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.

High Homeowner Property Taxes in Atlantic Canada

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 ...
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Responsible Conservation Meets Sound Economic Development: Mining and Energy

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 ...
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Re-Engineering Education: Curing the Accountability and Democratic Deficit in Nova Scotia

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 ...
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A Valuation and Analysis of Atlantic Canadian Liquor Monopolies

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 ...
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From Tax to Security: an Alternative to Employment Insurance

From tax to security:  an alternative to Employment Insurance – by Justin Hatherly proposes an alternative to the current employment insurance system that would discourage dependence on seasonal work, promote productivity and labour mobility, and end a practice that has damaged Atlantic Canada. Hatherly says that the Chilean system gives people a greater incentive to find longer-term stable jobs since they are, in effect, working for themselves and spending their own money whenever they draw benefits. This would address one current problem of worker shortages in some areas and job shortages in others that occurs even within the same province under ...
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