MLI Newsletter
Vol. VI, No. 3
March 10, 2015






Northern Light: Lessons for America from Canada's Fiscal Fix


The Canadian Century 



Fearful Symmetry   






Stay in the know






In this edition...
Events: The Great Canadian Debates kick off later this month
News: Prime Minister Harper offers best wishes for MLI's fifth anniversary
Resources: Greg Poelzer report on resource revenue investing sparks debate
Events: MLI celebrates Sir John A.'s 200th in style
Economy: New MLI paper leads the debate on railway regulation
Rule of law: MLI authors decry troubling developments in the legal world
Events: Tackling contraband tobacco in Toronto
Aboriginal affairs: Ken Coates dispels the myths during Reddit AMA
Other MLI news

First Great Canadian Debate set for March 31 

The first entry in our Great Canadian Debates schedule for 2015 is fast approaching!

On March 31, Member of Parliament Chrystia Freeland will square off with George Mason professor Frank Buckley over the proposition "Canadians Should Stop Worrying About Income Inequality".

The event will be taking place at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

The other two debates on the 2015 schedule will take place on April 29 and May 26.

To buy tickets, click here

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is the latest to offer his congratulations to MLI for reaching its fifth anniversary.

Join us throughout the year as we pass along best wishes from influential Canadians, and celebrate our contributions to thought leadership in Canada by visiting our special fifth anniversary page.  



MLI report on investing natural resource wealth makes a splash

A recent report from the Macdonald-Laurier Institute that made the case for taking resource revenues out of the hands of free-spending politicians and into investments that can be used over the long term generated discussion across the country.

Author Greg Poelzer appeared on the CBC business program The Exchange and authored an op-ed for the StarPhoenix.

The report's findings, which included a recommendation that Canada follow Norway's lead on building sovereign wealth funds, also drew extensive interest on the social networking site Reddit.



More than 200 years ago, the man who formed our country out of the remnants of disparate British colonies that resisted the pull of American independence was born.

And on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 around 200 people - including government ministers, members of Parliament, Parliamentary bureau chiefs, diplomats and industry leaders -  celebrated his legacy.

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute's celebration of Sir John A. Macdonald, held at the Canadian Museum of History, was a grand success.

The event was featured in the Ottawa Citizen, the Hill Times and iPolitics.

Thanks to our Maple Leaf partners for helping make this event possible:  Spectra Energy, the CPA Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

To watch videos from this event, click here.  



MLI report on railway regulation earns author national attention in the Globe and Mail

The federal government is taking a sensible approach with newly-introduced rail regulation by spreading out the costs of a derailment beyond just the railways, Macdonald-Laurier Institute author Malcolm Cairns told the Globe and Mail.

Last month, Ottawa introduced new legislation called the Safe and Accountable Rail Act. Cairns commended the government for the balance of the proposed legislation.

Cairns is the author of a recently released MLI paper, titled "Staying On The Right Track: A review of Canadian freight rail policy".

The report demonstrates that a more sophisticated and relaxed regulatory system has resulted in greater investment and lower rail rates, while heavy handed approaches have done serious harm in the past. 



A string of controversial decisions from the Supreme Court - including rulings on the right to strike and assisted suicide - had MLI authors out in full force in February.

Writing in the Globe and Mail, MLI Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley argued that the decisions are a sign of cultural rot in the wider legal and judicial world.

Meanwhile, in the National Post, MLI Senior Fellow Dwight Newman wrote that the court's decision on the right to strike set a troubling precedent for the rule of law in Canada.

MLI's work on Canada's legal community gained further attention on Saturday March 7, when the Manning Centre Networking Conference held a debate on MLI's paper declaring the Supreme Court the 2014 Policy-Maker of the Year.

Newman also took part as a panelist.

Contraband tobacco is a serious problem in Canada. Illicit cigarettes are linked to organized crime and drain a healthy portion of much-needed revenues away from governments.

Nowhere is the issue bigger than in Ontario and that's why,on March 3, MLI convened a group of experts in Toronto to tackle Ontario's outsized contraband tobacco problem. Included on the panel were Royal Military College of Canada Professor Christian Leuprecht, writer and broadcaster Tasha Kheiriddin and John Jones of the S�ret� du Qu�bec.

Included among the participants were members of provincial Parliament for Ontario, a director with the province's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and representatives from Ontario First Nations groups.

MLI Senior Fellow Ken Coates helped to further dispel some of the myths about Aboriginal Canadians in a Q&A session with users of the social networking site Reddit last month.

The chat, which also formed the basis for the latest entry into our Straight Talk Q&A series, tackled topics ranging from racism in Winnipeg to changing Canadians' opinions about First Nations, to the importance of recent Supreme Court Decisions on Aboriginal rights.

Coates also authored an op-ed for the National Post on why an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women is not the answer.

Other MLI news

MLI makes the case for health care reform in new video


The Macdonald-Laurier Institute released last month the first in its series of videos that presents in a new and accessible format some of the best thought leadership on the crisis of health care spending in Canada.

The video series, titled Medicare's Midlife Crisis, examines how to improve a mediocre health care system that fails to deliver good value for money.



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The Macdonald-Laurier Institute is the only non-partisan, independent national public policy think tank in Ottawa focusing on the full range of issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. It initiates and conducts research identifying current and emerging economic and public policy issues facing Canadians.

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