MLI Newsletter
Vol. III, No. 3



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In this Edition...
No Dutch treat: Oil and gas wealth benefits all parts of Canada
World-famous economist Paul Romer on why the developing world needs more Canada (and its institutions)
Inequality: It's more complicated than you think
Canada's biggest cities hurt by radical densification
Protectionist rules in transport cost consumers on both sides of the border
Celebrating the man who changed everyone's life: F.A. Hayek
Highlights of MLI in the Media
No Dutch treat: Oil and gas wealth benefits all parts of Canada

MLI's recent oil and gas study stirred up a lot of debate across the country. In No Dutch Treat: Oil and Gas Wealth Benefits All of Canada, authors Robert Murphy and Brian Lee Crowley argue that even provinces not directly involved in oil and gas enjoy large gains from such activity in other provinces. "While the so-called 'Dutch Disease' mechanism may operate, in practice it is offset by the gains to the overall Canadian economy," they write.


Since the release of the paper, it has received a great deal of attention in the media. An op-ed by the authors was published in the National Post and columns based on the study were written in newspapers across the country.

World-famous economist Paul Romer on why the developing world needs more Canada (and its institutions)

MLI was proud to publish a study by world-renowned economist Paul Romer and Director of Charter Cities Brandon Fuller examining an innovative approach to economic development in developing countries and Canada's potential leadership role. In Success and the City: How charter cities could transform the developing world, Romer and Fuller argue that Canada has a unique opportunity to assert itself as a world leader in helping developing countries by supporting Honduras in its effort to create a new city with an innovative governance model.


According to Romer, "Our urbanizing world does not need more aid; it needs more Canada - more of the rules, norms and know-how that lead to good governance, economic vibrancy and the rule of law."


MLI and the Ottawa Economics Association hosted an event featuring a talk by Romer to coincide with the release of the paper. In addition, Romer and the chief of staff to the President of Honduras, Octavio Sanchez, published an op-ed in the Globe and Mail. MLI's Brian Lee Crowley dedicated his Ottawa Citizen column to the topic and the Globe and Mail's Jeremy Torobin and iPolitics covered the study. 

Inequality: It's more complicated than you think

In Income Inequality: Oversimplifying a Complicated Issue, MLI's Director of Research Jason Clemens effectively challenges many of the unjustified beliefs Canadians hold about what inequality means and how it works. According to Clemens, inequality needs to be fully and completely understood. Simplistically presenting the data to support pre-existing preferences for more taxes and redistribution would likely impede the very mobility that is so critical to overcoming low income. A proper understanding of how things work will enable governments to focus on policies that produce the best outcomes, including for those on low incomes.

The Financial Post and iPolitics published op-eds by Jason Clemens and a column on the report appeared in the Toronto Star.

Canada's biggest cities hurt by radical densification

According to leading policy expert Wendell Cox, the prosperity and competitiveness of Canadian metropolitan areas is being undermined by bad policy in housing, land-use and transit. In Mobility and Prosperity in the City of the Future, Cox says radical densification policies that pack people into tight urban spaces and try to force them to use public transit are "hopeless". As seen in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, they drive up housing prices beyond affordability for many, fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and even have the perverse effect of lengthening commute times, rather than cutting them. Making metropolitan areas more competitive requires greater mobility and it requires higher discretionary incomes.


The Montreal Gazette published an op-ed by Wendell Cox and the National Post, Vancouver Sun and Waterloo Region Record published columns based on the report.


The paper is based on MLI's successful fuels policy conference in Toronto that featured talks by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, MLI author Ross McKitrick, and John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil Company. Click here to view photos and videos from the conference and read a Financial Post column covering the conference.

Protectionist rules in transport cost consumers on both sides of the border 

MLI Senior Fellow Stephen Blank and Barry Prentice argue that North America's integrated economies are being held back from reaping the full benefits of NAFTA because of restrictions on trade in transportation services. The authors provide industry-specific suggestions to reduce these transportation restrictions and they argue for a new forum to consider transportation matters and develop alternative policies: either a revived Canada-United States (or North American) Chamber of Commerce or a North American Commission on Freight Transportation.

Click here to read Widening Competition in North American Freight Transport: The Impact of Cabotage.

The Commentary attracted the attention of iPolitics.
Celebrating the man who changed everyone's life:
F.A. Hayek

Twenty years after his death, Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek's ideas are still reshaping the world. In this context, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute published a retrospective essay by Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley analysing Hayek's seminal contributions to our world's intellectual and policy life.

The National Post published an op-ed by Brian Lee Crowley commemorating Hayek.

Highlights of MLI in the media

In a CBC News article, MLI's Brian Lee Crowley says, "It's a hugely complicated issue but at the moment, increasing Canadian refining capacity isn't the best way to get top dollar for Canadian oil. Pipelines make more sense."

MLI's Jason Clemens discusses tax fairness and the reality of the current tax distribution in a column for iPolitics.

Clemens also writes about the important lessons Canada and in particular British Columbia should learn from California's tragic experience in the Vancouver Sun.

MLI's Crowley explains the trouble with the Buffet rule in his Ottawa Citizen column.

In a column for iPolitics, Clemens next writes about why the upcoming U.S. presidential election might actually matter.

Clemens also takes part in Ottawa Citizen live chat on health care.

MLI's Brian Lee Crowley discusses climate policy in The Hill Times, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald and the Kingston Whig-Standard.

In his column for the Ottawa Citizen and Calgary Herald, Crowley uncovers the shameful damage EI has caused down East.

MLI's Jason Clemens participates in a live iPolitics webcast on the implications of the income gap.

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