Mark Milke
Mark Milke is a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute and its Director of Alberta Policy Studies. He has also published papers with the American Enterprise Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Brussels-based Centre for European Studies.

Mark is also chairman of Canada’s Journal of Ideas—C2C, an occasional lecturer in Political Philosophy and International Relations at the University of Calgary and a weekend columnist for the Calgary Herald. He lives in Calgary, and his non-policy life includes an interest in architecture, history and Mark is a regular hiker, skier and runner.

Entries by Mark Milke

Why Western Canada Has More Money, Jobs and Security Than the East

(105) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 12:14 AM

When Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced a budget update and a revised, lower forecast for provincial economic growth, it was yet another piece of evidence that Ontario's economy is sluggish. But Ontario's problems run deeper than just one fiscal update from one finance minister.

Ontario, and Quebec...

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Breaking Down Calgary's Property Tax Increases

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 6:23 PM

Once again, Calgary city council has raised property taxes beyond the rate of inflation. No surprise. Over the past seven years, only once, in 2007, has council approved a tax increase below Calgary's inflation rate.

For example, in 2010 and 2012, the tax hike was five times the rate of...

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What France Can Learn From Canada's Economy

(5) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 12:23 PM

When French President Francois Hollande visited Canada recently, one hopes the Gallic leader looked around. If he did, he would have noticed a stark difference in the economic opportunities between the two countries with the advantages mostly on this side of the Atlantic.

Dissimilarities between the two economies can be...

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The New West: Money, Jobs and a Flood of Young Adults

(4) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 6:11 PM

Question: If you're young, or have very little education, where's the best place in the country to find a job, make a decent income and prosper?

Answer: Alberta, followed by Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Most Canadians likely suspect that economic opportunities are increasingly available in Western Canada. But the...

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Increase Supply to Make Housing More Affordable

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 12:51 PM

When I first came to Alberta a quarter-century ago, vacancy rates in Calgary and Edmonton exceeded 10 per cent. In Edmonton, where I lived in 1988, landlords often gave one month free on an already cheap 12-month lease. Sometimes utilities and cable were included.

The rental deals...

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Economic Opportunity May Be the Antidote to Radicalism

(2) Comments | Posted November 8, 2014 | 11:41 AM

The recent killing of two Canadian soldiers by self-professed, radicalized young men who became enamoured with a violent interpretation of Islam will bring up multiple assertions about the "root cause" for such attacks.

Some will declare that battles and wars in mainly Muslim countries are the cause....

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The Trouble With Status Quo Defined Pension Plans For Government Employees

(5) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 2:03 PM

Since the turn of the millennium, the ever-increasing cost to taxpayers of government sector pension plans has been made evident time and again. Contribution rates have been hiked, often doubling in one decade, or the plans have been partly bailed out by governments -- or both.

Any fruitful discussion about...

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Cracking the Travel and Hospitality Industry Cartel

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 7:05 PM

In many Canadian cities, if you try to catch a cab in the dead of winter, after a hockey game, early in the morning after exiting a club, or at peak holiday times, good luck. Most Canadian cities of significant size have regulations that limit the number of...

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Break the Law this Fall: Buy Wine From Another Province

(7) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 7:05 PM

If you live in British Columbia, Manitoba or Nova Scotia, raise a toast to the enlightened politicians who rule over you. In those provinces, consumers face no legal or regulatory barriers to mutually consenting commerce with wineries elsewhere in Canada. Their consumers can buy wine from anywhere in the country,...

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Want Smarter Government? Focus it

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 6:15 PM

Murray Smith, a former Alberta cabinet minister in the Ralph Klein government, the one that privatized government liquor stores and licence registries in 1993, once told me about a side benefit of such divestments (and I paraphrase): fewer distractions, which led to more focused government.

That post-privatization, provincial politicians would...

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No Province Should Ignore the Benefits of Fracking

(47) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 6:20 PM

In the recent New Brunswick election, an unremarkable engineering activity apparently took front and centre: hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, popularly known as fracking.

The outgoing premier, David Alward, was clearly in favour of fracking. He campaigned on the theme that resource development, specifically shale gas...

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There's Good Reason to Monitor Government Spending

(13) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 9:15 AM

Ever wonder why it's difficult for politicians to govern wisely? Part of the reason is straw men created by some in the media.

Here's an example. Both the Toronto Star's Rick Salutin and the Vancouver Sun's Daphne Bramham recently offered up some faulty non-issues, an approach that gets us no...

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Nova Scotia Opts for High Taxes Rather Than Fracking

(51) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 1:11 PM

From the fur trade to fisheries and forests, Canada was built on the toil and sweat of those who wanted to prosper. But these days, it's harder to create opportunity. And sometimes, government is to blame.

The latest example comes from Nova Scotia. There, the provincial government just...

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Improving the Lives of Aboriginal Canadians Starts With Solid Data

(5) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 6:30 PM

Back in 1950, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development spent $922 per registered "Indian." As of 2012, the renamed Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada spent $9,056 per registered First Nations person.

Neon billboard right here for those who don't read closely: That and every other...

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How Alberta Blew Through an Extra $41 Billion

(4) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 1:50 PM

Governments, like families, have choices. And governments, as with families, sometimes make picks that close off other options. Spend a lot of money on having dinner out every night and that might foreclose the purchase of a nicer automobile.

Now think about the Alberta government, its spending preferences and this...

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When Politicians Fly High on the Taxpayer's Dime

(6) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 3:12 PM

It has been quite the summer for revelations about political expense accounts and the pay and perks of politicians.

Beyond the criminal behaviour (former federal Liberal cabinet minister Joe Fontana's conviction for fraud, forgery and breach of trust) and alleged malfeasance (the 31 charges laid against...

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Why The World Should Watch Hong Kong And China

(1) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 6:06 PM

With the recent Russian-inspired tragedies in eastern Ukraine and the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, much of the world is understandably focused on those regions. But another continent, Asia, is worth watching, particularly Chinese government action vis-à-vis Hong Kong.

Some recent history: On July 1, a

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The Stories Politicians Tell Themselves Are Rarely True

(19) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 7:05 PM

From the first tale told by our ancestors around a fire somewhere in Africa millions of years ago to the plot behind a summer blockbuster movie, we -- the human race -- have always been superb storytellers.

And our stories matter. They help preserve memory and tradition, help us avoid...

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Ontario's Financial Problems Are Ontario-Made

(36) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 1:39 PM

Discussing equalization and other federal transfer payments in summer is about as much fun as a root canal in any season. Nevertheless, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa complained on Thursday that the federal government underfunds Ontario. The complaint is part of a political effort by some Ontario politicians and others...

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Why Europe's Airfares are a Bargain Compared to Canada's

(6) Comments | Posted July 6, 2014 | 1:34 PM

"Nothing so liberalizes a man and expands the kindly instincts that nature put in him as travel and contact with many kinds of people," wrote Mark Twain in an 1867 letter to a San Francisco newspaper.

Twain, a fan of travel, naturally hated to see it...

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