Honouring Ed Broadbent's Legacy + Plans for 2024

Blog Post 


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!

Remembering Ed Broadbent

First, this month we pay tribute to our dear friend and legendary social democrat Ed Broadbent.

The Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation Board of Directors and Staff along with friends and family mourn one of Canada’s prominent and influential social democratic thinkers. We offer our sincerest and most heartfelt condolences to our country and everyone who loved our dear friend Ed Broadbent.

Ed was a titan of our movement who inspired us into action. A man of great service to our country and fellow citizens. He took the time to share his insights and leadership skills with those closest to him - learning from Tommy Douglas, being his right hand in Parliament. Ed took all that he learned during those years in stride, taking the party to new heights, and guiding his understudy; Jack Layton, who admired him, learned from him, and built upon the foundation he set with electoral success.

“Ed Broadbent was more than a national icon, he was our beacon of compassion, kindness, and hope. He was our teacher, our mentor, our friend, our leader. His legacy will endure thanks to his unwavering commitment to make the lives of everyone better. A fierce social democrat who put love for others before himself. His intellectual tenacity, generosity, and humour will be dearly missed by all who loved him in return.” Josh Bizjak, Executive Director

Our Executive Director Josh Bizjak has written a heartfelt story of his time with Ed Broadbent and how he went to work for the Broadbent Institute and gain a friendship that will last his lifetime. You can read My time with Ed Broadbent by clicking here: www.douglascoldwelllayton.ca/my_time_with_ed_broadbent

You can read our official statement here: www.douglascoldwelllayton.ca/edbroadbent

In memory of Ed’s legacy the Broadbent Institute has established a brand new initiative called the Ed Broadbent Democracy Fund. You can write a tribute of your own, or, make a donation in Ed’s memory by visiting this webpage: www.broadbentlegacy.ca/democracy-fund

The 2nd Annual DCLF Gala

We are excited for our upcoming 2nd Annual Gala next week on February 1st in Ottawa! This event brings progressive thought leaders and policy makers together to celebrate our achievements past and present, share our hard fought victories, and keep those memories alive to inspire future victories at our annual premier event. The Gala Dinner features a reception, three course dinner, keynote address and so much more.

We are honoured to have the former Premier of Alberta Rachel Notley as our keynote speaker. Rachel will share her reflections on politics, challenges overcome, and victories she won for Albertans and the rest of Canada. Additionally, Jagmeet Singh: Leader of the Federal NDP, Don Davies: MP for Vancouver Kingsway, and Claudette Commanda: CEO of the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centre and Chancellor of the University of Ottawa will be joining our strong lineup. 


As well, a special Tribute to Ed Broadbent that includes video messages from leaders across the country and a panel on stage of Ed’s closest friends in discussion about his legacy.

Date: February 1st, 2024
Venue: 144 Wellington Street West - Main Ballroom (across the street from the House of Commons - West Block)
Doors Open - 5:30pm
Reception - 6pm
Dinner - 7pm

Tables and Half-Tables are still available by request. 

Contact: [email protected]

This annual event celebrates the progress we have made advancing our founders' ideas to provoke important public policy discussion and movement building on the left. 

Please choose to join us for fine fellowship, networking, and inspiring speakers in Ottawa’s most beautiful venue in Ottawa.

The Lecture Series

Last year the DCLF established a Lecture Series in partnership with five Canadian Universities designed to inspire and educate a whole new generation about the relevance of social democracy today and its positive impact on our society. This year we will be adding a sixth stop so stay tuned for that.

  1. University of Winnipeg - Blaikie, Knowles, Woodsworth Lecture - March
  2. McGill University - Jack Layton Lecture - April 4th
  3. University of Victoria - The Dave Barrett Lecture - May
  4. Mount Saint Vincent University - Alexa McDonough Lecture - September
  5. University of Toronto - David Lewis Lecture - October
  6. NEW Ottawa - November - Stay tuned for the announcement

Our first confirmed lecture date is April 4th at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University where we will dive into competition policy in Canada and explore if this would help bring prices down for Canadians. Stay tuned for the announcement of our panel. 

If your organization is interested in sponsoring this series, please contact Eric Cherpit: [email protected] 

New Mental Health Research: Substance Use, Abuse & Addiction

After speaking with several unions and hearing their struggles, there is a clear interest in a deeper dive into workplace mental health distress and how workplace environments and injuries can lead to substance use, . This includes workers who may get injured on the job and be prescribed opioids for pain management.

Research has found that mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and helplessness can lead to substance addiction and abuse. This hurts our family and loved ones, our unions, communities, and the economy. More in-depth research is desperately needed to better understand this crisis so we can develop solutions. Our families, communities and economy depend on it. Several unions have identified the need for further research with a focus on how the opioid crisis, addiction and substance abuse contribute to negative mental health outcomes for workers. Our research will explore how workplace situations and conditions contribute to increased self-medication, substance use, abuse, and addiction.

Whether workers are isolated, injured on the job, cannot get the resources they need, we need to be there to support them. This research will identify gaps for stakeholders and policymakers that they can use to develop policy solutions. 

Legends of Labour Interview Series

Next up, as part of our event plans for 2024 we are hosting a set of online interviews showcasing inspiring labour leaders from across Canada who have stood up for workers and made life better for Canadians. 

Last year, we saw historic wins for workers between CUPE Ontario’s strike for educational workers - making the Ford government back down, to PSAC orchestrating one of the largest national strikes, getting a better deal for workers. 

These educational interviews are a great opportunity to hear from our leaders on how to build power and organize for better working conditions.

The interviews will be made available to all of our website visitors. We cannot wait for you to hear their stories and invaluable insights. Stay tuned to find out who the speakers will be and how you can get involved.

The Ian Reid Scholarship Launch Event

The Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation is very pleased to launch its newest scholarship that has been established in memory and in honour of our friend and long-time political strategist Ian Reid. 

There will be a launch event taking place in Victoria at the Hall of Honour in the Legislature at 5pm on February 29th with dear friends and family of Ian. 

Ian was a leader in his own right – always finding innovative ways to reach folks and ensure that they felt heard. Ian Reid spent his political career supporting and advising social democratic leaders and the New Democratic Party. In memory of him, the Ian Reid Scholarship will be awarded annually to students committed to working in politics to promote the values and goals of social democracy. It is intended specifically for those pursuing careers in opinion research, strategy and communications.

We look forward to honouring his legacy and hope you will join us for the launch event.

STF: We Stand in Solidarity 

We are standing in solidarity with Saskatchewan Teachers who are on a provincewide strike, demanding more support from the government, so they can better support the children in the classroom and ensure kids have the quality education and attention they deserve. President Samantha Becotte said “We’re seeking long-term commitments from government on critical issues impacting students, including class size and complexity – not patchwork pilot projects that don’t fix the systemic issues in our schools.” Please read their press release: www.stf.sk.ca/about-stf/news/second-provincewide-teachers-strike-set-for-january-22/

Again, from all of us at the Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation, thank you for your kind support.

We’ll be back in touch soon.

All the best,

Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation

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NEW: BC Voter Data by Abacus Data Revealed at DCLF Event

In advance of the event “Trends in Social Democracy” a survey was conducted to test the feelings of BC Voters on issues of concern and solutions offered by Social Democracy as it relates to the upcoming provincial election.

From May 6 to 9, 2024, Abacus Data conducted a survey of 1,000 eligible voters in British Columbia exploring their views on provincial politics and government. 

These are the findings:

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