Broadbent Institute

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Broadbent Institute
TypePublic policy think tank
HeadquartersOttawa, Ontario, Canada
Ed Broadbent
Executive director
Jen Hassum Edit this at Wikidata

Broadbent Institute is a Canadian progressive and social democratic think tank founded by Ed Broadbent.


Broadbent Institute is a Canadian progressive and social democratic think tank.[1][2] It was founded by Ed Broadbent,[3] the leader of the federal New Democratic Party (NDP) from 1975 to 1989.[4] The mission of the Broadbent Institute is to "champion change through the promotion of democracy, equality, and sustainability and the training of a new generation of leaders." The Institute believes that “the progressive principles and collective efforts that have made us who we are as a country can inform new ways of thinking and new approaches to government that equip us to address the challenges facing Canadians.”[5]

The founding executive director of the institute was Kathleen Monk. Rick Smith became executive director in 2013.[6]


The Broadbent Institute's board of directors is chaired by Ed Broadbent and comprises prominent progressive leaders, thinkers and campaigners from across the country. The Broadbent Institute has over 60 fellows who inform the Institute's research and policy agenda. According to the institute, the fellows “are a diverse, multidisciplinary group of distinguished scholars, policy experts, and leaders from the Canadian business community and civil society.”[7]


In 2013, the Broadbent Institute launched PressProgress, a news website.

Canadaland included PressProgress along with The Nectarine, North99, Ontario Proud, The Post Millennial, 'and in its 2019 series—"Guide to new popular, populist political media"—in which they profiled "six relatively new startups that continue to grow more influential by the day in shaping political discourse in Canada."[8] The series described the startups as "new operations" "looking to sway voters in the lead-up" to the 2019 Canadian federal election.[8] Canadaland said that PressProgress regularly reports critical stories about Conservative politicians, business, and media organizations associated with right-wing politics.[8]

In a 2017 Canadaland podcast with PressProgress editor Luke LeBrun and writer and producer Luke Savage, journalist Jesse Brown questioned the claim "that there were no formal links between the federal NDP and the [Broadbent] think tank", by pointing out that stories by PressProgress often "run parallel with NDP talking points and never criticize the NDP for non-progressive choices like supporting a west-to-east pipeline".[9] They responded that they used "traditional tools of journalism, like access to information requests, fact-checking and seeking comment from politicians".[9]

During the 2019 federal election, the Green Party filed a complaint to National NewsMedia Council after PressProgress published a report on the Green Party's stance on abortion.[10][11] National NewsMedia Council is a self-regulatory council of which PressProgress is not a member, National NewsMedia Council only accepts complaints against its members.[12]

Annual summit[edit]

Each year the Broadbent Institute hosts its annual Progress Summit, convening progressive policy-makers, elected officials, movement-builders, thought leaders and activists from across the country. The location of the Progress Summit alternates between Ottawa and other regions in Canada.[13] These summits have received sponsorships from major Canadian corporations such as Loblaw, Rogers, CN, Air Canada, WestJet, and Telus.[9]

Research and advocacy[edit]

In support of the Broadbent Institute's mission to champion progressive change, the Institute publishes original research and promotes new ideas, policies, and tools through its blog, special projects and issue-based campaigns.[14] The Institute's work focuses on the green economy,[15] income inequality,[16] and democratic renewal.[17]

Training and leadership[edit]

As part of the Broadbent Institute's mission to train and support a new generation of leaders, the institute hosts various webinars and workshops aimed at building progressive power in communities across Canada.[18]

In partnership with the Atkinson Foundation, the institute has generated the Power Lab, an arms-length and non-partisan learning initiative centred on the people building community power, on the ground. Alejandra Bravo, the Broadbent Institute's former director of leadership and training, is a director and co-facilitator at the Power Lab.[19]


  1. ^ Taber, Jane (August 15, 2011). "NDP hopes Broadbent think-tank will help bolster its gains". Ottawa Notebook. The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  2. ^ "A new Canadian survey on the rich/poor gap and taxes should spark debate". Toronto Star. Star Media Group. April 10, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  3. ^ Bryden, Joan (June 18, 2011). "Layton kicks off NDP convention saying the party is set to form next government". 680News. Toronto: Rogers Communications. The Canadian Press. Archived from the original on 2011-06-19. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  4. ^ Stevenson, Garth. "John Edward Broadbent". The Canadian Encyclopedia. The Historica-Dominion Institute. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  5. ^ Broadbent Institute (November 13, 2012). Broadbent Institute Grows Team with New Executive Director Rick Smith. Retrieved on: 2013-03-29.
  6. ^ "Broadbent Institute Grows Team with New Executive Director Rick Smith". Broadbent Institute. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  7. ^ Smith, Rick. "Meet the Broadbent Fellows". Broadbent Institute. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  8. ^ a b c Gordon, Graeme (January 6, 2019). "A wave of new operations will be looking to sway voters in the lead-up to this fall's federal election". The Canadaland guide to new popular, populist political media. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c Jesse Brown, Luke LeBrun, Luke Savage (December 17, 2017). Meet The New Partisan Press. Canadaland. Retrieved October 18, 2020.
  10. ^ "Singh brushes off Green complaint about abortion-related social media posts". The Canada Press. November 25, 2019. Retrieved October 4, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ Kingston, Anne (October 5, 2019). "Elizabeth May, fighting a war on many fronts". Macleans.
  12. ^ "FAQ". National NewsMedia Council. Retrieved 2022-03-08.
  13. ^ O'Malley, Kady (March 27, 2019). "Progressives ponder populism at annual Broadbent Institute confab". iPolitics. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  14. ^ "Broadbent Institute | Research". Broadbent Institute. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  15. ^ "Labour a key partner in a Canadian Green New Deal | The Star". Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  16. ^ "Canadians feel 'affordability anxiety' ahead of federal election, survey finds | The Star". Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  17. ^ "The evidence is clear. Canada needs electoral reform". Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  18. ^ Institute, Broadbent. "Broadbent Institute launches state-of-the-art training program". Broadbent Institute. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  19. ^ "Power Lab - Local organizing - Fair economies - Canada". Retrieved 2019-11-04.

External links[edit]