Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Frontier Centre for Public Policy (FCPP)

 Background

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy (FCPP) is a “research and education charity” registered in both Canada and the United States. It was founded in 1999 by “philanthropic foundations seeking to help voters and policy makers improve their understanding of the economy and public policy.” They outline their Mission (PDF) as follows:

“Our mission is simple, but not easy. To change Canada by strengthening minds, elevating discourse, mentoring youth and bringing the leading minds of the world to bear on problems that matter most.” [1]

FCPP initially described itself as a  “an independent, western Canada based public policy 'think tank' with offices in Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary.” FCPP attained status as an “educational charity” in April, 1999.  Their original mission was “to develop and popularize policy choices that will help Canada's prairie region live up to its vast but unrealized economic potential.” [2]

FCPP has described their policy orientation as generally “in the direction of decentralization, properly constructed free markets and expanded choices for individuals.” [3]

According to their 2010 annual report (PDF), “Frontier distinguished itself by highlighting the mounting policy damage created by the politically driven, anti-conventional energy green lobby.” [4]

Stance on Climate Change

“When the consequences of rapid global warming are compared with those for rapid global cooling, it’s clear that mankind suffers more harm from the latter.” [5]

“Then there is the widely known fact that there has been no statistically significant warming of the planet for more than 15 years despite 25 percent of all human CO2 emissions occurring during these years. This is accepted by no less than the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UK Met Office. There is simply no scientific proof that our CO2 emissions are the cause of the slight warming that has occurred over the 300-year period since the peak of the Little Ice Age.” [6]

FCPP maintains a collection of publications on the Environment, including a subsection on Climate Change. Many of their published articles are by well-known climate change skeptics Patrick Moore (see publications), Donna Laframboise (see publications), and Paul Driessen (see publications).

 Funding

According to the Frontier Centre for Public Policy's original website, “In order of importance, the majority of funding comes from private charitable foundations, followed by corporations, local businesses, individuals, and event revenue. The Centre does not accept any funding from governments to maintain its independent and fresh perspective on public policy.”

According to their listed sources of support for 2010, 78% of FCPP's funding came from Foundations, 12% from Corporations, 8% from individuals, and 2% from event revenue. [7]

That page was no longer available starting mid-October of 2013. As of 2015, FCPP's new website no longer lists funding information.

Heartland Institute

The Conservative Transparency database has one transaction on file for the Frontier Centre: A donation of $25,000 from the Heartland Institute in 2007. [8]

Aurea Foundation

DeSmogBlog notes that FCPP received $633,000 from the Aurea Foundation in 2009The Aurea Foundation was founded by Peter Munk, the head of Barrick Gold, and is a major funder of a small but influential network of free-market think tanks in Canada, including: The Fraser Institute, the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, the Frontier Center for Public Policy, the Montreal Economic Institute and the MacDonald Laurier Institute. [9]

Publicly available data from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) reports that the Frontier Centre for Public Policy Received a total of $1,722,000 from the Aurea Foundation between 2007 and 2014: 

Year Donation Source
2014 $200,000 (PDF)
2013 $200,000 (PDF)
2012 $239,000 (PDF)
2011 $250,000 (PDF)
2009 $633,000 (PDF)
2007 $200,000 (PDF)
Total $1,722,000  

Key People

As of August, 2015, the following were listed under the “People” section of the Frontier Center For Public Policy's website. [10]

 Executive

Peter Holle — Founder & President
Barry McNamar — Vice President of Operations
Robert Murray — Vice President of Research

 Chairs

Frank Atkins —  Chair in Finance & Capital Markets
Barry F. Cooper — Chair in Foreign Affairs, Defense & Trade
Wendell Cox — Chair in Housing Affordability & Poverty Reduction
Tom Flanagan — Chair in Aboriginal Futures
Patrick Moore — Chair in Energy, Ecology & Prosperity

 Staff

Samantha Leclerc — Executive Assistant to Vice President of Operations
Brianna Heinrichs — Executive Assistant to Vice President of Research

Past Board of Directors (2012)

According to the FCPP website (accessed in January, 2012), the Board of Directors included: [11]

  • Peter Holle — Founding President
  • Wayne Anderson
  • James Blatz
  • Dale Botting
  • Rob Coghlan
  • Bradley D. Farquhar
  • John Heimbecker
  • Peter Jessiman
  • Alexander J. MacKenzie
  • Honourable Charlie Mayer, P.C
  • John R. (Jack) Messer — CEO, Saskatchewan Power Corporation.
  • Richard M. Riffel
  • Allan Grant
  • Dale Bossert — Board of directors, Gasfrac Energy Services Inc. and Forbes Energy Services Inc. Held past positions with Amoco Corporation and with Union Pacific Resources Company.
  • Victor T. Thomas

Past Expert Advisory Panel (2012)

According to the FCPP website (accessed January, 2012), FCPP's “Expert Advisory Panel” included: [12]

The following according to FCPP's 2010 Annual Report (PDF)[4]

Board of Directors (2010)

  • Wayne Anderson — Chairman.
  • Peter HollePresident.
  • Alexander J. McKenzie — Secretary.
  • James Blatz
  • Dale Bossert
  • Rob Coghlan
  • Allan Grant
  • John Heimbecker
  • Sue Hicks
  • Peter Jessiman
  • Charlie Mayer
  • John R. Messer
  • Rick Riffel

Expert Advisory Panel (2010)

Staff (2010)

  • Peter Holle — President.
  • Mark Milke — Director of Research, Calgary AB.
  • Marco Navarro-Genie — Director of Research, Calgary AB.
  • Darla Hooker — Director of Development.
  • David Seymour — Senior Policy Analyst, Regina SK.
  • Don Sandberg — Aboriginal Policy Fellow.
  • Joseph Quesnel — Policy Analyst.
  • Ben Eisen — Policy Analyst.
  • Michael C. Zwaagstra — Research Associate.
  • Claire Toews — Director of Administration.
  • Erin Hartness — Office Administrator.
  • Lisa Blackadar — Project Coordinator.

 Other

Other notable FCPP people include:

 Actions

October 21, 2014

As reported by DeSmog Canada, The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is one of 10 charities examined in a report by the Broadbent Institute, a non-partisan organization founded by former NDP Leader Ed Broadbent. [15]

The report, titled “Stephen Harper’s CRA: Selective audits, 'political' activity, and right-leaning charities” (PDF), says several right-leaning charities (including FCPP) are reporting zero “political” activity while engaging in work that appears to meet the CRA’s definition.

August, 2013

FCPP's Elizabeth Nickson has been a strong opponent of carbon taxes, writing articles in a number of publications:

“Carbon taxes are a catastrophic waste of public money, and have created elites that will fight to the death to keep their privileges, no matter the damage caused to the vulnerable.” — The Vancouver Sun [16]
“Carbon taxes are a catastrophic waste of public money, and have created entire elites that will fight to the death to keep their privileges, no matter the damage caused to the vulnerable.” The Hamilton Spectator [17] 

May 21 - 23, 2012

The FCPP is listed as an of the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7). [18]

May 16, 2010

The FCPP was a co-sponsor (PDF) of the Heartland Institute's 4th International Conference on Climate Change. [19]

October, 2009

The Frontier Centre was a co-sponsor of Christopher Monckton's climate change tour to Canada. The other sponsor was the Fraser Institute. [20]

January, 2009

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy produced a new “background paper” challanging the showing of An Inconvenient Truth in Canadian Schools. The paper was based on a 15-month-old UK court decision. [21]

April 22, 2008

FCPP released the “Smart Green Frontiers Climate Change Quiz.”

According to the FCPP media release, “Peter Holle, the Frontier Centre's president, said the focus, in our schools today, is on indoctrinating children to 'take action against climate change', without ever actually teaching them about the controversy surrounding the science. 'The quiz,' he said, 'takes students to the heart of climate science. It is an interactive quiz that gives detailed explanations of why any given question can be right or wrong.'” [22]

Holle added that “Exposing children individually to the raw science in an engaging and interactive way is the best medicine for preserving our heritage of open scientific enquiry, and preparing the next generation to deal with increasingly complex environmental questions.”

The content of the quiz was prepared by prominent climate change deniers Tim Ball and Tom Harris (past executive of the High Park Group lobbying firm). The “Smart Green Frontiers” quiz was shared with a network of over 45 think tanks making up the Civil Society Coalition of Climate Change.

Related Organizations

There is speculation that the Frontier Centre has supported actions by the Friends of Science (FoS) in addition to the support FoS was receiving through Barry Cooper's fund at the University of Calgary. [23]

 Resources

  1. New Frontiers of Public Policy” (PDF), Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Archived August 13, 2015.

  2. About the Frontier Centre for Public Policy,” Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Archived January 5, 2012.

  3. FAQ,” Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Archived March 6, 2012. 

  4. 2010  Annual Report” (PDF), Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Archived April 1, 2013.

  5. Fred Goldberg. “Climate Change in the Recent Past” (PDF) Background: Brief Analysis, Frontier Centre for Public Policy, April, 2007. Archived March 2, 2011.

  6. Patrick Moore. “Cap-and-Trade in Carbon Dioxide Stifles the Economy for no Good Reason,” Frontier Centre for Public Policy, April 17, 2015. Archived August 14, 2015. 

  7. Who Funds the Frontier Centre for Public Policy?” Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Archived October 10, 2013.

  8. Frontier Centre for Public Policy,” Conservative Transparency. Accessed August, 2015.

  9. Kevin Grandia. “Andrew Coyne's Connections to Free Market Think Tanks; Disclosure Lacking,” DeSmogBlog, October 12, 2012. 

  10. Executive,” Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Archived August 13, 2015.

  11. Board of Directors,” Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Archived January 18, 2012.

  12. Expert Advisory Panel,” Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Archived January 18, 2012.

  13. Tom Harris. “Getting Society Off the Climate Change Bandwagon” (PDF), Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Policy Series No. 102 (February, 2011). Archived November 5, 2011.

  14. Frontier Research Fellows,” Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Archived March 4, 2012.

  15. Emma Gilchrist. “Right-Wing Charities Escaping CRA Audits: New Report from Broadbent Institute,” Desmog Canada, October 21, 2014.

  16. Elizabeth Nickson. “Carbon taxes a war on poor,” The Vancouver Sun, August 14, 2013.

  17. Elizabeth Nickson. “Carbon taxes a catastrophic waste of public money,” The Hamilton Spectator, August 14, 2013. 

  18. Cosponsors,” 7th International Conference on Climate Change. Archived May 10, 2012.

  19. 4th International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), The Heartland Institute.

  20. Richard Littlemore. “Pompous Prat Alert! Viscount Monckton on Tour,” DeSmogBlog, October 4, 2009.

  21. Richard Littlemore. “A Tardy Canadian Tackles An Inconvenient Truth,” DeSmogBlog, January 30, 2009.

  22. An Intelligent Discussion About Climate Change” (Media Release), Frontier Centre for Public Policy, April 22, 2008. Archived December 28, 2011.

  23. Friends of Science hits the airwaves,” Deep Climate, November 19, 2009. Archived August 14, 2015.

Other Resources