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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.
AP

How Much Are Taxpayers Really Paying To Host The Stars?

There is apparently no shortage of politicians with a not-so-secret Hollywood love affair: they love to throw tax sweeteners and direct subsidies at the film industry, this in an effort to lure film production to their province or state. In British Columbia, the existing film tax credit hit the provincial treasury for $331 million in the last year alone.
04/17/2013 08:26 EDT

How Margaret Thatcher Freed Great Britain

Margaret Thatcher, Great Britain's prime minister between 1979 and 1990, understood perhaps better than any other leader in the modern world, why governments ought not to have day-to-day control over the economic aspects of citizens' lives.
04/16/2013 05:32 EDT

Canada's $6.4 Billion Corporate Welfare Budget

If there was a theme in the recent federal budget, it was how chock full it was with new corporate welfare. The underlying refrain was how big government will help big business with your tax dollars....
03/27/2013 03:21 EDT

Alberta Throws Jim Dinning's Reforms Overboard

Alberta's public sector unions were unhappy with frozen operational spending this year. Truth be told, they don't realize they were thrown a lucky lifeline, this because the present government threw Jim Dinning's budget reforms into the deep blue sea.
03/21/2013 02:08 EDT
Alamy

The $3.6 Billion Extra Canadians Are Paying for Goods

Whenever Canadians cross the border, it is inevitable they will find cheaper goods in the United States. There is a reason that helps explain part of the price differences: $3.6 billion in customs tariffs. All consumers would benefit from more competition and an end to anti-consumer tariffs. But more importantly, low-income Canadians would benefit the most.
02/19/2013 12:15 EST

Want a Sales Tax? Drop Another Tax

There might be a thousand reasons why people hate sales taxes. Here are three: First, they're visible; second, in Alberta, where no provincial sales tax exists, there is justifiable pride that people have escaped at least one tax applied elsewhere in Canada; third, many Albertans rightly fear that if a government introduced a new tax, it would be just another way to separate taxpayers from their money and to spend more and inefficiently so.
02/19/2013 05:38 EST

Increasing Alberta's Taxes Is A Dumb Idea

The last time Alberta was in a fiscal mess due to low energy revenues and over-the-top government spending, some politicians and pundits said what Albertans really needed was higher taxes. That was back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Those voices were wrong then and they are wrong now.
02/11/2013 12:16 EST

The Big Pay Advantage In Alberta's Big Government

When Alberta Premier Alison Redford took to the television screen the other night, she paid much attention to the revenue side of the government's books. On Alberta's massive budget deficit, the premier blamed the below-world price that Alberta-based companies receive for oil. Nothing was whispered about past sweetheart deals with public sector unions.
01/31/2013 04:30 EST

The Harper Government's Crony Capitalism

In just the first two weeks of January, the prime minister announced another $250 million for the Automotive Innovation Fund -- a federal subsidy program that provides the auto sector with taxpayer cash for research and development. I say let companies duke it out without taxpayers being forced into the ring.
01/24/2013 05:29 EST

For Aboriginals, Life Is Better Off-Reserve

With all the attention paid to the Idle No More movement and the off-again on-again talks between some native chiefs and the Prime Minister, one basic fact about boriginal life in Canada has been forgotten: Most aboriginals do not live on reserve and seem to be better for it. In 2006, on-reserve Indians had a median income of $29,014. In contrast, off-reserve Indians had a median income of $37,477. In other words, First Nations people/Indians who live off-reserve have a median income that is almost $8,500 higher than their counterparts on-reserve.
01/21/2013 12:34 EST
CP

What Idle No More Should Really Be Protesting

In the wake of the Idle No More protests that have blocked railway lines and have hinted at more mischief, multiple grievances have been advanced in place of clear-headed analyses. But none of the slogans, clichés and guilt-tripping get to the bottom of why some aboriginals, especially on reserves, are in a sorry state. Fundamental problems with how reserves are run — and the unsustainable nature of some of those rural collectives — is what protesters should ponder.
01/09/2013 07:54 EST
Flickr: Vrysxy

The Government's Grinch-like Restrictions on Holiday Travel

Question: Have you ever felt annoyed at a restaurant when your bill arrived with a mandated tip, thus removing your (monetary) ability to comment on the service? If so, that's about how governments act vis-à-vis travel costs for Canadians, this when governments prevent full competition which would reduce prices. For example, consider a trip the average Canadian family might take this holiday season.
01/03/2013 05:24 EST

Alberta And Saskatchewan Prosper Through Economic Freedom

On a recent trip to Kenya, my friend and his family crashed head on into an example of why some developing countries cannot grow and prosper. As they were about to board their flight from Nairobi, the clerk at the exit gate said there was a problem with their boarding passes. Before she returned them and before they could board the flight, they were told they must pay $800 to correct the "problem."
12/11/2012 04:02 EST

Why First Nations Children Should Learn Off Reserves

The recent decision by the Assembly of First Nations to reject Ottawa's musings about reforming on-reserve education was an example of a react-first, ask-questions later approach. It was unhelpful, most of all to First Nations kids. Whenever the possibility of mixing more First Nations kids with non-native kids is brought up, some immediately have concerns over possible forced assimilation given past attempts to such an end. But integration (attending class with non-natives) is not assimilation. One can be Jewish in a public school without losing one's heritage and faith.
10/24/2012 12:29 EDT
CP

Is It Open Season On Private Property In B.C.?

The federal and B.C. governments have always claimed that native land claims would never affect private property, that First Nations governments would never have veto power over private land. Tell that to a retired 70-something couple who face a Caledonia-like entanglement with their land. Their property in Vancouver's Marpole neighbourhood, which was in their family for almost five decades, has just been frozen due to the discovery of assumed aboriginal bones.
10/17/2012 06:11 EDT

The Media Covered Occupy, Not Corporate Welfare

With the recent first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, consider one beef from protesters that was legitimate: crony capitalism. But insofar as any protester was annoyed with politicians who like to subsidize specific businesses -- corporate welfare in other words -- why do the media so rarely report on it?
09/26/2012 04:27 EDT