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Statement on the passing of Ed Broadbent

It is with the heaviest of hearts that the Broadbent Institute announces the passing of our founder, Ed Broadbent

Our country has lost a fierce champion for ordinary Canadians, an intellectual who strongly believed in building a good society.

Ed devoted decades of his life to fighting for justice and equality in Canada and around the world. As a Member of Parliament, leader of the New Democratic Party, president of Rights & Democracy and beyond, he tirelessly advocated for all people, especially those on the margins of society. 

A steadfast advocate for equal rights, Ed played a pivotal role in enshrining rights and liberties for all peoples in our country's laws and constitution. He was a rare intellectual who could connect the challenges faced by ordinary citizens with the movements and institutions striving for economic democracy.

The Broadbent Institute celebrates Ed’s life and his immense contributions to our nation. We mourn the loss of a great Canadian.

“Ed combined a life-long passion for justice and equality, with a passion for life itself, and all the joys and happiness it has to offer. He was an extraordinary Parliamentarian and political leader. He was a deeply thoughtful intellectual. And he was wonderful company and a most wonderful friend to have. All of us who knew him will miss him, celebrate him and, hopefully, do what he would most want of us. Which is to carry on his work.” — Brian Topp, Broadbent Institute Chair of the Board of Directors

“Ed Broadbent's legacy is immeasurable and he has left an enduring mark on Canada. He stood tall in his commitment to democracy, equality, and a more inclusive society–always striving to better the lives of ordinary Canadians through his work. His visionary-style of leadership and unwavering courage inspired generations. Ed’s absence leaves a void in our hearts. At the Broadbent Institute, we remain steadfast in our dedication to advancing his mission and working to build the good society he envisioned.” — Jen Hassum, Broadbent Institute Executive Director


In the postscript to Seeking Social Democracy, Ed leaves us with an enduring vision and his hopes for what is to be done to build the good society for today and the future:

“To be humane, societies must be democratic – and, to be democratic, every person must be afforded the economic and social rights necessary for their individual flourishing. On their own, political and civil freedoms are insufficient in the realization of that goal. I believed in 1968, and I believe today, that political democracy is not enough. In the twenty-first century, the rebuilding of social democracy must be our task. Social democracy alone offers the foundation upon which the lives of people everywhere can be made dignified, just, and exciting.”

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