Public policy studies are the stock-in-trade of the Institute. Our studies are academically-rigorous examinations of important policy questions in Atlantic Canada, covering our wide range of research interests and receiving many awards for their scholarship and impact. All research papers meet academic standards for peer review and advance the public policy discussion in the region. Find below an archive of our policy studies.
Canada Should Fix Equalization and Other Regional Subsidies Now, the latest study by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, demonstrates how equalization is unfair, diminishes productivity, holds back economic development, and lacks accountability and transparency. Originally designed to transfer resources to provide for a comparable level of services across provinces, the program has become problematic and, in many instances, counterproductive. The biggest problem is that the federal government has no public measurement and no evaluation to determine if the program meets its objectives. The federal government can modernize federal transfers to provinces without ... Visit the Study Page
High Homeowner Property Taxes in Atlantic Canada, the latest study from the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, found that of the four Atlantic provinces, the rate increased significantly faster in New Brunswick when measured against increases in the Consumer Price Index. Residents of New Brunswick are also paying more of their household expenses for property tax than the Canadian average, although they pay less tax than the average Canadian. Co-authored by AIMS President Marco Navarro-Génie, Senior Research Fellow Ed Hollett, William Brooke, and AIMS author David Murrell this study undertook a review of property taxes in the wake of an ... Visit the Study Page
MEDIA Radio Clip: Responsible Conservation AND Sound Economic Development? Nova Scotia leads the country in preserving natural habitat for future generations with more land in parks and protected areas than any other province or territory. The challenge in finding the balance between responsible conservation and sound economic development could mean keeping more of our children working at home. Thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars annually are at stake in mining, a traditional industry throughout the province. A viable solution would be to allow swaps of land in protected areas that currently overlap potential mining sites for land ... Visit the Study Page
Paul Bennett proposes a new approach to public education in the province to create a more effective, accountable, and responsive school system. His latest study from the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies suggests school-based management that would reduce governance to two levels: the department and the school. This would eliminate school boards while addressing the lingering questions of accountability and democratic representation. “Decentralizing can improve student outcomes, streamline administration, and increase community ownership over schools,” said Bennett. “It is the opposite of the centralization of education administration implicit in the current plan.” The new approach would group schools into four ... Visit the Study Page
A Valuation and Analysis of Atlantic Canadian Liquor Monopolies by Ian Madsen and Alex Whalen details the myriad problems with monopolies, places a value on our liquor corporations, and explores options for the future. “The study reveals that Atlantic Canadians pay higher than average prices for alcohol” said Whalen, adding, “the valuations demonstrate the liquor corporations to be massively valuable to government.” Through competition and market-based pricing, alcohol sales would more aptly benefit consumers and business owners. The analysis applies to other areas of government intervention as well, such as gambling and cannabis sales. All four Atlantic Provinces recently announced ... Visit the Study Page