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The C.D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. Widely considered to be Canada's most influential think tank, the Institute is a trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review.

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Wendy Dobson


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Wendy Dobson

I hope this gift inspires others to make personal contributions to the Institute’s future.

May 29, 2012 – Bill Robson, President & CEO of the C.D. Howe Institute, today announced a $400,000 gift from Wendy Dobson, distinguished economics professor at the Rotman School of Management.

Dobson is a former Institute President and Associate Deputy Minister of Finance. Her gift completes a fundraising campaign for the Institute’s Endowment for Special Studies seeded by a challenge grant of $1.05 million from philanthropist Alfred Wirth.  Wirth’s gift is the largest single gift in the Institute’s history.

In making her gift, Dobson emphasized the Institute’s decades-long contributions to the country’s most important economic policy debates on fiscal and monetary policy goals, trade liberalization and structural change.

“The purpose of the gift is to facilitate the Institute’s growing role in exploring ‘smart policy’ which anticipates, rather than reacts to, the huge global shifts underway in the world economy today.  Canada’s favorable position in the wake of the global financial crisis needs to be matched by a strategic inter-generational response to the global economic and geo-political shifts underway,” Dobson said.

“Canada has benefitted strongly from the Institute’s decades-long contributions of independent, evidence-based, peer-reviewed policy research,” she said.  “The C.D. Howe Institute’s research is a critical asset to policy makers, and it provides a unique venue for substantive, non-partisan policy development.  It stands alone among the major economic think tanks without a major endowment from governments or interest groups.  I hope this gift inspires others to make personal contributions to the Institute’s future.”

Bill Robson noted that Dobson’s gift is but the latest chapter in her extensive history with the Institute.

“Wendy Dobson was the Institute’s chief executive during a crucial period in the 1980s, building its resources and overseeing its contributions to key debates over fiscal and monetary policy and Canada-US free trade,” said Robson. “After she left for a senior role in the public service and represented Canada in G7 economic discussions, and built her reputation for superb research and teaching at the University of Toronto, Wendy continued to contribute to the Institute’s research as an author and valued advisor.”

“The C.D. Howe Institute’s work would not have ‘must-read’ standing among policy, business, university and media leaders across Canada without the financial and intellectual support we celebrate today,” said Robson.

“The Endowment for Special Studies constitutes a huge step forward for the Institute’s research capacity.”


Alfred G. Wirth

An organization like the C.D. Howe is extremely important for providing alternative ways of looking at public policy. 

Rebecca and John Horwood

The Institute is critical to fostering high living standards for future generations.

Scott M. Burns

The C.D. Howe Institute provides outstanding, independent, peer-reviewed, non-partisan research for crafters of policy.

Richard Howson

The work done by the C.D. Howe Institute provides both policymakers and the public with valuable information to make the correct choices. This is why I support the Institute

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© 2014 C.D. Howe Institute. All Rights Reserved.