Leading and Shaping Canadian Public Policy
MLI was founded in 2010 on the principles that it would be rigorously independent and non-partisan, as symbolized by its name. Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier were two outstanding and long-serving former prime ministers who represent the best of Canada’s distinguished political tradition. A Tory and a Grit, an English-speaker and a French-speaker, each of them championed the values that led to the creation of Canada and its emergence as one of the world’s leading democracies, and a place where people may live in peace and freedom under the rule of law.
The Macdonald-Laurier Institute exists to renew the legacy of these two towering figures of our history, and the legacy of all those who had the courage and the wisdom to found Canada. And we are just getting started.
In its first decade, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute has fulfilled this role by providing thoughtful, practical, independent and non-partisan commentary and recommendations on national issues from many of the country’s finest minds.
Starting in 2010, MLI’s early work ranged from the sustainability of health care to Indigenous involvement in the natural resource economy and the barriers to trade between Canadians. Our work has continued to evolve, now encompassing the full range of public policy issues facing Canadians, including foreign affairs, economic policy, national defence and security, Canada-US relations, justice, immigration, energy, social issues, intellectual property rights, and more.
Our product is ideas, and over the years we have attracted some of the best thinkers in Canada and the world to our platform. These experts have helped us change the national discussion on many, many issues over the years.
Canadians used to believe that natural resource development must always conflict with the interests of Indigenous peoples. Now a growing number of people understand that couldn’t be further from the truth. They used to believe that dealing with China was solely about reaching out and seizing the vast economic opportunity. Now many see the terrible costs to capitulating to Beijing. Canadians had for a long time accepted uncritically that our health care system is the best in the world. MLI has led calls for reform that are increasingly being heard. On countless other policy issues, MLI has left an indelible mark on Canada.
We have been recognized internationally as well. In the leading global think tank index, MLI has risen to be ranked in the top five in Canada, and number one in Ottawa. In 2013 we were ranked as one of the top 3 new think tanks in the world. Our first book, The Canadian Century, won the prestigious Sir Antony Fisher Award. In 2017 our project on Aboriginal Canada and the Natural Resource Economy was short-listed for the Templeton Freedom Award for the world’s best think tank project, and in 2018 MLI was named the Top North American Social Policy think tank at the Prospect Magazine Think Tank Awards in London, U.K. We have received other honours too many to name easily.
Join us in 2020 as we celebrate our successes from the past 10 years and look forward to a future of making Canada even better!