With its third Sir Antony Fisher Award coming in April 2002, AIMS’ already sterling international reputation was cemented in only our ninth year of existence as we joined a very select group of policy Institutes to have won this prestigious international award more than twice.
The award came in recognition of our innovative partnership with the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy (FCPP) in Winnipeg on the issue of equalization. This partnership led to the release of a series of innovative papers that fed the national debate on this issue throughout the summer. Appearing before the House and Senate, AIMS set the stage for informed policy debate on this critical federal issue.
Equalization was not the only issue of national scope taken up by AIMS in 2002 – health care, cross border cooperation with the US, the role of cities in the growth of the national economy, appropriate federal economic and social policies, natural gas distribution and export, and the future of Canadian fishery and aquaculture policy were all taken up by AIMS authors this year.
Health Care was the issue that saw 2002 close with a flurry of activity from AIMS. The release of Definitely NOT the Romanow Report, and its accompanying 12 background papers, placed AIMS front and centre as a leader in the national debate on health care and as the primary source for reasoned alternatives to the complacent defence of the status quo presented in the report of the Romanow Commission. The Definitely NOT the Romanow Report was the culmination of three years of effort by AIMS. The Institute’s work in the area of health reform also saw this year the continuation of our very successful Swedish Health Care in Transition series (another partnership with the FCPP), the release of the AIMS study “Public Health State Secret”, the book Better Medicine, appearances before both the Kirby and Romanow Commissions, and the active participation of AIMS’ President, Brian Lee Crowley, as a member of the Premier’s Advisory Council on Health (the Mazankowski Committee) in Alberta.
AIMS’ efforts to expand the base for informed public debate had continued success in 2002, sparking a regional debate on the value of testing and accountability for teachers and administrators in schools and a national debate on the issue of medical savings accounts as a funding option for a redesigned national health care system. Alongside these debates appearing in the Globe & Mail, and the Halifax Chronicle Herald were regular citations of AIMS in the Globe, the National Post and La Presse; numerous mentions in regional dailies like the Moncton Times & Transcript, the St. John’s Telegram and the Calgary Herald; appearances in regional magazines like Atlantic Progress and Business Voice; and, frequent appearances in radio and TV media including: As it Happens, Canada AM, and Maritime Noon. But coverage for AIMS was not limited to Canadian media, as the Bangor Daily News, the Anchorage Daily News, and even France’s L’Express (that country’s leading news magazine) sought out the work of AIMS for informed commentary on economic and social policies being debated both here in Canada and abroad.
Reflecting the Institute’s continued success and growing profile, and through another successful partnership (this time with the Greater Halifax Partnership, Corporate Research Associates and Deloitte & Touche) we were able to attract some top rated speakers to AIMS events in 2002:
Jim Dinning, former provincial treasurer in Alberta; John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister; Stephen Harper, Leader of the Opposition in Ottawa; and, Jack Granatstein, a leading national expert on military policy, all visited AIMS this past year.
Community leaders also continue to demonstrate their support for AIMS by stepping forward to join the Institute’s Board. For 2002-2003 we have added: George Cooper, Partner McInnes Cooper; John F. Irving, an Executive with J.D. Irving Ltd; Elizabeth Parr-Johnston, Parr-Johnston Economic and Policy Consultants; Phillip Knoll, President, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline; Gilles LePage, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mouvement des caisses populaires acadiennes; Martin Mackinnon, Eastern Rehabilitation; and, Norman Miller, President of Corridor Resources.
Purdy Crawford, Counsel at Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, who had stepped down last year after a distinguished period as AIMS’ Chairman, was named Chairman Emeritus in recognition of his tireless support of AIMS. Gerald L. Pond, Chairman of iMagicTV has entered his second year as AIMS Chairman.
On staff, AIMS welcomed two new people: Rolando Inzunza, Co-ordinator of Development; and Bonnie Williams, Administrative Assistant.
AIMS looks forward to continued growth in 2003 with an expanded focus on our Cities and Atlantica projects, continuation of our series of papers on Aquaculture policy, new releases in our natural resource policy series and ongoing efforts in economic growth, fisheries policy and performance and accountability in the public schools.
We would like to thank all of our donors and other supporters for their help over the past year. Through their generosity, AIMS’ will continue to expand its role as the voice for sound, thoughtful public policy ideas on Canada’s east coast.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Brian Lee Crowley, President, AIMS: 902-499-1998