John Edward Broadbent, a social and political powerhouse from Durham, passed away yesterday at the age of 87.
Born in 1936 in Oshawa, Broadbent was first elected to Parliament in 1968. He served as an MP for 21 years, 14 of which were spent as leader of the New Democratic Party.
“Canada is better off because of Ed Broadbent’s selfless service. An advocate for equality and champion for justice, his commitment to helping others never wavered. He leaves behind an incredible legacy – one that will, no doubt, continue to inspire people across the country,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as tributes poured in.
According to the Broadbent Institute, Ed’s concern for the deepening of inequality in Canada has been a consistent theme in all of his professional and volunteer endeavours.
During his time in Ottawa, his focus was on Aboriginal and economic rights, women’s equality, child poverty, ethics in government, and tax equality. The founding president of Rights & Democracy, Ed had a Ph.D. in Political Theory and had taught at several prestigious universities. He had been invested as a Member of the Privy Council (1982), Officer of the Order of Canada (1993), and Companion of the Order of Canada (2002).
Ed was recently honoured by Oshawa with the naming of the Ed Broadbent Waterfront Park, the city’s newest addition to the waterfront parks system. The park features an amphitheatre, stage and seating; a network of concrete and asphalt pathways; connections to trails; green spaces; and a Garden of Human Rights.
The Township of Brock yesterday announced that “flags at the Municipal Administration Building have been lowered to half-mast in Memorium of The Honourable Ed Broadbent, former leader of the New Democratic Party and MP for Oshawa-Whitby, who passed away on January 11, 2024”.