Economist Wade Locke and his 37 year storied career

Posted on September 02, 2022 | By Louis Power | 0 Comments


Dr. Wade Locke (Photo by Louis Power)


Dr. Wade Locke retired from Memorial University after 37 years this August. That doesn’t mean the influential economist is going silent.

After close to four decades of influencing major events in Newfoundland and Labrador with his knowledge and opinions, Wade Locke is making way for the next generation. The well-known economist has retired from his post at Memorial University after 37 years, during which time his CV grew to a staggering 114 pages.

Locke has long been in high demand for his expertise in economics, particularly as it relates to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. His research has been used to support—and to criticize—many public policy decisions. Media consumers will have heard his opinions and predictions about everything from equalization to Muskrat Falls.

But things could easily have been pretty different for Locke if he hadn’t chosen to pursue a post-secondary education. “I worked in the mines underground,” says Locke. “My grandfather was a miner, my father was a miner, and I would have been a miner, except I went to university because I was bored in Buchans.

“I did well in university, don’t get me wrong, and I enjoyed it, but I was never going to university. Except, on a whim, I decided to go and see what the party was like in St. John’s as opposed to Buchans.”


“Newfoundland has tremendous resources relative to the size of the population, and there’s no reason why that can’t turn into a sustainable environment, a sustainable economy and a sustainable lifestyle. None whatsoever. We have lots of energy. We have lots of renewable resources. We have lots of non-renewable resources. And hopefully, we can manage those appropriately. If we can, then it would be positive.”



A Calling
Locke finished his first degree, in biology, in the late 1970s, around the time the 200-mile fishing limit was declared. With few opportunities left for him in his new field, he considered other options such as environmental engineering and fisheries economics. “I wasn’t clear on what I was going to do. So I took all these other courses, and surprisingly, I liked it. I found that I had fun with it. I understood it, and I had a passion for it,” he says.

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