MLI Newsletter
Vol. II, No. 7

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Now available in softcover through the MLI website. 

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In this Edition...
Using the Courts to Get Free Trade within Canada
Keeping Canada Strong and Free
Carbon Policy:...the right - and wrong - ways to use NAFTA
Commons Finance Committee asks to hear from MLI
Brian Lee Crowley in Washington at international conference on the trans-Atlantic relationship
MLI in the media - our reputation grows!

Using the Courts to Get Free Trade within Canada

In an important new paper noted lawyer and MLI author Ian Blue argues that a single wrong-headed legal decision from Canada's distant past has obscured and virtually destroyed our Constitution's strong guarantees of domestic free trade. Thus, many of the existing barriers to the free movement of goods, including provincial liquor monopolies, agricultural marketing boards, the Canadian Wheat Board, provincial product regulations, and others, are not only inefficient but unconstitutional and subject to legal challenge before the courts.  Click here to read Free Trade within Canada: Say Goodbye to Gold Seal. Ian Blue's related op-ed appeared in the Financial Post the next day and was picked up by numerous media outlets.

Canada Flag

At the same time MLI released a related Commentary by Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley, who argues that the Fathers of Confederation wanted an open Canada with no barriers between the provinces and between Canadians.  The reality, however, is much different. Provincially-dominated attempts at solving these problems, while modest steps in the right direction, all fall well short of the goal of creating a barrier-free Canada according to Brian Lee Crowley in Freeing Canadians to Move and Trade, a Commentary released by the Institute on June 15th.  For more information on this topic, also read Citizen of One, Citizen of the Whole, written by Crowley, John Robson and Robert Knox and released in June of last year. Again numerous media picked up this Commentary and the Embassy of Mexico in Canada has also posted it on their website.



Keeping Canada Strong and Free

Afghanistan, Libya, and F-35 fighter jets. Just three of the reasons Canada needs a reasoned democratic debate about defence and foreign engagement. That's why on June 1st MLI released a Commentary, Keeping Canada Strong and Free, written by Brian Lee Crowley, MLI's Managing Director, and Alex Wilner, MLI Fellow and Senior Researcher at the Centre for Securities Studies in Zurich.  The authors discuss four ideas that should be front and centre as Canadians debate the future of our military and its contribution to our ambitions in the world:  In defence matters, government is responsible, but also accountable; prefer clear goals going in to "exit strategies" going out; time for a white paper to define Canada's defence strategy; and match your equipment purchases to your defence strategy.  Click here to read the full Commentary.  This Commentary was highlighted in newspapers in Vancouver, Calgary and Windsor.



Carbon Policy:  the right - and wrong - ways to use NAFTA

If you think Canada's carbon policy should be made in Canada, not Washington, this paper's for you. On June 8th, MLI issued a Commentary responding to the policy proposed by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, an influential Washington think tank, to use NAFTA to impose carbon policy on America's partners, Canada and Mexico.  Rather than impose more regulation through NAFTA, the paper's author, Dr. Lewis Perelman, a policy and management consultant in Washington, concludes that a focus on innovation will be the key to success.  Click here to read the full Commentary, which also appeared in newspapers in Vancouver and Calgary.


natural resources

Commons Finance Committee asks to hear from MLI

On Monday June 20, 2011, MLI Author Dr. Jane Londerville was invited to appear as a witness before the  Standing Committee on Finance which was studying one of the new budget implementation bills. Part of the bill deals with mortgage insurance, a topic on which Dr. Londerville wrote a recent MLI paper, "Mortgage Insurance in Canada".  Her opening statement is on our website. For the full minutes of the meeting, click here.



Brian Lee Crowley in Washington at international conference on the trans-Atlantic relationship

In what is fast becoming an annual event, the conference jointly sponsored by the  International Republican Institute and the Centre for European Studies on the trans-Atlantic relationship took place in mid-June in Washington, DC. As was the case at the inaugural event in Brussels last year, MLI Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley was one of a small handful of Canadians asked to participate. He spoke several times, including on Canada's fiscal reforms on a panel that included former Irish prime minister John Bruton as well as US Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Joe Wilson.


MLI in the media - our reputation grows!

MLI's Brian Lee Crowley was invited by The Globe and Mail to be one of two debaters in a mini-debate they hosted on June 14th in advance of the Munk Debates on China's role in the 21st century. Crowley took the pro argument on the topic, "Should Canada's oil sands fuel China?" opposite UBC Professor Michael Byers.


On June 11th, CBC Radio's The House invited Brian to discuss what the priorities should be of the new federal government over the next four years.  To listen to the broadcast, visit CBC's The House.


In the June 27th issue of the Hill Times, Brian Lee Crowley discussed the legacy of Tommy Douglas and how "those who call down the former Saskatchewan premier's name in defence of their policy hardly seem to know whom they are talking about.  For if the NDP were truly the party of T.C. Douglas, it would be a different animal today."  Read the full article here.


Our Managing Director, Brian Lee Crowley, also has a column that appears every two weeks in the Ottawa Citizen.  Here's what he had to say in June:

    Democracy isn't just elections - In his June 4th column, Crowley discusses the government's Senate reform proposals and argues they "would create an elected but democratically unaccountable Senate".

    Justifying the CBC - Two weeks later Crowley was writing to challenge a recent CBC-funded study purporting to show that "taxpayer dollars spent on the Crown corporation produced more than three times that impact on the economy." Crowley pointed out the study confused the cost of the CBC with the benefit it provides and said this was no way to defend the CBC. The column also appeared in the Vancouver Sun and its analysis was lauded by the National Post's Chris Selley in the newspaper's Full Comment section.


The Macdonald-Laurier Institute exists to make poor quality public policy unacceptable in Ottawa. We will achieve this goal by proposing thoughtful alternatives to Canadians and their political and opinion leaders through non-partisan and independent research and commentary. Visit us online at