Mark Milke
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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 Journal.ca, 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

There's Good Reason to Monitor Government Spending

(10) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 8:15 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

(50) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 12:11 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 | 5:30 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 | 12:50 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 | 2:12 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 | 5:06 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 | 6:05 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 | 12:39 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 | 12:34 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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What Canadians Can Learn From the Rest of the World

(9) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 6:22 PM

Back when I was in elementary school, come September, teachers often asked students to write an essay describing their summer vacation. I don't know if the practice still exists. But given most Canadians will take time off this summer, let's improve Canada by copying some of the places Canadians might...

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Warren Buffett Is No Threat to Canada

(5) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 12:22 PM

Ever since Berkshire Hathaway Energy announced it would buy up Calgary-based AltaLink Ltd (an electricity transmission company with 12,000 kilometres of power lines), the predictable protectionist sentiment ramped up.

The deal is worth $3.2 billion for AltaLink's current owner, Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin; some...

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Want a Middle Class? Imitate Alberta and Saskatchewan

(8) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 5:52 PM

There has been much hand-wringing over the claimed disappearance of the middle class. From a bestselling international tome to domestic tax-and-spend types who think higher taxes will create more middle-income earners, there is no shortage of those who over-focus on redistribution and underestimate the benefits of opportunity.

As an example...

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Welcome Back to the 19th Century

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 5:55 PM

Back in the 20th century, much of the world's politics was shot through with deep-rooted ideologies that had a considerable effect, often negative, on humanity. This month, as the world recalls the 70th anniversary of D-Day and its aftermath, it is helpful to recall those ideologies and their...

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How the Welfare State Has Been Replaced By the Entitlement State

(1) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 12:30 PM

Question: If someone made $62,000 last year, had $187,000 in their bank account, and yet sought a $5,360 subsidy from government, what would the common sense response be? Most people would say that person possesses chutzpah -- albeit a rather costly form of the affliction (for taxpayers) if the government...

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Why Optimism Is Our Only Gateway To a Cleaner Future

(1) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 12:22 PM

In The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict over Creativity, Enterprise and Progress a book published shortly before the millennium, author Virginia Postrel decried widespread pessimistic attacks on humanity's future. The list of pessimists, she observed, was long and contains some strange bedfellows.

For example, despite their...

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The Reason Canada's Federal Debt Reached $671 Billion

(29) Comments | Posted May 16, 2014 | 5:23 PM

Ever wonder how Canada's net federal debt reached $671 billion by 2013? Or how net provincial debt among the provinces ended up at $509 billion that same year? Wonder no more. It's partially due to massive subsidies to corporations, government businesses and even consumers that over...

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Canadian Oil Can Make the World a Safer Place

(83) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 12:53 PM

Given Canada's proximity to the United States, we tend to take our peace and security for granted. This comfortable distance from most of the world's violence has also led us to underestimate how useful Canada might be in defusing threats elsewhere using an item some people overlook as leverage: energy.

...
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Canada's Booze Is Still Under Prohibition-Era Government Control

(8) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 8:34 AM

Much of Canada's current approach to liquor retailing has its roots in prohibition-era attitudes towards wine, beer and spirits.

But anyone who thinks that era ended should consider the anti-competition rhetoric that emanates from government liquor stores across Canada or Ontario's government-approved private sector beer cartel, The Beer Store (owned...

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Why Property Rights Should Be Part of the Charter

(2) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 4:05 PM

Back when Canada's premiers and then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau debated what to put into what later became the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, property rights were one possibility and on the table.

Trudeau had pushed for property rights as justice minister in 1968, again as...

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More Taxes Buy More Government, Not a More Civilized Society

(11) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 12:16 PM

"Income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf," said the American humourist Will Rogers. Indeed, but let's not stop there. In Canada, debates over taxes, government and civilization lead some journalists and others into the land of make-believe, this by setting up straw men to...

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