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Part One: New AIMS conference on continental competition and deregulation in the electricity industry and what it means for Atlantic Canada

The electricity industry world wide is being transformed from cosy local monopolies into a highly competitive industry. Privatisation, deregulation and other market-opening initiatives are bringing choice in electricity suppliers to industrial users and individual consumers alike in many jurisdictions, while putting downward pressure on prices. International and interprovincial barriers to free movement of electricity are either falling or are under vigorous attack. In order to foster competition, many places are separating the generation and distribution sides of the industry.

While a few of these changes have made their way to Atlantic Canada, we are clearly well behind leaders such as Britain, California, Victoria State in Australia, and some New England states. These and other jurisdictions are learning how to harness the power of competition and markets in their electricity industry. That’s why the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and the Electricity Consumers Alliance of Nova Scotia are co-sponsoring an event to bring the most thoughtful and provocative analysts in the energy world here to give us the benefit of their vast knowledge and experience of an industry in massive flux.

Speakers like Ken Malloy, the President of the Centre for the Advancement of Energy Markets in Washington DC, Professor Leigh Hancher, author of the definitive work on electricity law in Europe, Tom Adams, Executive Director of Energy Probe, and Hon. Donald Macdonald, chairman of the Advisory Committee on Competition in Ontario’s Electricity System, will bring conference participants up to date on what is happening throughout the developed world.

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Part Two: Robbing the poor to give to the rich: Peter Fenwick on attempts to restore employment insurance to highly paid seasonal employees

The federal government is reportedly preparing proposals to repeal the 1996 reforms to the employment insurance system. One of those reforms was the clawback, a provision that reduces EI payments to seasonal workers making $40,000 a year or more.

In a September 9, 2000, St. John’s Telegram, column AIMS Communications Director Peter Fenwick argues that the original reform was an equitable revision that, when combined with the family supplement, took from the rich to give to the poor. Reversing the reform would give EI back to highly paid workers who do not need it, and do not deserve it.

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Part Three: To meet popular demand, AIMS is offering a West Coast version of its aquaculture conference, in Vancouver in February 2001

The demand for the September 28-30, 2000 aquaculture conference at the Brudenell River Resort in PEI has been so strong that AIMS and its conference partner, the Canadian Aquaculture Institute, are planning a second conference for Vancouver, February 15-17, 2001.

In addition to the basic problems addressed at the PEI event, the Vancouver conference will deal with additional topics of particular interest to West Coast players in the aquaculture industry. The question of safety of aquaculture food products, the environmental effects of aquaculture and the impact of exotic species escapes will be addressed at the Vancouver event by the speakers from all over the world.

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Part Four: Food safety expert will challenge aquaculture critics at AIMS conference in PEI

A leading national expert on food safety issues says that critics who focus on obscure, theoretical food risks actually damage the overall safety of the food supply and individual health. This happens because industry and government then divert valuable resources to combating minor risks, and industry efforts to manage overall risk appropriately are trivialised. Because of intense consumer interest, food industries, especially poorly understood ones like aquaculture, must actively engage the public in discussions of both benefits and risks associated with them.

These are just some of the remarks that Professor Douglas Powell, Director of the Agri-Food Risk Management and Communication Project of the University of Guelph, will make at a conference called “How to Farm the Seas: The Science, Economics and Politics of Aquaculture”.

The conference, which is to be held September 28-30 at the Brudenell River Resort in Prince Edward Island, is co-sponsored by AIMS and the Canadian Aquaculture Institute. There are still a few seats left for the event, but space is limited.

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Part Five: Toasting liquor privatisation: Brian Lee Crowley says Nova Scotia would benefit from following Alberta’s example

In a recent column in the Halifax Chronicle Herald, AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley called for the provincial government to press ahead with its proposed privatisation of the province’s government liquor monopoly. Brian argues that privatisation, if Alberta is any indication, will lead to increased employment, higher sales, longer hours and greater revenue for the province.

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Part Six: AIMS seeks new Director of Development

An exciting and challenging opportunity exists for an experienced development officer with a minimum of five years’ experience to play a vital role in securing the financial stability of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS).

The Director of Development reports to the President, and works closely with the Institute’s Board of Directors, which is comprised of some of the best-known leaders of the business, professional and university communities in Atlantic Canada and nationally.

Working from the Institute’s head office in Halifax, the successful candidate will develop and implement a diversified fundraising plan incorporating a corporate campaign, major gifts, donor cultivation, special events, foundation appeals and direct mail. AIMS raises all of its revenue from the private sector.

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