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A man truly worth honouring

It is a name that has become synonymous with the City of Oshawa, and continues to be to this day.

And if things go as planned, it is a name that will forever be immortalized by the city.

City council recently approved plans to rename a green space at the corner of Harbour Road and Simcoe Street South, just up the road from Lakeview Park, to the Ed Broadbent Waterfront Park.

Broadbent is a political giant in the city, serving as Oshawa’s MP from 1968 to 1989, winning the seat in seven federal elections along the way.

His 21-year reign of federal political dominance is one that has yet to be matched, although if Colin Carrie is re-elected in October, he will have a chance to overtake Broadbent.

On a national scale, Broadbent gained notoriety as the leader of the federal NDP party from 1975 until his retirement 14 years later.

While Broadbent no doubt had both his fans and detractors politically, his representation and impact on the city is undeniable.

The recommendation to rename the park was unanimously supported, and numerous councillors spoke very highly of Broadbent.

It was interestingly noted that in past attempts to honour Broadbent, he has respectfully declined, as he is a private person and has largely stayed away from public view since his final retirement from politics in 2006.

The City of Oshawa already has a number of initiatives in place recognizing politicians of note, including the Michael Starr building in the downtown core, and the Joseph Kolodzie Bike Path in the city’s south end.

While he faced a number of close contests throughout his political career, the fact remains Broadbent was in office for more than two decades, and who knows when he would have been dethroned if he hadn’t retired in 1989.

The NDP has rarely reached the popularity levels it had under his leadership, only matching it in the early 2010s under the late-Jack Layton.

Honours like this will go a long way to remind future generations of exactly who Ed Broadbent was.