Celebrating 20 Years of Accomplishments

1994-1995

AIMS launches with Brian Lee Crowley as Founding President and Cedric Ritchie as Chairman. Five major publications, three events, including one with Sir Roger Douglas of New Zealand who served as Minister for two labor governments. A presentation to Parliament about social security reform.

1995-1996

Purdy Crawford joins as Chairman “to help create a culture where public policy decisions are informed by all the relevant points of view.” AIMS hosts first annual conference:  “The Coming Revolution in Local Government.”

1996-1997

Release of two books:  Taking Ownership & Looking the Gift Horse in the Mouth the latter of which won the prestigious Sir Antony Fisher Award in 1997. AIMS 2nd annual conference on school choice. Chairman Purdy Crawford announces that AIMS has developed a prominent voice “that even our most vociferous critics find impossible to ignore.” Brian Lee Crowley also leaves for a position on the Globe and Mail editorial board and Don Cayo replaces him.

1997-1998

AIMS publishes Frank McKenna’s last speech as Premier of New Brunswick, emphasizing market solutions to economic development problems facing the region. The Institute also hosts a student conference, looking into issues such as post-secondary education, Canadian unity and federal transfers. AIMS hosts third annual conference: “Everybody’s Business: Market Solutions for Rural Development in Atlantic Canada.”

1998-1999

Don Cayo returns to the Telegraph Journal after two years as president of AIMS and Brian Crowley returns to AIMS. Fred McMahon, a senior policy analyst and winner of a Sir Anthony Fisher Award, accepts research post in Toronto.

1999-2000

A “watershed year,” according to Chairman Purdy Crawford as AIMS increased its funding and welcomes 1999 Nobel Prize Robert Mundell to the team. AIMS published two companion books by Fred McMahon: Road to Growth and Retreat from Growth, and four other major research papers. “Operating in the Dark,” authored by Brian Crowley, Dr. David Zitner, Director of Medical Informatics at Dalhousie University and Nancy Faraday-Smith, AIMS Policy Analyst, wins the Sir Antony Fisher Award. Former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed speaks at an AIMS event.

2000-2001

Purdy Crawford announces his departure as Chairman and Gerald Pond becomes AIMS’ Third Chairman. AIMS research on federal transfers is discussed during a private dinner with Finance Minister Paul Martin and several Canadian public policy experts. Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm tabled an AIMS report on offshore royalty regimes in the legislature. The government of British Columbia supplied each of their newly-elected MLAs with a copy of Road to Growth: How Lagging Economies Become Prosperous. AIMS received its first mention in the Wall Street Journal.

2001-2002

James Buchanan, 1986 Noble Prize economist, is the keynote speaker at an event focusing on equalization and federal transfers in joint-effort between AIMS, the Montreal Economic Institute and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Authored by Ken Boessenkool, AIMS publication “Equalization Initiative” receives the Sir Antony Fisher Award. The Institute’s healthcare research also featured prominently in the Mazankowski Report and the fifth volume of the Kirby Senate Committee report. With respect to the energy sector, Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm cited AIMS research as a key inspiration of his government’s policy on energy exports.

2002-2003

Gerald Pond announces his departure as Chairman and David Mann becomes AIMS’ Fourth Chairman. Another banner year for AIMS: “Definitely NOT the Romanow Report” received extensive national coverage and culminated in a fourth Sir Antony Fisher Award. AIMS launched its first annual “High School Report Card.” Official Opposition Leader Stephen Harper identified AIMS as “Dollar for dollar, the best think tank in Canada.”. White House policy advisor David Frum identified AIMS as “the special forces of the think tank movement.”

2003-2004

“AIMS continues to serve as a strong and distinctive voice on public policy in Atlantic Canada,” — Chairman David Mann, on AIMS 10th anniversary year. 12 new reports on critical public policy issues, hosted upwards of 10 key events, published 22 commentaries to engage the public, policymakers, and the private sector, and addressed the Standing Committees at the House of Commons.

2004-2005

With over 200 think tanks and research organizations spanning 67 countries in the competition, AIMS wins the 2005 Templeton Freedom Award for outstanding research, the only North American outfit to be honored. 11 reports on public policy issues facing Atlantic Canada, 29 commentaries, and 12 special events featuring speakers such as former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. AIMS launched Atlantica.org, a website dedicated to free trade between Canada and the United States in the Atlantic region.

2005-2006

The annual “High School Report Card,” featured in Progress magazine, garnered more than one million hits on AIMS.ca. AIMS equalization papers “The Flypaper Effect” and “The 100 Per Cent Solution” received widespread regional and national coverage. AIMS launched the “Canadian Health Care Consensus Group,” comprising healthcare experts such as medical practitioners, former health ministers, and past presidents of the Canadian Medical Association.

2006-2007

David Mann announces his departure as Chairman and John F. Irving becomes AIMS’ Fifth Chairman. In his final “Message from the Chairman” Mann remarked that the Institute’s “ideas … have gone from the embryonic to the mainstream in fairly short order. This is why AIMS exists, not only to have good ideas, but also to share those ideas with others so that the uncommon becomes commonplace and the lives of individual Canadians get better.” Brian Crowley leaves for post at the Department of Finance Canada & Vice-President and Director of Operations Charles Cirtwill replaces him as Acting President.

2007-2008

AIMS President speaks in Milan on “Freedom of Choice in Education: Responsibility as a Systemic Principle.”. AIMS senior fellow Brian Fergun speaks at annual economics lecture of Cyprus Economic Society and David Mackinnon at the Empire Club of Canada on equalization. NB Education Minister Kelly Lamrock: “I think AIMS has done a huge service to the public in reminding us of the importance of having clear goals and measuring them well.” Municipal Report Cards; 38 papers, almost 1,000,000 unique visitors, 6,000,000 website hits and 500 news stories covering AIMS.

2008-2009

Fifteen years after founding AIMS, Brian Crowley announces his departure as President. Executive Vice-President Charles Cirtwill replaces him. AIMS hosts the “When Tea and Sympathy Are Not Enough” conference, on pharmaceutical issues, and Maclean’s Magazine features the Institute’s “National Municipal Performance Report” on their July cover issue. Throughout the year, the Institute published 37 papers and featured in more than 600 news stories.

2009-2010

John F. Irving announces his departure as Chairman and John Risley becomes AIMS’ Sixth Chairman. AIMS celebrates its 15th anniversary in Halifax with Afghan Ambassador Jawed Ludin and in Moncton with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as keynote speakers. On the heels of Paul Bennett’s paper about expanding Nova Scotia’s “Tuition Support Program” , the provincial government expands the initiative. AIMS’ presentation to the Liberal government in New Brunswick inspires new tax reform legislation. AIMS’ “High School Report Card” inspires the Newfoundland and Labrador government to pursue education monitoring.

2010-2011

AIMS hosts Andrew Ross Sorkin, the author of “Too Big To Fail.” Michael Zwaagstra, AIMS Fellow in Education, spoke at the “Putting Students First and Fixing Our Schools” conference. AIMS expanded the “High School Report Cards” beyond Atlantic Canada into the Western Provinces in conjunction with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. AIMS published 44 papers and commentaries that were featured in more than 400 news stories.

2011-2012

Former Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney speaks at AIMS event, drawing 600 guests. On the public finance file, AIMS published two large studies to mark the end of the Federal Fiscal Arrangements Act and another one that used Ontario’s “Drummond Report” to analyze public finance in Atlantic Canada.

2012-2013

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty spoke in Halifax and joined Chairman John Risley for an hour-long fireside chat about the Canadian economy. Events with Kings MP Scott Brison, on “The Future of Atlantic Canada’s Economy” & Alessando Colombo of Politecnico di Milan on Municipal Policy and “Subsidiarity.”

2013-2014

Marco Navarro-Genie replaces Charles Cirtwill as President of AIMS. AIMS research team participates in consultations with provincial and federal government officials, including Nova Scotia Minister of Finance Diana Whalen and Federal Minister of Finance Joe Oliver. AIMS hosts Lorraine Mitchelmore, Shell Canada’s President, in back to back dinner events in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

2015 – 2016

Brought together 300 business and community leaders to address the major issues facing Nova Scotia’s economy.  This high profile event placed AIMS at the center of the current discourse on the direction of our economy; most specifically, it enhanced a sense of agency within the business community and the community at large to improve the economic realities in our region. Published 60+ papers, studies, and opinion pieces authored by AIMS staff, research fellows, and contributing authors.

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