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Research Fellows

Parkland Institute's research fellows provide broad guidance and feedback on the research and programming Parkland Institute undertakes.

Distinguished Research Fellows

Greg Flanagan

Greg Flanagan is a public finance economist with a BA (Economics) from the University of Calgary, MES (Political Economy and the Environment) from York University, and MA (Economics) from the University of British Columbia. Greg has taught and been in administration for 30 years in the Alberta post-secondary system, most recently retired from the University of Lethbridge. He has been involved with Parkland Institute since its inception as a board member, frequent researcher, and advocate.

Diana Gibson

Diana Gibson is a social scientist who has published extensively on labour and social justice issues ranging from tax fairness and health care reform to the socioeconomic impacts of pipelines for First Nations. She is also an experienced educator and public speaker. She is a Principal with PolicyLink Research Canada and former Research Director at Parkland Institute. She holds an MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and a BA (Industrial Relations) from McGill University. 

Gordon Laxer

Gordon Laxer is the founding director and former head of Parkland Institute (1996-2011). He is a Political Economist and professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, and is the author or editor of five books, including Open for Business: The Roots of Foreign Ownership in Canada (Oxford University Press), which in 1991 received the John Porter Award for best book written about Canada. Gordon was the Principal Investigator of the $1.9 million research project, Neoliberal Globalism and its Challengers: Reclaiming the Commons in the Semi-periphery (2000-2006). He is the author of After the Sands: Energy and Ecological Security for Canadians, which was nominated for the 2016 John W. Dafoe prize in non-fiction books.

Kevin Taft

Kevin Taft received his Ph.D. (Business) from the University of Warwick, and also holds degrees from the University of Alberta. He is a former member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, former leader of the Alberta Liberal party, and the author of numerous reports and books for the Parkland Institute, including Shredding the Public Interest. His most recent book is Oil's Deep State (Lorimer, 2017).

Research Fellows

Robert (Bob) Ascah

Robert (Bob) Ascah grew up in Lachine  Quebec.  He holds degrees in Commerce and Public Administration from Carleton University and completed his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Alberta in 1984. In 1984, he joined Alberta’s public service (Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs) moving to Alberta Treasury in 1986.  At Treasury he was responsible for financial sector policy, foreign borrowing, and liaison with credit rating agencies.  In 1996, he joined Alberta Treasury Branches becoming responsible for government relations, strategic planning, and economic research.  In August 2009 he was appointed Director of the Institute for Public Economics at The University of Alberta where he served for four years. In 1999, Ascah's Ph.D. dissertation Politics and Public Debt- The Dominion, the Banks and Alberta's Social Credit was published by the University of Alberta Press. He is currently editing a book on a sales tax for Alberta to be published by Athabasca University Press in 2021. His blog is Abpolecon.ca

Walden Bello

Walden Bello is the senior analyst at Philippine think-tank Focus on the Global South, a Transnational Institute fellow and Akbayan representative in the Sixteenth Congress of the Philippines. The author of more than 14 books, Bello was awarded the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize) in 2003.

Elaine Bernard

Elaine Bernard is Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Trade Union Program.

Stephanie Bloomingdale

Stephanie Bloomingdale is the Secretary-Treasurer for the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, the first woman elected to this position. Her research interests include exploring income inequality and the effect of unionization on voting patterns and on wages and benefits.

Marjorie Cohen

Marjorie Griffin Cohen is an economist who is a professor emeritus of Political Science and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She has written extensively in the areas of political economy and public policy with special emphasis on issues concerning, the Canadian economy, women, labour, electricity deregulation, energy, climate change and labour, and international trade agreements. She currently is involved in two research projects related to global warming and gender, and one on women’s issues in Canada since the Royal Commission on the Status of Women.

Alex Himelfarb

Alex Himelfarb is Professor Emeritus of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs at York University and former Clerk of the Privy Council. He chairs WWF Canada and the advisory committee of CCPA Ontario. He also serves on a number of boards, including the Trudeau Foundation, the Public Service Foundation, Desmog Canada, Canadians For Tax Fairness, and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. He is also a Broadbent Institute Fellow. He has published numerous books, articles and papers on Canadian society and public policy.

Linda McQuaig

Linda McQuaig is a journalist and best-selling author. She was a national reporter for the Globe and Mail and a senior writer for Maclean's magazine. Since 2002, she has written an op-ed column for the Toronto Star.  She is author of nine books on politics and economics, including seven national bestsellers. Her 1995 book, Shooting the Hippo: Death by Deficit and Other Canadian Myths, was recently selected one of the 25 most influential books of the past 25 years by the Literary Review of Canada.

Jim Stanford

Jim Stanford is Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work, based at the Australia Institute. Jim recently relocated to Sydney, Australia from Toronto, where he is one of Canada’s best-known economic commentators.  He served for over 20 years as Economist and Director of Policy with Unifor, and he still advises the union. Jim received his Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research in New York. He also holds an M.Phil. from Cambridge University, and a B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Calgary. He is the author of Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism.

Asbjørn Wahl

Asbjørn Wahl is Adviser at the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees and special adviser at the Campaign for the Welfare State. Trained in history and sociology, he has many years of experience in the trade union movement, at the national and international level.

Past Research Fellows

Tariq Ali (2014–2017)

Gordon Clark (2014–2017)