Montreal Economic Institute
|President and CEO||Michel Kelly-Gagnon|
The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) is a non-profit research organization (or think tank) based in Montreal. It aims at promoting economic education of the general public and efficient public policies in Quebec and Canada through studies and conferences. Its research areas include different topics such as health care, education, taxation, labour, agriculture and the environment. Its studies are often mentioned in the media.
The MEI was incorporated in July 1987, after being created by a group of Québec intellectuals and businessmen as the continuation of the Institut économique de Paris à Montréal (which was directed by Pierre Lemieux). MEI's activities soared in the late 1990s with the nomination of Michel Kelly-Gagnon as Executive Director. The Institute rapidly established a leading place in debates on economic policy in the province of Quebec and managed to attract leading academics.
Maxime Bernier served as its vice president, from May to November 2005, before he became federal Minister of Industry. Tasha Kheiriddin also briefly occupied this position from March to September 2006, before moving to the Quebec branch of the Fraser Institute. From February 2007 to October 2009, the vice president was Marcel Boyer, professor of economics at the University of Montreal. The vice president is currently Jasmin Guénette, former director of public affairs who came back after spending two years at the Institute for Humane Studies in Virginia.
The MEI is financed by donations from foundations, private corporations and individuals; it does not accept funding from the public sector. Its annual budget is about $1.5 million and it has about ten persons on its staff (Annual Report). Several members of its board of directors and many of its fellows play a significant role in Quebec's economy as entrepreneurs or intellectuals.
From 2000 until 2008, the MEI prepared a ranking of Quebec high schools published in L'actualité magazine every fall.
Its studies are often mentioned in Canadian media. It plays in Quebec a role similar to that of the Fraser Institute in the rest of Canada.
Fellows and Associate Researchers
- James M. Buchanan – Senior Fellow honoraire
- Vernon L. Smith – Senior Fellow honoraire
- Nathalie Elgrably-Lévy – Senior Economist
- Pierre Lemieux – Senior Fellow
- Adam Daifallah – Fellow
- Marie-Josée Loiselle – Fellow
- Martin Masse
- Etienne Bernier
- Sylvain Charlebois
- J. Edwin Coffey
- Pierre Desrochers
- André Duchesne
- Claude Garcia
- Vincent Geloso
- F. Pierre Gingras
- Ian Irvine
- Pierre J. Jeanniot
- Robert Knox
- Yanick Labrie
- Valentin Petkantchin
The MEI was criticized by Le Devoir and universities about the ideological neutrality of their research. Their reasoning was also questioned on several occasions by the Institut de recherche et d'informations socio-économiques based in Montreal.