How does a radical kid from Toronto end up running a public policy institute in Alberta? It’s just the path of life for Gordon Laxer. Gordon’s work took him to the belly of the beast, fighting for climate action in the heartland of oil & gas, and advocating for a renewed insurgency effort within the NDP — an effort that earned him a blacklisting from the party for his leadership in the Waffle. We discuss his life, his other, his work, and everything in between.
Gordon Laxer is the founding Director and former head of Parkland Institute at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Parkland is a non-corporate research institute that does public policy research to serve the public interest. When the Progressive Conservatives ruled Alberta under Ralph Klein, the Globe and Mailcalled Parkland Alberta’s ‘unofficial opposition’. Parkland’s mission has been to change the political culture of Alberta.
Laxer is a Political Economist and professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, and the author of After the Sands: Energy and Ecological Security for Canadians (Sept 2015) Douglas & McIntyre. Ge has authored or edited five other books, including Open for Business: The Roots of Foreign Ownership in Canada (Oxford Uni Press), which received the John Porter Award for best book written about Canada, and have published over 50 journal articles and refereed book chapters and reports.
He was the Principal Investigator of a $1.9 million research project: Neoliberal Globalism and its Challengers: Reclaiming the Commons in the Semi-periphery(2000-2006).
He is a socially-engaged, public intellectual. His op eds have been published in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Edmonton Journal, the Calgary Herald, the Montreal Gazette, the Vancouver Sun, the Province(Vancouver), the Winnipeg Free Press, the Victoria Times Colonist, the Hill Times, the Saint John Chronicle Herald, the St. John’s Telegram, Canadian Dimension, and other publications. He has been interviewed a number of times on venues such as the CBC’s The Current, As it Happens, and the House, and served on the board of the Council of Canadians from 2004 to 2009.
About the Parkland Institute
Parkland Institute is an Alberta-wide, non-partisan research centre situated within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta.
Parkland Institute studies economic, social, cultural, and political issues facing Albertans and Canadians, using the perspective of political economy. The Institute shares the results of its research widely and promotes discussion of the issues its research raises.