Fraser Institute

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search

Follow the money in the Koch wiki.

Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.

This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Learn more from the Center for Media and Democracy's research on climate change.

The Fraser Institute is a libertarian think tank based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Koch Wiki

The Koch brothers -- David and Charles -- are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

Ties to the Koch Brothers

In 2012, Alexis Stoymenoff of the Vancouver Observer reported that The Fraser Institute accepted $500,000 from the Koch Brothers in a four year period. She wrote:

According to U.S. tax documents, The Fraser Institute received $150,000 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation in 2008, $175,500 in 2009, and another $150,000 in 2010. The grants were purportedly for "research support" and "educational programs".[1]

Before 2008, The Fraser Institute received $25,000 from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation which is a subsidiary of the Koch Family Foundations[2].

Interest in Canadian oil, particularly the Keystone XL Pipeline, may be the point of interest for the Koch Brothers involvement with The Fraser Institute, according to Inside Climate News. "Inside Climate News" Reported that the [[Koch Brothers would gain significantly from increased oil imports from Canada.[3]Despite the political repercussions of the Koch Brothers contributions to the Fraser Institute, the organization maintains its claim as "non-partisan" and "non-political".[4]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

In August 2011, Dr. Gerry Angevine, Senior Economist in the Institute's Global Resource Center, spoke at the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force meeting at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) 2011 annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.[5]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.


In 1974, a group of academics and business executives, concerned about big government, founded the Fraser Institute.[6]

At the time, there were concerns about the institute's agenda given that one of those who helped set it up, Michael Walker, an economist from the University of Western Ontario, had received financial support from the forestry giant, MacMillan-Bloedel. To allay these charges, the Fraser Institute stated that its research priorities would not be determined by its funders but by its staff, that the staff of the institute would not engage in political activity, not its funders, and that its conclusions would not be shaped to favour any political or economic group.[6].

In his book Thinking the unthinkable, Richard Cockett outlined that Antony Fisher, who founded the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) played a critical role in the development of the Fraser Institute. "On the strength of his reputation with the IEA, he was invited in 1975 to become co-director of the Fraser Institute in Vancouver, founded by the Canadian businessman Pat Boyle in 1974. Fisher let the young director of the Fraser Institute, Dr Michael Walker, get on with the intellectual output of the Institute (just as he had given free reign to Seldon and Harris at the IEA) while he himself concentrated on the fund-raising side," Cockett wrote.[7]

On page 2 of its 2005 Annual Report, the Fraser Institute features a photograph of Michael Walker with US Vice President Dick Cheney at the Eisenhower Administration Building, followed by a photograph of Canada's "future Prime Minister" Stephen Harper attending the Institute's annual general meeting.

The Fraser Institute's list of Senior Fellows includes Tom Flanagan, originally of Ottawa (Illinois), who is a professor of political science at the University of Calgary. Tom Flanagan was campaign manager to Prime Minister Stephen Harper when he headed Canada's newly formed Conservative Party in federal elections in 2004, and then again in 2005, when the Conservatives won a minority in government.[citation needed]

Other senior fellows of the institute have been deeply involved in political activity. Preston Manning is the founder of the right-wing Reform Party in Canada, which later merged with the Progressive Conservative Party to form the new Conservative Party, led by Stephen Harper who became Prime Minister in 2006. Former Conservative Premier of the province of Ontario, Mike Harris, is also a fellow at the Fraser Institute.[6].

There are also questions about how much the institute's work is shaped by its corporate funders. In 1999, the Fraser Institute sponsored two conferences on the tobacco industry: "Junk Science, Junk Policy? Managing Risk and Regulation" and "Should government butt out? The pros and cons of tobacco regulation."[6].

More recently, the Fraser Institute has led the campaign to deny the science behind and the dangers of climate change, with several of its fellows and authors signing letters to political leaders and writing Op Eds to that effect. ExxonMobil donates to the Fraser Institute for "climate change" work. Professor [[Ross McKitrick, author of the popular book that denies climate change Taken By Storm and known for his opposition to the Endangered Species Act in Canada, is also a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute.


An article by Donald Gutstein of Simon Fraser University examines recent rises in funding for the Fraser Institute. [5]

The Fraser Institute has sought and received funding from several tobacco companies, including Rothmans, British American Tobacco and Philip Morris, according to a 2000 letter found in the tobacco industry documents.[6]

In 2003 Fraser Institute income was $6,620,038. In its annual report it discloses that 52% was from unspecified foundations, 38% from unspecified "organizations" (presumably corporations) and only 10% from individuals.

"During the year, the Institute approached prospective donors to support over 50 specific projects including student seminars, teachers’ workshops, the elementary and secondary school report cards, environmental studies, aboriginal studies, globalization studies, global warming and the Kyoto Protocol, fiscal studies, economic freedom, managing risk and regulation, pharmaceutical and health care studies, CANSTATS, and democratic reform," it states in its 2003 annual report. [7]

While ExxonMobil discloses in it annual statements that it contributed $60,000 to the organisation to work on "Climate Change", the Fraser Institute does not explicitly disclose the contribution. [8]

According to Media Transparency between 1985 and 2003 the Fraser Institute has received 30 grants totalling $ 403,301 (unindexed for inflation) from the following U.S. foundations:

Climate Change Denial

The Fraser Institute has published material skeptical of climate change science since at least 2001, which marks the publication of Global Warming: A Guide to the Science by Willie Soon and Sallie L. Baliunas The abstract states: "There is no clear evidence, nor unique attribution, of the global effects of anthropogenic CO2 on climate."

Kenneth Green held the positions of Chief Scientist and Director of Centre for Studies in Risk, Regulation, and Environment at the Fraser Institute from 2002 to 2005. While at the Institute, Kenneth Green published many anti-Kyoto and climate change skeptical articles, notably the "Science Isn't Settled: The limitations of climate change models", together with Tim Ball and Steven Schroeder.

As reported in the Vancouver Sun [10]: "The Fraser Institute received $120,000 US from ExxonMobil in 2003-'04, according to the company's annual report. [Fraser Institute President Michael] Walker said the funding paid for the work of researcher Ken Green."

The Fraser Institute published a so-called Independent Summary for Policymakers (ISPM) on Feb. 5, 2007, just after the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary for Policy Makers (part of the Fourth Assesment Report on Climate Change). Economist and Fraser Institute Senior Fellow Ross McKitrick served as co-ordinator of the ISPM [11]. Desmogblog leaked a late draft of the Fraser Institute ISPM in the runup to the IPCC official release [12].


Senior Fellows

The following were Senior Fellows as of June, 2014: [13]

  • Michael Walker, President, Fraser Institute Foundation
  • Gerry Angevine, Senior Fellow in the Centre for Energy and Natural Resource Studies
  • Sonia Arrison, Senior Fellow in Technology Policy and analysis
  • Professor Eugene Beaulieu, Dept. of Economics, University of Calgary
  • Nicholas Bloom, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and a Co-Director of the Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship program at the National Bureau of Economic Research
  • Martin Collacott, former Canadian Ambassador, Senior Fellow for Immigration and Refugee Policy
  • Livio Di Matteo, Professor of Economics at Lakehead University
  • John Dobra, Founding Director of the Natural Resource Industry Institute and Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Reno
  • Alan Dowd, Senior Editor of Fraser Insight, researcher on defense and security
  • Stephen T. Easton, Dept. of Economics, Simon Fraser University
  • Joel Emes, Former senior advisor to British Columbia’s provincial government
  • Nadeem Esmail, Researcher on healthcare
  • Tawni Ferrarini, Sam M. Cohodas Professor of the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship at Northern Michigan University
  • Tom Flanagan, Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary
  • Jonathan Fortier, Consultant and guest lecturer
  • Glenn Fox, Agricultural and natural resource economist
  • Todd Gabel, Assistant Professor of Economics at Middle Tennessee State University
  • Gordon Gibson, Chair of the Audit Committee of the Westshore Terminals Income Fund
  • Stephen Globerman, Kaiser Professor of International Business and Director of the Center for International Business at Western Washington University
  • Wilf Gobert, Oil industry financial analyst
  • John R. Graham, Chartered Financial Analyst, Senior Fellow of the National Center for Policy Analysis and an Adjunct Scholar of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy
  • Herbert Grubel, Emeritus Professor of Economics from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia
  • Csaba Hajdu, Principal of Paprika Consulting
  • Michael (Mike) Harris, former Premier of Ontario
  • David R. Henderson, Associate Professor of Economics at the Naval Postgraduate School
  • Claudia R. Hepburn, Founder of the Children First School Choice Trust
  • Steven Horwitz, Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics and department chair at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York
  • Jerry L. Jordan, Former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
  • Lynne Kiesling, Distinguished Senior Lecturer in Economics at Northwestern University
  • Stephen Kirchner, Research fellow at Australia's Centre for Independent Studies
  • Rainer Knopff, Researcher on public law, civil liberties, and political thought
  • Marc Law, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Vermont
  • Danny Le Roy, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Lethbridge
  • Kristina Lyebecker, Associate Professor of Economics at Colorado College
  • Preston Manning, Former leader of the Reform Party of Canada
  • Ross McKitrick, Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Guelph
  • Jean-Luc Migue, Professor of Economics at the School of Public Administration at Laval University
  • John Merrifield, Dept. of Economics, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Jean-Luc Migué
  • Lydia Miljan, Former Director of the Institute's Alberta Policy Research Centre and the National Media ArchiveAssociate, Professor, Department of Political Science at the University of Windsor
  • Mark Milke, Author of four books on Canadian politics and policy and dozens of studies on property rights, public sector pensions, corporate welfare, competition policy, aboriginal matters, and taxes.
  • Alexander Moens, Professor of International Relations, Simon Fraser University
  • Robert Murphy, Research fellow on free markets
  • Robert Ouellet, Radiologist, Former President of the Quebec Medical Association
  • Filip Palda, Professor at l'École Nationale d'Administration Publique in Montreal
  • Sandra Peart, Dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies (University of Richmond), director of the annual Summer Institute for the History of Economic Thought
  • Nigel Rawson, Pharmacoepidemiologist, pharmaceutical policy researcher, and President of Eastlake Research Group
  • Chris Sarlo, Professor of Economics at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario
  • David Schmidtz, Kendrick Professor of Philosophy and a joint Professor of Economics at the University of Arizona
  • Pierre Simard, Professor of Social Sciences at École nationale d’administration publique (ENAP)
  • Aeon J. Skoble, Professor of Philosophy and Chairman of the Philosophy Department at Bridgewater State University
  • Cornelias "Kees" van Kooten, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Studies and Climate at the University of Victoria
  • Joel Wood, Associate Professor of Economics at Thompson Rivers University, former Associate Director of Environment and Risk and Regulation Policy at the Fraser Institute
  • Moin Yahya, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Alberta
  • Paul Zak, Professor of Economics, Department Chair, and founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University

Senior Research Staff

The following were Senior Research Staff as of June, 2014: [14]

Senior Administrative Staff

The following were Senior Administrative Staff as of June, 2014: [15]

Editorial Advisory Board

The following were members of the Editorial Advisory Board as of June, 2014: [16]

Board of Directors

The following were members of the Board of Directors as of June, 2014: [17] Chairman

  • Peter Brown

Vice Chairmen

  • Brad Bennett
  • Mark W. Mitchell

Board Members Salem Ben Nasser Al Ismaily Gordon E. Arnell Kathy Assayag Joni Avram Ryan Beedie Edward Belzberg Joseph C. Canavan Alex A. Chafuen Derwood S. Chase, Jr. Tracie Crook James W. Davidson W. Robert Farquharson Dave Filmon Greg C. Fleck Shaun Francis Peter Grosskopf Ned Goodman John A. Hagg Claudia Hepburn Paul Hill Stephen A. Hynes Charles A. Jeannes C. Kent Jespersen Andrew Judson Hassan Khosrowshahi Craig Langdon Pierre H. Lessard Brandt Louie David R. Mackenzie James L. McGovern Tracey McVicar George Melville Gwyn Morgan Eleanor Nicholls John O'Neill Sue Paish Herbert C. Pinder, Jr. Ron Poelzer H. Sanford Riley Frank Rochon Rod Senft William W. Siebens Anna Stylianides Arni C. Thorsteinson Niels Veldhuis Michael A. Walker Jonathan Wener

Founder and Honorary Chairman for Life

  • T. Patrick Boyle


  • David Carter


  • Richard Cockett,Thinking the unthinkable: think-tanks and the economic counter-revolution, 1931-1983, Fontana Press, 1995, ISBN 0006375863

Contact information

4th Floor, 1770 Burrard Street
Vancouver BC Canada V6J 3G7
Tel: (604) 688-0221
Fax: (604) 688-8539
web site:

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. The Vancouver Observer,[1], Alexis Stoymenoff, April 25, 2012, accessed June 10, 2014.
  2. The Vancouver Observer,[2], Alexis Stoymenoff, April 25, 2012, accessed June 10, 2014.
  3. [3] David Sassoon, February 10, 2011, accessed June 10, 2014.
  4. Fraser Institute, Who We Are, [4]
  5. American Legislative Exchange Council, "Energy, Environment, and Agriculture 2011 Annual Meeting Task Force Meeting," speaker biographies and materials, August 4, 2011, on file with CMD
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "The Fraser Institute at 30", CBC News Online, October 12, 2004.
  7. Richard Cockett,Thinking the unthinkable: think-tanks and the economic counter-revolution, 1931-1983, Fontana Press, 1995.

External resources

External articles

Search the British American Tobacco Documents Library for more information on "Fraser Institute" <tdo>search_term=Fraser Institute</tdo>