In July 1995, members of the Animal Liberation Front sent a pipe bomb to Thompson's office in Toronto. His assistant would have been killed, except that the device's battery had become disconnected through mishandling by Canada Post.
Several newspaper reports have described the institute as a conservative or right-wing organization. In 1994, journalist Michael Valpy criticized the institute for producing what he described as an ideologically-driven report of supposed "leftist conspiracies". Thompson has repeatedly rejected such descriptions, describing himself as a "classical liberal". He has written, "if being a traditional liberal these days means being condemned as a right-wing nut, I plead guilty".
In 2005, the institute released a report entitled "Waiting for the Kaboom: Indicators to Watch for", described as a citizen's guide to finding terrorists. In this report, John C. Thompson encouraged Canadians to watch for theft of credentials and credit cards, attempts to buy weapons in bulk, increased visits to access tunnels under office towers, and large groups of men living together "for no apparent purpose". He also warned Canadians about people wearing bulky clothing in hot weather, arguing that suicide bombers sometimes wear several sets of underwear to protect their groins for the virgins they believe martyrs receive in the afterlife. These guidelines were welcomed by some law enforcement groups, but were also met with some criticism. Canada's Public Safety ministry declined to comment on the release. The Mackenzie Institute later issued a revised version of the report, under the new title "Precursors of Hostile Intent: Signs of a Potential Terrorist Attack".
The Mackenzie Institute makes frequent comments on Canada's military mission in Afghanistan, and supports increased funding for the Canadian military generally.
Increase in Toronto gun deaths has fingers pointing toward U.S. ; Canadians horrified by culture of violence they feel is quintessentially American
Jan 21, 2006; When a 15-year-old bystander was gunned down last month while holiday shopping on busy Yonge Street, it set off a wave of concern...