WHAT IS THE FRONTIER CENTRE FOR PUBLIC POLICY?
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is an independent, western Canada based public policy "think tank" with offices in Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary. Our mission is to develop and popularize policy choices that will help Canada's prairie region live up to its vast but unrealized economic potential.
The Centre was founded by a group of individuals interested in making the prairie region a better place to live, work and prosper. Our advisory board includes both experienced community leaders and academic specialists. Charitable status as a registered educational organization was granted by Revenue Canada in April 1999.
WHAT IS A THINK TANK?
Think tanks are an expanding global phenomenon and their influence is growing locally and worldwide. As ‘intellectual entrepreneurs’, think tanks are free to explore new ideas and policy initiatives unconstrained by the pressures political parties face to be popular at the polls. Unlike lobby groups, which often represent only the narrow interests of their members, think tanks advance policies for the good of the whole country. For these reasons, think tanks enrich public debate and strengthen democracy.
WHY AN INDEPENDENT THINK TANK?
The Frontier Centre addresses the prairie region's economic and social challenges and actively explores new solutions. The goal of our research and educational outreach is to broaden the scope of discussion in this region's stagnant public policy environment-to create a dialogue about ideas for the future.
Independent think tanks receive their funding exclusively from non-governmental sources. This insulates them from the political pressures that frequently discourage publicly funded research groups from exploring sensitive issues.
WHY OUR INDEPENDENCE MATTERS TO YOU
1. No Government Funding
Because we seek to comment objectively on public policy, FCPP is the only registered Prairie-based think tank which declines government grants.
2. Diversified Funding Base
We diversify our funding base as much as possible to ensure that we are not beholden to any particular industry, interest or persons. Individuals and businesses that see value in exploring better policy support FCPP. The bulk of our funding comes from charitable foundations that support public policy work in Canada.
3. Board/Staff Firewall
A respected Board of Research Advisors guarantees the independence and integrity of our work. The Centre has a formal policy, embodied in a Board of Directors resolution, that forbids any direct Board involvement or influence in the Centre's education efforts.
For an objective, arm's length take on public policy you can trust the very independent . . . Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
WHO SUPPORTS THE FRONTIER CENTRE FOR PUBLIC POLICY?
The Centre is a non-profit educational charity which was registered in April 1999. The chart below provides a detailed breakdown of the Centre's sources of funding in 2010. In order of importance, the majority of funding comes from private charitable foundations, followed by national corporations, local businesses, and individuals. The Centre does not accept any funding from governments to maintain its independent and fresh perspective on public policy.
WHY DO WE NEED NEW IDEAS?
The Prairies, inherently a rich place, have their own set of unique issues.
Despite its diversified economy and hydro wealth, Manitoba has become ever more dependent on federal transfers and subsidies. Saskatchewan, with perhaps Canada’s richest resource endowment, still struggles with old debates about the proper role of government in the economy. Alberta, meanwhile, moves forward with little imagination, preferring to fund old policy models instead of re-inventing and reforming them.
The vast Prairie region will continue to contain the ingredients for being the most prosperous and successful region in the world: abundant natural resources, high quality public services and hardworking, spirited citizens.
The region has immense potential if it embraces new ideas in public policy. The Frontier Centre seeks to provide these ideas.
WHAT ARE THE FRONTIER CENTRE'S THEMES?
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy embraces the open economy of innovation and change. We conduct research and educational activities in three broad areas:
· High-Performance Government - Creating smarter and more effective public services and institutions based on the principles of transparency, neutrality and separating elected officials from day-to-day operations; government as a purchaser, not a provider of services.
· Social Policy Renewal – Consumer-focused education and healthcare systems; welfare and aboriginal policy reform that minimizes state dependency and empowers individuals.
· The Open Economy - Pro-actively dealing with open borders and technological change.
HOW DOES THE CENTRE SHARE ITS IDEAS?
The Frontier Centre has achieved high visibility and penetration of the public dialogue through:
WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE? EFFECTIVE?
Regional Focus - The Centre concentrates on prairie policy issues at all levels of government. Other independent think tanks, like the CD Howe Institute or the Fraser Institute, produce important and useful research, but their attention is focused primarily on national concerns - not local issues in individual prairie provinces.
The Average Person is Our Audience - The Centre strives to popularize important but complicated concepts by writing in a short, topical format that translates them into entertaining reading for a mass audience. Longer, more detailed materials are available for the limited numbers who want to delve deeper into issues.
A Large Audience - Frontier has become a prominent source of new policy thinking on the Prairies and Canada. Our publications receive wide coverage through daily and weekly newspapers and reach an estimated 58 million people on a regular basis (2009). Its material has been profiled in national media as well as prestigious international newspapers. Our state of the art website receives millions of hits monthly.
Economics Focus - The Frontier Centre's work focuses on emerging economic trends. We do not address issues with a controversial moral or political dimension like same sex marriage, abortion, censorship, capital punishment or national unity.
Non-partisan and Independent - The Frontier Centre is non-partisan and non-ideological. Committed to our independence, we neither seek nor accept government funding. By this definition we are the only truly independent think tank on the prairies.
Intellectual Strength / People - Our advisory board includes both experienced public policy innovators and academic specialists.