Part One

AIMS’ High School Report Card, “Grading our Future,” continues to shake up education world
News about the AIMS High School Report Card, “Grading our Future”

AIMS Calls On Education Ministers to Withdraw Unjustified Attacks on High School Report Card

The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies is demanding the four regional Ministers of Education withdraw unjustified and defamatory comments about “Grading our Future” AIMS recently released report card on Atlantic Canadian High Schools.

The unsubstantiated assertions from Newfoundland and Labrador about “flawed methodology” and “invalid analysis” have since been repeated by the Departments of Education in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Minister Reid, Minister MacIssaac, Minister Gillan, and Minister Furlong have all been asked to withdraw their statements.

NEW! AIMS Launches Web Database

Institute takes accountability to the next level

The response to “Grading our Future: Atlantic Canadian High School’s Accountability and Performance in Context” has demonstrated at least two things very clearly: First, that students, parents, teachers, administrators and the general public WANT TO KNOW how schools are doing; and, second, that not everyone sets the same priorities for educational outcomes.

AIMS has the answer to both these “problems” – “Grading our Future” is now available online and interactive!

“In developing our report card on high school’s in Atlantic Canada we wanted to go beyond the models currently available” says AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley.  “In the report itself we control for the conditions under which a school operates.  In our online version we allow the public to decide what factors to use in ranking schools.”

“This is only the beginning,” says Charles Cirtwill, co-author of “Grading your Future and head of the Institute’s Education & School Reform Initiative, “this tool can only get better as more measures are made available by the provinces.”

Of course, the people of Prince Edward Island won’t find anything about their schools in our database, but it’s not for lack of trying on our part. We’d like to include PEI’s schools, but can’t do so until the provincial government stops treating school performance data as a state secret.


Part Two

We’ve been “Byrned”: AIMS inaugural edition of ACOA Watch ignites high-level debate

The release of ACOA Watch, an independent objective analysis of Atlantic Canada’s primary federal economic development agency, drew a curious response from the federal Minister responsible for ACOA, the Hon. Gerry Byrne. Mr. Byrne said, “Interesting to see where this ACOA Watch goes and their little newsletter, and see whether they are not walking, talking hypocrites.” The minister also asked whether AIMS Board members, such as former Minister Responsible for ACOA, John Crosbie, agreed with the Institute’s analysis.

In response to these and other derisive comments, AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley told reporters, “Climbing down into this kind of personal attack suggests that the minister does not know what to say about the substance of the matter. I’d be glad to debate the substance with him but I am not going to get into name-calling with him.”

Asked by journalists about the minister’s attack, former ACOA minister John Crosbie argued, “It’s time for new and different initiatives to be tried because what we have been doing hasn’t been that tremendously effective.”


Part Three

AIMS Welcomes Patrick Luciani as Senior Fellow on Urban Policy

The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies is very pleased to welcome Patrick Luciani as AIMS Senior Fellow in Urban Policy.

Mr. Luciani has an extensive background in public policy. He currently acts as Senior Advisor to the Canadian Statistical Assessment Services (CANSTATS); a media watch organization that comments on how the media covers public policy issues. He sits also on the boards of The Dominion Institute, Philanthropy Foundation of Canada, and The Global Cities Project, Munk Centre, University of Toronto.

He is also the author of the best-selling book, What Canadians Believe, But Shouldn’t, About Their Economy, published by Addison Wesley, 1994 and has written many articles in the area of business and economics for the Globe & Mail, National Post, Financial Post Magazine, Report on Business Magazine, and Canadian Business.  As Senior Resident, Massey College, University of Toronto, he is currently researching and writing a book on loyalty in the work force to be published by the University of Toronto Press.


AIMS is extremely pleased to welcome an individual with Mr. Luciani’s enthusiasm and vision as Senior Fellow at the Institute.  


Part Four
Canada and the USA – The Narcissism of Small Differences
Principle and self-interest coincide: the priority now must be to repair the damage.

AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley says, whatever your attitude to the Iraq conflict, maintaining positive and constructive relations with the United States is in Canada’s national interest. This is not merely a matter of crude economics, however important that may be. Much more significantly, we share a set of moral, democratic and other values with the United States that make them our friends and allies in the very deepest sense of those words.  

In a national CBC Radio commentary April 2, 2003, AIMS’ President Brian Lee Crowley says the Prime Minister misread the American mood.

To listen to the commentary in Real Audio, click here (


Part Five: Commentary from Brian Lee Crowley

Getting the Message – Lower Taxes = Regional Growth

The move toward lowering taxes in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick shows provincial governments in Atlantic Canada are increasingly understanding that growth — and taxes — matter. Movement may be too timid and distorted by short term politics, but the trend is clear. In his regular commentary for the Halifax Herald and Moncton Times & Transcript, AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley makes the case that aggressive tax reduction will improve economic growth and make public services more sustainable by making this region more competitive with tax-cutting jurisdictions like Ontario, BC, Alberta and the US. 

Report Magazine commissions piece on Atlantic Canada in its new issue on “Reconfederation”.

For decades, hardy souls questioned why so many well-meaning programs such as the Atlantic Development Board (ADB), the Department of Regional Economic Expansion (DREE), the Department of Regional Industrial Expansion (DRIE), ACOA, equalization, UI and then EI and others had produced such meagre results. Why had they not closed the prosperity gap with the rest of the country? But no one was able to put the malaise into words comprehensively and rigorously.

Then three books by Fred McMahon brought the debate into sharp focus. Looking the Gift Horse in the Mouth, which put in stark terms the scale of federal transfers into the region, followed by the two-volume bible of the anti-dependency movement in Atlantic Canada: Road to Growth and Retreat From Growth.

In this article for the Report Magazine, AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley outlines AIMS’ defining intellectual contributions to Atlantic Canada’s quiet economic revolution.


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