Part One: A talk by Stephen Harper – Breaking the Glass Wall

“I am not here today to announce some grand new scheme for Atlantic Canada. I want to talk instead about some of the things we need to do to get the entire country back on track.”

With these words, Stephen Harper, Leader of the Opposition in Ottawa, set the tone for a conversation with Atlantic Canadians not about federal policies for the region but about policies that have worked elsewhere in the world and that can work everywhere in Canada – lower taxes, less debt, and more focused government.

In his first major policy speech in Atlantic Canada since winning the leadership of his party, Stephen Harper, Leader of the Opposition in Ottawa, came to Halifax on September 20, 2002 to outline his vision for a prosperous Atlantic Canada within a dynamic federation. The speech was attended by a large audience made up of many of the leaders in the Atlantic Canadian business and policy community and resulted in extensive print and electronic media coverage, not to mention significant public reaction and debate.

This talk was part of the Economic Leadership Speaker Series sponsored by AIMS, Corporate Research Associates, The Greater Halifax Partnership and Deloitte and Touche. Other speakers have included Deputy PM John Manley and former Alberta Treasurer Jim Dinning.
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Part Two: The Peter Pan Syndrome: Will Canada Ever Grow Up on Defence?

Don’t miss this next event in the Economic Leadership Speaker Series.

Atlantic Canada’s historic and ongoing relationship to the military is intimate and inevitable. This is particularly the case for the Navy, still the largest employer in the region’s largest city. Changes in military policy have always had a disproportionate impact in this region and future changes, good or bad, can be expected to cause similar shockwaves throughout our economy.

On November 18, 2002, Jack Granatstein, noted author of the recently published Canada’s Army: Waging War and Keeping the Peace, historian and a regular commentator on the state of the Canadian military, will explore the Canadian military’s past, present and future. Offering a stimulating perspective on what needs to be done to sustain the military’s ability to meet domestic and international responsibilities and what meeting those demands will mean for our region and the country as a whole.

Watch the AIMS website and upcoming AOL’s for registration details for this talk.
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Part Three: What continental integration means for Canada’s “regional policy”

At the first of four national conferences to launch a national dialogue on Canada’s role and place in North America, AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley was invited to talk about how continental integration is affecting Canada’s regional policy. In his presentation, he spoke about how the 1989 Free Trade Agreement repudiated Sir John A. Macdonald’s old National Policy and its assumption of an east-west economy defying the southward tug of the business giant on the other side of the border. Abandoning the National Policy also implied, whether Canadians realised it or not, the end of the political underpinnings of our massive transfer system for the less-developed parts of the country. As Ontario and Alberta become increasingly restive in their role as bankrollers of these transfers, the transfer recipients need to concentrate their efforts on reducing dependence, and increasing trade with the US must clearly be part of any strategy that can hope to succeed.

An abridged version of this talk appeared in the Sunday Calgary Herald, as well as in the Halifax Chronicle Herald and the Moncton Times Transcript.

This conference was part of a new effort by Canada’s public policy community to encourage Canadians to reflect on Canada’s future within the continent. BorderLines is organised by many organisations, including Canada West Foundation, the Dominion Institute, the Institute for Research on Public Policy, the Munk Centre at U of T, the Woodrow Wilson Center, etc. AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley is a member of the Advisory Committee. Further information is available at www.borderlines.ca

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Part Four: Canada’s Cities Look to the Future

At the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Capital Cities Organization in Fredericton on September 14, 2002, Dr. Michael J. MacDonald, AIMS’ Senior Fellow, was invited to present the keynote address on the future of Canada’s cities. The debate on the role of Canada’s cities within the federation and on ways to fund future investment in infrastructure and services is a major issue as Parliament begins a new session in the autumn of this year.

Trapped in a Victorian political structure that ignores the dynamic role of Canada’s cities in the national and global economies, these urban municipalities now account for more than 80% of Canada’s population. Yet recent public policy has ignored this fact and governments for the most part are focused not on these growth centres but on communities in crisis.

Dr. MacDonald’s paper focuses on this dilemma and proposes that the only way that Canada’s Cities will become national engines of prosperity is if there are reforms in the three levels of government, and that the Cities will be encouraged to develop partnerships with non-government groups.

The Canadian Capital Cities Organization provides a unique focus for Canada’s cities. The organization is made up of elected representatives and senior officials from Canada’s Provinces and Territories as well as the National Capital. Capital Cities today are in effect “smart cities” focused on management, communications and information technology in which the daily needs of citizens demand innovation and imagination. These Cap[ital Cities are also tourist centres with unique blends of historic and cultural assets, and after September 11, 2001, these cities must cope with the demands for additional security and public safety.

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Part Five: Alaska looks to AIMS in discussion of Aquaculture

This summer, the Anchorage Daily News sent a roving correspondent to Nova Scotia to explore the aquaculture industry on Canada’s east coast. In this extensive article the reporter explores the history, growth and future potential of the aquaculture industry here in Atlantic Canada. He describes how growth here mirrors the global expansion of this high tech twist on a traditional industry. The reporter also discusses with AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley why aquaculture – a high tech industry that is not seasonal and meets a growing global market demand – is an ideal fit with Canada’s coastal communities.

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Part Six: AIMS Chairman discusses new business model in Atlantic Progress

In the most recent edition of Atlantic Progress Magazine, business consultant and freelance writer Phil Blackmore interviewed Mr. Gerald Pond, Chairman of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Chief Executive Officer of iMagicTV Inc. in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The interviewer begins by highlighting the many contributions Mr. Pond made to Atlantic Canada’s developing IT industry during his tenure with Aliant telecom and its predecessor companies. He also explores Mr. Pond’s ongoing efforts to expand the industry through his current work with start-ups like iMagicTV Inc.

In the interview, Mr. Pond explores his ideas about the role of government and emphasizes how recognizing and responding to trends in the global marketplace can help strengthen the Atlantic Canadian economy. Smaller more focused government and the resulting expansion in market opportunities would go a long way in assisting Atlantic Canadian companies to reach their full potential.

The following article is reprinted with permission from Atlantic Progress Magazine.
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Part Seven: Atlantic Canada’s role as an International Leader in Informatics

The emerging field of informatics uses powerful data mining and predictive modeling software to identify trends and opportunities in large databases of information. Whether used to assess drilling results, interpret health statistics for public policy, or understand customer preferences, informatics improves decision-making in ways never before imagined. This interactive session explores how local companies can tap into the potential of informatics and the specialists who are already making it happen.

David Zitner, MD, Director of Medical Informatics at Dalhousie Medical School, and Brian Lee Crowley, AIMS President, will bring this message of innovation and leadership to the upcoming Discovery Centre Conference October 29-31 here in Halifax.

For more information about the conference go to: www.discoverycentre.ns.ca/conference
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