Detailed Biography

Research Associate, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Research Associate, Centre for Urban Studies, University of Toronto
Former Research Director, United Steelworkers of America
Former Executive Director, Ontario Fair Tax Commission

Coordinates: Hugh Mackenzie & Associates, 418 Markham Street, Toronto, ON, M6G 2L2. Tel: 416-884-5378; Cell: 416-884-5378; email:

Hugh Mackenzie provides economic consulting services to governments, unions and other organizations in the non-profit sector on budgetary policy; public and private sector cost analysis; public finance; and economic policy. His research interests include provincial and federal budgets and budgetary policy; local government finance; and education finance. He also provides technical support for collective bargaining for a wide range of labour organizations, primarily in the broader public sector in Ontario. In that capacity, he develops and presents complex costing models and economic analyses for job evaluation and workload allocation and for interest arbitrations.

Mr. Mackenzie has worked for more than 40 years in a variety of different public policy capacities, at all three levels of government as well as in the non-profit sector. From 1991 to 1994, he was Executive Director of the Ontario Fair Tax Commission. He was one of two principal authors of the Commission report, and took direct responsibility for the Commission’s research and writing with respect to local government finance and education finance. In 1979, he researched and wrote a report on local government finance and property tax reform for the City of Toronto. Between 1973 and 1978, he was an opposition researcher in the Ontario Legislature covering local government and education finance issues. Between 1972 and 1973, he was employed by the Government of Ontario in the Local Government Organization Branch of the then Ministry of Treasury, Economics and Intergovernmental Affairs.

He is a recognized expert on the funding of elementary and secondary education in Ontario, producing a widely-cited analysis and review of the Ontario elementary and secondary education funding formula. He is a frequent contributor to op-ed pages on issues related to public finance at the national, provincial and local levels as well as a regular commentator on these issues on radio and television.

He is a leading analyst and commentator on fiscal policy issues, nationally, in Ontario and at the local level in Toronto.

He has produced a number of detailed analytical reports and presentations on the state of Canada’s retirement income system and is a frequent contributor to the debate over the future direction of the retirement income system and the role of an expanded Canada Pension Plan in that system. Since 2008, he has been engaged in various capacities on behalf of faculty associations and unions in the university sector in Ontario in the creation and establishment of the University Pension Plan, a jointly sponsored pension plan for the university sector in Ontario, scheduled to open its doors in 2021.

He has also written extensively on the financing of health care capital and on the fiscal issues raised by health care costs in Canada.

As Research Director for the United Steelworkers of America, Mr. Mackenzie was responsible for technical support for collective bargaining with all of the major employers with which the Union has collective bargaining relationships, including Stelco., Algoma Steel; Inco; Noranda; Iron Ore Company of Canada; Cominco; Quebec Cartier Mining; the University of Toronto; and Guelph University as well as the union’s research, preparation and presentations for interest arbitrations in the health care sector. He also produced supporting materials for the Steelworkers’ extensive involvement in public policy debates such as the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement; labour law reform and unemployment insurance reform.

In the mid-1980s, Mr. Mackenzie served on the research and consultation staff of the Forget Commission on Unemployment Insurance, and researched and wrote the Minority Report from that Commission.

In the early 1980s, Mr. Mackenzie served as Principal Secretary to NDP Leader Bob Rae, and was one of the three-person team that negotiated the 1995 Accord that resulted in David Peterson becoming Premier of Ontario. Prior to joining the staff of the Steelworkers in 1980, Mr. Mackenzie was Executive Assistant to Toronto Mayor John Sewell and a member of the research team for the NDP in the Ontario Legislature under NDP Leader Stephen Lewis.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University Pension Plan Ontario. Previously, he was the nominee of the Ontario Pension Board to the Board of the Investment Management Corporation of Ontario. He also previously served on the Boards of the Ontario Public Service Pension Plan (OPB) (from 2002 to 2016) and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan) from 2007 to 2014). He is a former member of the Actuarial Standards Oversight Committee of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. He was a founding member of the Pension Investment Advisory Committee of the Canada Post Pension Plan. He currently chairs the Investment Committee of the Atkinson Charitable Foundation and is a board member and Finance and Investment Committee Chair of the Wellesley Institute. He is a Research Associate of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

He holds an Honours BA in Economics from the University of Western Ontario and an MA in Economics (Public Finance) from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). He holds the ICD.D designation of the Institute of Canadian Directors, having completing the ICD.D directors education program of the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto.

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