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Mark Milke

Independent Analyst

Mark Milke, an independent analyst, is a long-time contributor to the Institute. He has authored four books on Canadian politics and policy and dozens of studies on topics such as property rights, public sector pensions, corporate welfare, competition policy, aboriginal matters and taxes. Mr. Milke is a former Fraser Institute senior fellow, the former research director for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and former B.C. and Alberta director with the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation. His work has been published widely in Canada since 1997 and in addition to the Fraser Institute, his papers have also been published in the United States by the American Enterprise Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation and in Europe by the Brussels-based Centre for European Studies.

Mr. Milke’s opinion columns appear regularly in the Calgary Herald as well as the National Post, Globe and Mail, Reader’s Digest, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province, and Victoria Times Colonist. Mr. Milke has a Master’s degree from the University of Alberta where his M.A. thesis analyzed human rights in East Asia; he also has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Calgary where his doctoral dissertation analyzed the rhetoric of Canadian-American relations. Mr. Milke is chairman of the editorial board of Canada’s Journal of Ideas C2C Journal, president of Civitas, and a past lecturer in Political Philosophy and International Relations at the University of Calgary.
Getty

Warren Buffett Is No Threat to Canada

Foreign investment is a win-win-win-win proposition for countries, consumers, the economy and shareholders. The only losers? Companies who dislike competition -- or people who think Warren Buffett poses an existential threat to Alberta.
06/24/2014 12:22 EDT
Elena Elisseeva via Getty Images

Want a Middle Class? Imitate Alberta and Saskatchewan

There has been much hand-wringing over the claimed disappearance of the middle class. At the national level important policy such as a stable currency and domestic peace matter to the creation of prosperity and the formation of the middle class. But domestically, consider one issue -- tax rates -- that can be easily compared across provinces and which has an effect upon wealth creation and thus opportunities and jobs.
06/16/2014 05:52 EDT

Welcome Back to the 19th Century

The 21st century resembles the 19th century -- not in the size of government but in the obvious tussles between special interests and the general interest.
06/10/2014 05:55 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How the Welfare State Has Been Replaced By the Entitlement State

Why did one federal department, Industry, disburse almost $8.5 billion to 10 corporations who don't need the money? The answer, from a corporate perspective: Why not? Even if a company is flush with cash, why not buff up the bottom line if some politician is willing to use the public treasury to support your company?
06/03/2014 12:30 EDT
Roger Milley via Getty Images

Canadian Oil Can Make the World a Safer Place

Given Canada's proximity to the United States, we tend to take our peace and security for granted. This comfortable distance from most of the world's violence has also led us to underestimate how useful Canada might be in defusing threats elsewhere using an item some people overlook as leverage: energy. Canadians might have a general sense that oil in particular matters to world affairs; but given that Canada has never been a superpower, it has never been responsible for the wider world order to ensure that oil (or natural gas) flow to countries that need it. Given recent developments at home and abroad, that blissful unawareness merits re-thinking.
05/15/2014 12:53 EDT
CP

Canada's Booze Is Still Under Prohibition-Era Government Control

Much of Canada's current approach to liquor retailing has its roots in prohibition-era attitudes towards wine, beer and spirits. But anyone who thinks that era ended should consider the anti-competition rhetoric that emanates from government liquor stores across Canada or Ontario's government-approved private sector beer cartel, The Beer Store.
05/13/2014 08:30 EDT
scazon/Flickr

How Quebec Can Get its Mojo Back

Premier-elect Couillard has pledged to "put Quebec back on the path to prosperity." As well he should. Quebec was once an opportunity-based culture, prosperous and a net contributor to Confederation. Quebec's future could once again resemble its laudable past.
04/16/2014 08:00 EDT
Getty

Oui, Quebec Is Subsidized By the Rest of Canada

Here's a myth relevant to any musings about possible separation and one often promulgated by Quebec elites: that Quebec is not subsidized by the rest of Canada. No one, least of all anyone in Quebec, should buy the myth Quebec isn't massively subsidized by the rest of Canada. It surely is.
03/24/2014 05:31 EDT
shutterstock

A $13 Billion Reason to Support the South Korean Free Trade Agreement

By design, free trade agreements tear down the protectionist walls propping up status quo producers. However, even those producers -- at least those who reform, will also find a newfound ability to thrive given increased access to markets with tens of millions, or hundreds of millions, of potential new customers. All of this benefits consumers, most obviously when expensive tariffs on their choices, from Korean cars to Canadian beef, are eliminated.
03/18/2014 05:40 EDT

Not Your Mother's Budget Surplus

Beyond higher taxes or more debt, there has always been another option: prudent spending. However, that is something the Alberta government has been less than adept at in some years. For instance, had the province increased program spending after 2005/06 and to 2012/2013 but only in line with inflation and population growth, it would have spent $22 billion less compared to what it actually sent out the door.
03/12/2014 04:06 EDT

Kicking Alberta's Unfunded Pension Liabilities Down the Road

By again kicking the existing unfunded pension liabilities down the road, the province has exposed taxpayers to future risks and more bailouts, obvious or hidden. The government has also demonstrated that the theory about political behaviour -- politicians mostly act in their own short-term electoral interest and not in the long-term interest of the public -- is regrettably true more often than not.
03/04/2014 05:49 EST
CP

Don't Let Mythical Thinking on Taxes Mess Up Alberta

As Albertans approach another provincial budget, the usual fables about Alberta's finances often crop up. To inoculate ourselves in advance, let's ponder two myths. Myth number one: "Alberta's wealth is a result of luck." This tall tale assumes that the existence of natural resources automatically results in wealth creation, jobs, and a higher standard of living. That's hardly the case. Plenty of jurisdictions have little in the way of natural resources but prosper, while others have plentiful natural resources yet flounder. Let's investigate myth number two: "Alberta is undertaxed."
03/04/2014 05:31 EST
AP

Ontario's Beer Cartel Paints Alberta Liquor Privatization as the Bogeyman

It's been two decades since the Alberta government exited the business of selling beer, wine and spirits to consumers and the result is vastly improved product selection, better customer service and price-competition. But the President of Ontario's The Beer Store has warned that if Ontario treads this path, there will be more societal problems.
02/17/2014 10:52 EST