Far Right Economist Appointed as Department of Finance Adviser

This is bad news indeed. Right-wingers are no strangers to the hallowed halls of the Department of Finance (Jack Mintz held this position in the past before heading off to the CD Howe Institute), but for my money Crowley is much more a Fraser Institute clone right-wing ideologue than credible professional economist.  He has been a strong opponent of minimum wages and trade unions, and a major proponent of EI cuts, small government, “free markets”, and, recently, “deep integration” with the US via the “Atlantica” intiative. It will be interesting to see how this appointment is viewed by governments in Atlantic Canada given Crowley’s critical views of the equalization program and regional EI benefits.

Ottawa, November 7, 2006

Dr. Brian Lee Crowley Appointed to Department of Finance Advisory Post

Rob Wright, Deputy Minister of Finance, has announced the appointment of Dr. Brian Lee Crowley as the 2006–2007 Clifford Clark Visiting Economist in the Department of Finance.

The post, established in 1983, honours the late Dr. Clifford Clark, who served as Deputy Minister of Finance from 1932 until his death in 1952. Occupants of the position advise the Department on emerging economic issues and take part in policy development at the highest level. They are recruited from the ranks of prominent Canadian professionals who deal with economic, financial and monetary issues in the business and academic communities.

Dr. Crowley is the founding President of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, Atlantic Canada’s public policy think tank. He has published many books and papers on a wide range of public policy issues and has taken a leadership role in work on equalization, health care, Canada-U.S. relations, public school performance and accountability, employment insurance reform, natural resources and public finances, constitutional reform and regional development policy. He has twice won the Sir Antony Fisher Prize for excellence in think tank publications. A prominent member of the international think tank community, he is a former Salvatori Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, and he serves as a director or member of the research advisory boards of think tanks in Winnipeg, Paris, Lagos and Bangor, Maine. He is also a former president of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council.

In recognition of his work on health care policy, Dr. Crowley was named to the Alberta Premier’s Advisory Council on Health (the Mazankowski Committee). During the Meech Lake negotiations he represented the Government of Manitoba. The Government of Nova Scotia named him Secretary of the Nova Scotia Working Committee on the Constitution (the Kierans Committee) and he subsequently acted as a negotiator for that province in the Charlottetown Accord negotiations.

A native of Vancouver, Dr. Crowley holds degrees from McGill University (B.A. Hons.) and the London School of Economics (M.Sc. Hons. and Ph.D. in political economy) and has taught politics, economics and philosophy at numerous universities, including Dalhousie University, the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface, the City of London Polytechnic and the Université d’été d’Aix-en-Provence. He is also widely regarded as a gifted communicator on complex public policy questions. He is a former member of the Editorial Board of The Globe and Mail, a columnist in numerous Canadian newspapers, including La Presse, and a frequent commentator on CBC, Radio-Canada, CTV and many other electronic media outlets.


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