Ed Broadbent: 1936-2024

Ed Broadbent: 1936-2024


Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent has passed away at age 87, according to a statement from the Broadbent Institute.

A state funeral is planned for Sunday, Jan. 28 in Ottawa.

The institute, which Broadbent founded in 2011, called its namesake "a rare intellectual who could connect the challenges faced by ordinary citizens with the movements and institutions striving for economic democracy."

Broadbent was first elected to the House of Commons in 1968 in Oshawa, Ont., and led federal New Democrats from 1975 to 1989. He returned to Parliament from 2004 to 2006, representing Ottawa Centre. 

Current NDP leader Jagmeet Singh called Broadbent "a lifelong champion of our movement and our party."

"He dedicated his considerable gifts to the project of social democracy, never wavering in his belief that we must build a Canada that serves everyone –not just the rich and powerful," Singh said in a written statement


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Broadbent first ran for NDP leader in 1971, finishing fourth behind David Lewis.

He was the victor four years later, with a four-ballot win in Winnipeg.

Ed Broadbent on his decision to run for leader

Broadbent led the NDP through the constitutional talks of the early 1980s. In November 1981 he joined Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Opposition Leader Joe Clark for debate on the final resolution concerning patriation.

Historic Debates: November 20, 1981

Broadbent and the New Democrats won 30 seats in 1984 -- just 10 behind the Liberals -- as Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservatives swept into power.

Ed Broadbent remembers the 1984 campaign

NDP expectations were high for a 1988 campaign dominated by free trade. But New Democrats remained the third party despite winning a record 43 seats.

Ed Broadbent on the disappointment of 1988

The Campaigns: Watch Ed Broadbent's extended interview on the 1988 election