About the Institute

The MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance at Dalhousie University is a nationally focused, non-partisan, interdisciplinary institute designed to support the development of progressive public policy and to encourage greater citizen engagement.

A partnership with national reach

The MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance at Dalhousie University provides an effective non-partisan mechanism to expand the reach and impact of the Institute’s work. As such, it enables us to build on Mr. MacEachen’s legacy by promoting vigorous debate on progressive public policy issues. Most importantly, it encourages and engages active participation by Canadian citizens in civic activities ranging from community and neighbourhood issues to issues of national concern.

Independent and informed

The Institute looks at progressive ways to tackle public policy and governance issues through open discussion with a variety of informed players and aims to serve as the “go to” place provincially, regionally and nationally for rich, robust public policy debate, discussion and research. The MacEachen Institute at Dalhousie University engages scholars, students and community members in the development of policy options, policy research and other outputs of the Institute.

Our Vision

We see a diverse public engaged in thoughtful and informed public policy discourse advancing the cause of a progressive and democratic society.

Our misison is to energize and inform progressive public policy education, ideas and debates in Canada and abroad.


 Our Goals

As a hub for public policy debate and discussion, our goals as an Institute are:

  • To attract international, national and local thought leaders from the public, private and third sector to contribute to these debates.
  • To be part of a broad national and international network of forward-looking institutions and associations concerned about matters of progressive public policy.
  • To be a welcoming, collaborative and non-partisan physical and virtual network.
  • To engage creatively with communities and technologies to maximize access.
  • To employ a rich, diverse and international perspective, which will include interdisciplinary and comparative approaches.
  • To use our resources efficiently, transparently and with integrity, with an eye to maximizing the Institute's impact and establishing and growing its reputation as a leading international centre for public policy research, debate and education.
  • To communicate our findings regularly and in accessible formats and fora. 
  • To exciteengage and support young people, and in so doing help ready the next generation of policy-makers.

The Institute recognizes and actively supports the concept of academic freedom.

Our History

In February 2015, the Directors of the MacEachen Institute for Policy and Government announced a $2.25 million donation to Dalhousie University of $2.25 million, to be used to establish a public policy research institute in the name of the Honourable Allan J. MacEachen.

Born in Inverness on Cape Breton Island in 1921, Allan J. MacEachen committed his career to public service. He was first elected Member of Parliament for Inverness in 1953, and held many ministerial appointments in Lester B. Pearson's and Pierre Trudeau's cabinets, until his retirement from the Senate of Canada in 1996.

In his 31 years representing Inverness in Parliament, MacEachen was often credited with "putting bread on the table," a nod to his commitment to serving his constituents and giving back to the community that raised him.


Perhaps most notably associated with Medicare, which he shepherded through the House of Commons and into law in 1966 as Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson’s Minister of National Health and Welfare, Allan J. MacEachen’s greatest accomplishments as a policymaker continue to impact the lives of Canadians today.

Click here to learn more about the life and legacy of Allan J. MacEachen.