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Quick Quotes: Canadians react to death of former NDP Leader Broadbent

OTTAWA — Politicians, public institutions and unions are sharing condolences and fond memories of Ed Broadbent, the former leader of the New Democrats, who died at the age of 87.

Here are some of the words published about Broadbent’s passing:

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. To the Broadbent family, to his friends, and to all of the Canadians who are mourning the passing of this visionary leader: I’m keeping you in my thoughts, and I’m sending you my deepest condolences.” — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

“He was a mentor and a friend — a titan of social democracy — who was connected in a deep way to the struggles of working-class Canadians. He never lost sight of who we fight for and taught me to turn political principle into action. It hurts to lose him. Rest In Power Ed.” — Jagmeet Singh, NDP Leader

“My sincere condolences to Ed Broadbent’s family and many friends. Manitoba joins in mourning this beacon of integrity and champion of justice. Ed was the first person to call and encourage me after I lost the 2019 election, and one of the first to call and congratulate when we won in 2023. In this, as in all things, he embodied perseverance in the hopes of making our country better. See you again Ed!” — Wab Kinew, Manitoba Premier

“Very sad to hear of Ed Broadbent’s passing today. This past year, I was lucky to spend some time with Ed and he was engaged and passionate all the way through. Always ready to fight the good fight. Ed was a giant. He will be deeply missed.” — David Eby, British Columbia Premier

“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

“Ed Broadbent believed in Canada. He believed in social democracy. He believed in the goodness of people. He believed that government could play a role to make life better. He never lost his passion and determination to build a better nation. I was honoured to call him friend. I once said that I had two heroes — Ed Broadbent and Joe Strummer. Although not in that order. Ed made me believe that getting ones hands dirty in the world of parliamentary muck was worth it if we were trying to make life better for people.” — Charlie Angus, NDP MP for Timmins—James Bay

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Ed Broadbent. I first met Ed when I was 13. I remember he was very patient and kind. He got along with everyone. Ed was as comfortable in a room of blue-collar factory workers as he was around a table of academics. Little did I know during that first meeting that Ed would go on to create a multi-generational example of the perfect combination of ethics, intellect, empathy and authentic connection with — and concern for — regular Canadians. He devoted his life to improving things for the most vulnerable in our society. Ed makes me proud to be a lifelong member of the NDP. We will never forget him and all he did. Rest in power.” — Rachel Notley, former Alberta premier

“We’re mourning the loss of Ed Broadbent, a progressive giant and a lifelong champion for workers’ rights and social democracy in Canada. Ed articulated a vision of a progressive Canada that places the dignity and decency of everyday people above all else. His legacy will live on.” — Mark Hancock, Canadian Union of Public Employees national president

“Ed Broadbent was a giant among us, a man with incomparable heart and integrity. Ed championed workers’ issues and always stood up for the most marginalized among us. He was a great leader, mentor and friend to so many of us, and he will be missed more than words can express. We are committed to honouring Ed’s legacy by keeping up the fight for workers’ rights, social justice and the preservation of democracy, in Canada and around the world.” — Bea Bruske, Canadian Labour Congress president

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2024.

The Canadian Press


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