Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “Think Tanks: Corporate Director Board Interlocks: Fraser Institute 2005.” This is available for copying under the Creative Commons License 2.5 BY-NC-SA as long as this reference is included.

In this article I examine the unintended consequences of the interlocking of think tanks and CEOs on objectivity in communal archives.

In mass media outlets currently owned and controlled by multinational corporations, think tanks such as the Hoover Institute or The Fraser Institute are cited as objective scientific sources of legitimate truth claims. Following Adam Smith and Milton Friedman they promote laissez-faire markets and a minimalist government. While I agree that in an ideal world a mature civil society, market and state would maintain healthy tensions between them allowing each to flourish with a maximum of liberty, we do not live in such a utopia. In the meantime, how do we measure the extent to which we have matured in our models of governance? I suggest that this cannot be measured by the level of freedoms our markets enjoy as much as by how well we treat the most vulnerable among us and how efficiently our waste management system works for the ecosystem. This former then the latter. This view may be a common sense view for a silent majority but it is not a mass media story. Until we have achieved a level of maturity where individuals will tax themselves ensuring protection for the most vulnerable we need to have a system of governance that protects at-risk peoples and ecosystems from the market itself. Any group, school or institute that promotes a point of view claiming that we have arrived at that kind of a level of trust that most businesses will do anything more than to increase their own profits, are not doing research they are lobbying. Anyone in Canada who feels that the trickle-down affect has improved the everyday life of the most at-risk groups are not collecting, analyzing and synthesizing data objectively. I want the wealthy in Canada to be wealthy. I just don’t want to feel ashamed that I lived during an historic period where the extremes of wealth and poverty were increasing while entire communities lived in fourth world conditions in the first world.

The Fraser Institute (1974-), a New-Right, pro-business think tank and lobby group, was established in 1974 and gained strength as the economic template of Welfare State crumbled.
Founding members include T. Patrick Boyle, V.P. Financial Planning for MacMillan Bloedel, Michael Walker, Economist Department of Finance, Economists Csaba Hajd, John Raybould and Sally Pipes (Fraser Institute 30 Years Retrospective (1974-2004).
Proponents of the free market argued that the Welfare State model interfered with the market economy, removed consumer choice, reduced individual initiative and responsibility causing a dependency on welfare benefits. New Right Thatcherism favoured the private sector, reduced taxation, reduced inflation and de-institutionalised by directing groups out of public institutions and back into the family and community.

In Canada in the early 1970s, the intellectual consensus was that government action was the best means of meeting the economic and social aspirations of Canadians. This view was prevalent in all major political parties, the civil service, academia, and the media, and even in much of the business world. The lack of vigorous public debate about the limits of governmental competence had created an unhealthy situation where the general public, bombarded by this consensus, demanded increasing government intervention in the economy. Thus, the pursuit of sound economic policy became increasingly politically impossible (Fraser Institute at 30: a Retrospective (1974-1004):1).


Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “Tag clouds with shaft of light: Playing tag with the Fraser Institute.”.
Originally uploaded by You may copy and use this image and text by following the Creative Commons License 2.5 BY-NC-SA guidelines.
Tag clouds with shaft of light over the Canadian topography, or playing tag with the Fraser Institute.

This tag cloud was merged with a Google Earth view from West Coast mountains towards Ottawa and Washington in the East. The beam of light in the background is the Enron tower.

In the Adobe Photoshop toolbar under Filter > Liquify > I maximized the brush to create powerful wind patterns effects in the clouds hovering over the Canadian topology.

I studied the Fraser Institute’s on-line annual reports and web pages to piece together the following categories, tags or folksonomies to introduce mass media users to one of the most highly cited think tanks which emerged in 1974 at the height of Thatcherism. These are the tags in the cloud:

Economic Freedom, Milton Freeman, Education, Environment and Risk, Privatizing Correctional Services (1998), Alan Greenspan, Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjørn Lomborg, Fiscal Policy, Sally Pipes, T. Patrick Boyle, MacMillan Bloedel, Governance, Csaba Hajd, Ralph Klein, Private vs. Public Health, Can the Market Save Our Schools? (2000), Law and Markets, Caring For Profit: Economic Dimensions of Canada’s Health Care Industry (1987), Non-profit Studies, Adam Smith, Atlas Foundation, Sir Antony Fisher, Regulatory, Pharmaceutical Policy, The Illusion of Wage and Price Controls, Preston Manning, Entrepreneurship and Markets, Michael Walker, IEA, Alan Campney, Social Affairs, School Report Cards, Thatcher, economic conscience, Bill Emmott, George Shultz, John Raybould, Trade and Globalization, Schumpeter, The Economist, Cato Institute- Washington, Rent Control: A Popular Paradox

The influential Harvard economist, Joseph Schumpeter, coined the phrase “creative destruction” to describe the entrepreneurial process, which he argued was the essential fact about capitalism. He described this critical process as one which “incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” Schumpeter clearly understood the essential role that entrepreneurs play in an economy. The Fraser Institute’s newly created Centre for Entrepreneurship and Markets focuses on research and education to ensure that Canada has the most competitive and entrepreneurial-friendly environment in the world (Fraser Institute Annual Report 2005 2005:18).

This builds on the work of Jamie Brownlee’s muscular publication entitledRuling Canada: Corporate Cohesion and Democracy (2005:166).

The Fraser Institute Think Tank Corporate Director Board Interlocks in 2005 included new members (Fraser Institute 2005:40):

  • Schultz, Robert. Rockwater Capital Corporation, Toronto.
  • Thorsteinson, Arni C. Shelter Canadian Properties Ltd., Winnipeg.
  • Davidson, James W. First Energy Capital Corp., Calgary. Joined Board
  • Morgan, Gwyn. President and Chief Executive Officer of Encana Corporation, HSBC Bank Canada. Fraser Institute Board from xxxx 2003, 2004, 2005

The Fraser Institute Think Tank Corporate Director Board Interlocks for 2003 were

  1. Louie, Brandt C. Slocan Forest Products Ltd., Royal Bank of Canada. Fraser Institute Board from xxxx 2003 xxxx
  2. Morgan, Gwyn. President and Chief Executive Officer of Encana Corporation, HSBC Bank Canada. Fraser Institute Board from xxxx 2003, 2004, 2005
  3. Roger, Phillips. Canadian Pacific Railways Ltd., Fording Inc., Imperial Oil Ltd., Toronto-Dominion Bank xxxx, 2003, xxxx
  4. Radler, David. Hollinger Inc., CanWest Global Communications Corporation, West Fraser Timber Company Ltd. xxxx, 2003, xxxx
  5. Siebens, William W. Petro Canada. xxxx, 2003, xxxx

Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “Think Tanks: Corporate Director Board Interlocks: Fraser Institute 2005.” This is available for copying under the Creative Commons License 2.5 BY-NC-SA as long as this reference is included.

Selected bibliography

2 Responses to “Think Tanks: Corporate Director Board Interlocks: Fraser Institute”


  1. I wish to have corraspondance with the Fraser think tank on the following subjects,commercial alchol distiliries and new exchange for the state of florida equal to the Euro and starting commercial ventures with europe and the E.U.

    yes! I am a close cousin to the Family . Please contact me at 727 457 5975.

    I was given priviate lessons in Andover when I was younger and am very knowledgable of world affairs and of future events to come and wish to play a more important role both in my priviate business and associats Thank You Paul M.D. Fraser

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