Over the course of 2000-2001, AIMS continued to put Atlantic Canada on the national public policy map, carrying out important public policy work vital to our region’s and our country’s growth, prosperity and development.
In the past year, premiers and ministers consulted AIMS about a wide range of issues, including evaluation of school performance, the impact of the events of 11 September, the future of the Port of Halifax, natural resources and equalization, to name just a few subjects.
The federal ministers of Industry and Finance demonstrated great interest in AIMS papers on equalization; this result in an invitation to AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley to meet Hon. Paul Martin. The Premier of Nova Scotia rose in the provincial legislature to table AIMS’ report by Dr. Campbell Watkins on the offshore royalty regimes in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and the Nova Scotia government’s just-released energy strategy adopts many of the ideas advanced by AIMS in the energy field, including introducing competition in electricity, market-based pricing for resources, and a heritage fund for at least some of the province’s offshore gas revenues.
AIMS’ media profile continued to grow, receiving mention in the Wall Street Journal, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Maclean’s magazine, Canadian Business magazine and other prominent international, national and regional publications. AIMS’ work was the topic of many columnists in various publications throughout the country, and a number of editorial pages commented favourably on Institute initiatives.
Reflecting the Institute’s continued success and growing profile, more community leaders have stepped forward to join the Institute’s Board for 2001-2002 including: Craig Dobbin, Chairman of CHC Helicopter Corp; Fred Hyndman, Managing Director, Hyndman and Company Ltd.; Bernard Imbeault, President & CEO, Pizza Delight; Peter Marshall, President & CEO, Seamark Asset Management; John T. McLennan, Vice Chairman & CEO, AT&T Canada Inc.; Bill Mingo, Partner, Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales; Derrick Rowe, Chairman of the Board, FPI Ltd; Jim Simpson, President, Chevron Canada Resources Ltd.; Harry Steele, Chairman & CEO, Newfoundland Capital Corp.; and John Walker, Chairman & CEO, Fortis Properties Corporation. (For a complete list of AIMS’ Board members, please visit our website at www.aims.ca/People/people.html .)
Purdy Crawford has stepped down as AIMS Chairman after occupying the position for five successful years, but will continue providing his leadership as an AIMS Director. Gerald L. Pond, Executive Vice President of Aliant Inc., has agreed to succeed Mr. Crawford.
“AIMS has become a fixture on the national policy scene and a beacon to those seeking sound public policy solutions in Atlantic Canada,” says Mr. Pond. “I am looking forward to working with this strong Board to support the Institute’s valuable work and ensure that a clear, reasoned voice on critical issues will continue to be found here in our region.”
On staff, AIMS welcomed four new people: Charles Cirtwill, who is now the Director of Operations; Jason W. Pendlebury as the new Manager of Special Projects; Tom Tucker, the new Co-ordinator of Research and Publications; and Dr. Michael MacDonald who has joined AIMS as a Senior Fellow.
Dr. MacDonald has taken the lead on two major projects. One will be a model for governing Canada’s cities in the 21st century. The other will be the Atlantica project, laying the public policy groundwork for the emergence of a self-conscious economic region that straddles the Canada-US border and includes Northern New England, parts of New York state and Quebec, as well as Atlantic Canada.
Our ground-breaking work on equalization has already borne fruit with a conference in Montreal on equalization, featuring Nobel Laureate James Buchanan. That will soon be followed by a collection of papers on what’s wrong with equalization and how to fix it. We also expect to publish major papers on the absence of adequate information to manage the health care system and the issues surrounding user fees in health care.
We will continue with our well-received series of Oil and Gas Papers. Finally, this year will also see the launch of our school accountability project, with the publication of a paper on the validity of properly designed testing as a way of gauging the performance of both students and schools.
We would like to thank all of our patrons for the support received over the past year. Through their generosity, AIMS will continue to work hard to bring to the public’s attention fresh, independent thinking about needed reforms to our economic and social policy.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Brian Lee Crowley, President, AIMS: 902-499-1998