Legacy of former NDP leader, Oshawa MP, Ed Broadbent remembered at state funeral

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Published January 29, 2024 at 8:31 am

Equality and justice for everyone was the hallmark of Ed Broadbent’s life and his impact on Canadians was on full display at his funeral in Ottawa Sunday, with politicians of all stripes coming together to remember his legacy.

Broadbent, who died January 11 at the age of 87, is the first party leader who was neither a prime minister nor an official Opposition leader to receive state funeral status and friends and rivals were united in their praise of the long-time NDP leader.

Broadbent served Oshawa for more than 20 years in Ottawa, with his career launched after defeating former Conservative MP and cabinet minister Michael Starr in 1968 by just 15 votes.

Invited guests lined up around the block from the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre to pay tribute to Broadbent, whose political career included 14 years as leader of the New Democratic Party.

Former Conservative leader and Prime Minister Joe Clark sat beside current Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the funeral and testimonials were also heard from former Prime Ministers and political rivals Brian Mulroney and Jean Chretien, who all came together to honour Broadbent.

Flags had been lowered to half-mast through January in Oshawa, where residents were able to sign a book of condolences for ‘Honest Ed,’ and the City officially opened Ed Broadbent Waterfront Park last June to honour his contributions to public service.

“This is a moment of great sadness for Oshawa and all Canadians who have been inspired by Mr. Broadbent’s service to our nation and our city,” said Mayor Dan Carter. “While we feel his loss deeply, we will continue to remember his immense contributions to our community; we will honour Mr. Broadbent’s legacy and remember him as a champion for Canadians and an advocate for human rights.”

NDP Jagmeet Singh, who looked at Broadbent as a mentor, said Broadbent’s legacy was a life of dedication to a vision of a “better world.”

“He made it very clear. The job of government, the job of elected people was a fight for the vulnerable, not to protect the powerful.”

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