June 24, 2016 Print

Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. The Fraser Institute has offices here, as well as in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. Photo credit: (c) Can Stock Photo

In order for the ideas of liberty to propagate successfully, they need to reach opinion leaders and new generations of young people who care about making a real difference. The Fraser Institute, an Atlas Network partner based in Western Canada, has for years provided educational programs for students, teachers, and journalists, and is now expanding its reach thanks to a recently announced donation of $5 million from Canadian businessman and philanthropist Peter Munk. The Fraser Institute plans to use the gift to launch the Peter Munk Centre for Free Enterprise Education.

The Fraser Institute hopes to use the new centre to “replicate the tremendous success of its education programs in Central Canada, with a particular focus on Ontario,” the organization explained in a press release. The centre will allow Fraser to continue their mission of “improving the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations,” and once fully operational, it will provide more than 20 programs annually, such as “Economics for Journalists, Workshops for High School Teachers, University and College Seminars to Explore Economics and Public Policy, High School Seminars to Discover Economics and a Student Leaders Colloquium for students who display a true passion for government policy and economics.”

The centre will also expand the Fraser Institute’s student internship program, which provides research and other think tank program opportunities to young adults who seek to enter the think tank world and liberty movement at large.

Peter Munk, the donor, is chairman and founder of Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold-mining corporation. Munk also has a strong first-hand appreciation of the value of freedom, because he and his family escaped the Nazis on a train to Switzerland when was a teenager in Budapest, Hungary, in the 1940s. Munk eventually made his way to the University of Toronto, where he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1952.

“Peter Munk’s extraordinary vision and generosity will help educate the next generation of Ontarians about economic freedom, the relationship between individuals and their representative governments, and the role of choice and competition in driving economic and social progress,” said Peter M. Brown, chairman of the Fraser Institute.

Munk also spoke highly of the Fraser Institute, calling it “Canada’s leading think-tank” and “one of the most influential in the world. “I am very pleased to support this great Canadian institution and the creation of the new Centre,” Munk continued. “I hope this gift inspires others to support the Fraser Institute in a material way.”

To protect its independence, the Fraser Institute does not accept grants from government or contracts for research. Munk’s donation will allow the organization to spread its not only through its base of operations in Western Canada, but around the world.

“We are greatly appreciative of Peter Munk’s longtime support of the Fraser Institute,” said Niels Veldhuis, president of the Fraser Institute. “This new Centre will impact thousands of future opinion leaders who will go on to occupy key roles in business, law, journalism, politics and academia.”