy manufacturer and retailer in the country.
Rick lives in east end Toronto with his wife Jennifer Story — a public school board Trustee — and their two children.