Winnipeg, January 19th, 2023
President Peter Holle issued a statement today that the Frontier Centre for Public Policy is considering legal action against certain members of the media and others for deliberately misrepresenting the Centre’s mission as “racist”, promoting “white supremacy” and not being fact based.
These misrepresentations focused on a number of policy issues, including the Centre’s work on the Federal government commissioned Truth and Reconciliation Report (TRC) and also falsely accused the Centre of being anti- vaccination and climate change deniers.
The Centre’s landmark research on the TRC has involved a data driven team of experts and is derived from the massive Federally commissioned TRC report of some 3,400 pages. Few researchers or journalists have actually reviewed the original TRC report, which is most often confused with the highly misleading TRC summary. In addition, Frontier has done ground-breaking work on the claim that there are thousands of indigenous children lying in unmarked graves. Frontier research establishes that these children are not missing, and were buried with dignity mainly in their home communities.
As with all its work, the Centre consults with preeminent scientists and researchers in Canada and around the world. In the case of Covid-19, the Centre has worked with public health scientists in Canada and internationally, including authors of the Great Barrington Declaration who are recognized as the leaders in their fields of public health.
On January 13th, the Centre hosted a major policy event with over five hundred in attendance. The keynote speaker was the Federal Leader of the Opposition. A variety of activists, other political party representatives and some media worked in a concerted effort the day of the event to make false and damaging accusations against the Centre. In what presents as an attempt to use the tactic of “guilt by association”, such parties sought to discredit not only the Leader of the Opposition, but anyone in attendance– including other elected officials and leaders from every part of the larger community and students.
The event was sold out. The discussion was focused upon one possible vision for Canada. The event also featured documents on structural reform from Sir Roger Douglas, former Finance Minister in New Zealand’s Labour Government between 1984 and 1988.
Mr. Holle stated that the event was quite successful and “it is more important than ever to have constructive forums to learn about and discuss the policies and vision that all parties have for our nation and their implications on people”.
Meanwhile in response to the groundless attacks, Mr. Holle emphasized that “It is entirely unacceptable that certain voices and media would seek to misrepresent our work and discredit this part of our democratic process. Most Canadians care deeply about our country and making good policy choices that serve everyone. Canadians know the tired tactics of radicals to call anyone they disagree with names and even slander them regardless of facts. We need to talk about the issues and facts, not call people names and vilify and bully others. This is wrong and does not serve our democratic process and must be stopped”.
As a non-partisan organization, Frontier has hosted events with leaders and members of all political parties, including former NDP Premiers and prominent Liberal Ministers. These forums are in keeping with Frontier’s mission to serve all Canadians, promoting good public policy and fact-based research within a free and democratic society that values open and respectful discussion. We subscribe to the immortal words of Voltaire: “I may disagree with what you say, but shall defend to the death your right to say it”, and of John Milton, who wrote that free speech necessarily entails the risk of giving offense.
Mr. Holle went on to say, “Given that so many of us at the Centre are passionate about reconciliation, truth, and are even of Aboriginal background, we were very disturbed by these false accusations. Much of the Centre’s work has been centred on the massive 3,400-page TRC report and its data. More than ever, our work needs to be founded on truth, not speculation, not misrepresentation, groundless assertions and ad hominem attacks.”
Mr. Holle further recommended that all officials and Canadians seek police action in the form of criminal investigations of any suspected graves as recommended by the TRC. To date, no such forensic investigations have been undertaken. In the meantime, Mr. Holle emphasized that the Frontier Centre stands for truth based on facts and evidence, reconciliation and healing of past abuse, and a policy agenda focused on economic prosperity for all Canadians.
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit, research and educational institution whose mission is to explore options for the future by undertaking research and education that supports economic growth and opportunity. The Centre is one of Canada’s most prolific independent think tanks with head office in Winnipeg and expert staff and advisors across the country. Officially registered in 1999 it has published thousands of publications on transformational public policy and hosted hundreds of events, seminars and meetings with leading policy experts and practitioners. To maintain its independence, it does not accept any government funding.