February Newsletter 2023

Blog Post


Things are ramping up here at the Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation for Social Democracy as we finalize the details of the events we have in store for you. Please read on to get the scoop on all our upcoming events and activities.

Let’s start with our new annual Lecture Series taking place at five major universities across Canada. These lectures will feature exciting leaders in Canadian social democratic thought and organizing. Each event is open to DCLF members and supporters, students, university staff and faculty, and invited guests.

We are thrilled to be establishing this annual nationwide lecture series that focuses on advancing social democracy today. We need thought provoking discussions and fresh ideas that prioritize the majority of people's needs rather than the elite and well connected. Please join us for these exciting educational events.

For more information and to attend these events please click here.


Blaikie-Knowles-Woodsworth Lecture - March 2, 2023

First, we have The Blaikie-Knowles-Woodsworth Lecture at the University of Winnipeg. The Blaikie family and University staff have been working closely with us to produce this event and are excited to support this project now and in the years to come.

This event is free to attend. Simply click here to register.

In memory of our dear friend Bill, this talk aims to highlight the importance of faith and morality in politics and public life; specifically at the intersection of theology and social democracy in Canada, that grew out of the social gospel and labour movements. Faith and the social gospel motivated Bill’s lifetime of public service.

Our inaugural speaker, Professor Gary Dorrien, teaches social ethics, theology, and the philosophy of religion as the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University, and is a leading historian of the social gospel movement. It was Bill’s wish to have Professor Dorrien deliver the inaugural lecture in his name. 

As well, we will be joined by special guest speaker Wab Kinew, Leader of the Official Opposition in Manitoba, and Leader of Manitoba’s NDP.

When: Thursday March 2nd - Doors open at 5pm - Lecture at 6pm - Reception 7:30pm

Where: UofW Eckhardt Grammatte Auditorium 

Speaker: Professor Dr. Gary Dorrien, Columbia University 

Tickets: Free to attend in-person or online

Click Here to Register

Jack Layton Lecture at McGill University - March 21, 2023

Second, the Jack Layton Lecture at McGill University which coincides with the annual award reception in his name.

What set Jack apart from the rest was his genuine fiery passion for economic and social equality. It kept him up at night knowing so many were suffering. But that never stopped him from shying away from the issue at hand or fighting for those voices who were marginalized. He would be so upset to see so many people continuing to struggle today with the cost of living crisis. But as Jack said “Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair.” 

We are pleased to be partnering with Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill in honour of Jack to address the cost of living crisis and inflation. With the rising costs of transportation, home heating, groceries, and much more that are leaving Canadians behind, what can we do to make it better? 

In this lecture event we’ll take a deep dive into these issues impacting the lives of our family, friends, and neighbors. Register by clicking here to attend online or in-person.

Our speakers Armine Yalnizyan and Frances Donald are renowned for their commentary on this issue and will dive deeper into the problem with their tremendous qualifications and expertise in the area. This lecture will be moderated by Chris Ragan, the Director of the Max Bell School of Public Policy. 

When: Tuesday March 21st - Doors open at 4:30pm - Panel at 5pm - Reception at 6:30pm

Where: McGill University, Faculty Club

Speakers: Armine Yalnizyan, Frances Donald, and Christopher Ragan

Tickets: Free to attend in-person or online

Click Here to Register

Of Note: Union sponsorships are now available for the Lecture Series and specific events. For more information on how your union can support this incredible initiative please contact our Stakeholder Relations Officer Emily Scott: [email protected]

John Smart Scholarship at the University of Toronto 

The DCLF is delighted to establish a new scholarship in memory of John Smart in collaboration with the Smart family and the John Smart Committee composed of his dearest friends and colleagues. 

John was a committed NDP activist and union member. He was on the executive of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, a federal NDP candidate, a provincial candidate, and a school board trustee. He committed his life to serving and advancing social democracy. He believed deeply in the importance of research. 

“Open public research is a healthy feature in any society and those archivists in a position to protect and extend open research have a professional responsibility to do so.” John Smart

The foundation shares this belief with John which is why we invest in research and publications to provoke discussions on the left. 

Housed at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information, this scholarship will be awarded annually to a graduate student working in a field of study that reflects the work and values that enshrine John’s legacy. The scholarship fund has a goal of $25,000 and will be matched by the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information to ensure the scholarship is awarded each year in perpetuity. 

Please consider making a contribution toward the John Smart Scholarship Fund in memory of his work and in consideration of the importance of archives in preserving our history.

*If you and your family are interested in establishing a scholarship or award in memory of a loved one please contact our Executive Director Josh Bizjak: [email protected]

Become a Friend of Tommy Douglas

This month we kicked off our annual good old fashioned PAC drive to help support all of our special events and activities here at Tommy’s charity. We call our monthly PAC donors the “Friends of Tommy Douglas”.

If you have not done so already, we strongly encourage you to join. These special friends of the charity help fund all of our activities throughout the year. Without them we would not be able to budget our work appropriately.

Friends of Tommy Douglas receive these benefits from their monthly contribution: 

  • Priority access to all online and in-person events
  • 50% off the ticket price for paid events
  • Live stream access to all events
  • Opt-in membership to attend the AGM and receive our detailed annual report
  • Invitations to surveys and research projects
  • Access to our new online donor portal
  • And, special free giveaways like the Tommy Douglas and Jack Layton bobble head figurines we have available this month*

Simply click here to join.


By becoming a Friend of Tommy Douglas monthly donor you see the value in education as a means to fight back against inequality and cuts to the services we need. All donations will be used towards educational events and materials, training grassroots activists, providing scholarships to those engaged with their community, and publishing research on healthcare and other timely issues. Your monthly support is 100% eligible for a tax receipt.

*If you join the Friends of Tommy Douglas this month, you will be eligible for a free Tommy Douglas or Jack Layton bobblehead (while supplies last). Contact our Development Officer JJ Sandler for more information: [email protected]

That is a wrap for this month. We’ve got a lot of exciting things happening in the next few weeks so please stay tuned and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

All the very best to you and yours.

Thank you for your support!

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We hope you have had a good start to the year. We’ve got lots of important information and event announcements to share with you this month.

Thank you to those who supported us last year with a donation and helped us advance social democracy! You allow us to continue the important work we do, being the only charity in Canada to promote social democracy and carry on our founders' legacies. With your support we were able to create new research, establish an annual lecture series, new scholarships, new training for activists, and an interview series with social democrat leaders. And, this year we have even more content to deliver and special event plans to share with you. 

Your charitable tax receipts are on the way!

Take action

2024 Jack Layton Lecture
BC Premier John Horgan's Keynote
The Alexa McDonough Lecture
50th Anniversary Dinner Highlights
Dave Barrett Lecture Video
50th Anniversary Dinner Photos
The David Lewis Lecture
2nd Annual Mouseland Gala
Audrey McLaughlin Interview
Make a Donation
Alexa McDonough Womens’ Leadership Centre
Become a Member
Lecture Series
Help Fund Educational Research

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