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Part One: AIMS brings Peter John Nicholson, Chief Strategy Officer for BCE Inc., to Atlantic Canada to talk about “Connectivity, Content and Commerce”.

On Friday, 13 October 2000, in Halifax, BCE Chief Strategy Officer Peter John Nicholson will give a luncheon talk at the Delta Halifax on the theme of “Connectivity, Content and Commerce”.

Technology and globalization are driving a wave of innovation and restructuring in many industries, but nowhere more so than in telecommunications. The pace of mergers, acquisitions, new technologies, regulatory changes and disappearing frontiers with other industries, such as retail sales, entertainment and multimedia, are bewildering to many.

Yet telecoms are without doubt the backbone of the new economy. Failure to get the tax, regulatory, investment and entrepreneurial environments right for the industry would be devastating for the future prosperity of all Canadians, whether in Atlantic Canada or elsewhere. But to make the right decisions for an industry characterized by such rapid and daunting change is not easy. What is needed is a clear strategic vision of where the industry is headed, so that we can harness the dynamism of this new economy.

No one is better suited to offer such a vision than Peter John Nicholson, Chief Strategy Officer for BCE Inc., Canada’s largest communications company. BCE’s majority stake in the new regional telecoms company, Aliant, makes it a central player in the future of this region’s economy.

Peter Nicholson is well known to Atlantic Canadians as both a former member of the Nova Scotia legislature and senior executive in the fishing industry. His varied career has also taken him to senior positions in banking, academia and government. Just prior to joining BCE in 1995, Dr. Nicholson was Clifford Clark Visiting Economist at the federal Department of Finance (1994-95).

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Part Two: In a National Post op-ed piece, AIMS Communications Director Peter Fenwick argues that fishermen’s EI is in critical need of repair.

Prior to 1996, fishermen needed to work for at least 12 weeks and had to earn a minimum amount to qualify for unemployment insurance. But in 1996 the basis changed from weeks worked to sales alone. Net sales of as little as $2,500 worth of fish were enough to qualify a fisherman for a half year of benefits. In total the easy availability of fisheries EI benefits contributed to many more people entering the fishing industry than were bought out during the moratorium. Communications Director Peter Fenwick argues that the time limit must be restored if a disaster is to be averted.

Part Three: Fenwick: If one were to judge by the unemployment rate, Edmontonians are a “lazier” bunch than Haligonians.

Far from being an economic backwater, the urban areas of Atlantic Canada are on a roll. The unemployment rate in Halifax is lower than Edmonton’s. Virtually all the urban areas of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and mainland Nova Scotia are behaving like normal, healthy economies. But rural Atlantic Canada is still mired in too much EI and too much government interference, says Peter Fenwick, AIMS’ Communications Director. When uninformed members of political parties call Atlantic Canadians “lazy”, they do so with badly outdated information.

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Part Four: Brian Lee Crowley argues region needs to pursue aggressive immigration strategy

In his bi-monthly column in the Chronicle-Herald, AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley argues that immigrants aren’t just attracted by economic growth – they also help to create it. One of the obstacles to Atlantic Canada’s development has been too few immigrants, and it is time that provincial governments like Nova Scotia’s got serious about an immigration strategy that will make it easier for the immigrants we need to come and to stay.

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Part Five: AIMS/CAI aquaculture conference in PEI sells out – Second conference to be held in Vancouver, February 2001, to meet demand.

AIMS is pleased to announce that its conference, “How to Farm the Seas: The Science, Economics & Politics of Aquaculture” is now sold out and registrations have closed. The event, co-organised with the Canadian Aquaculture Institute of UPEI, will take place at the Rodd Brudenell River Resort, PEI, 28-30 September.

Given the overwhelming demand, AIMS and CAI will hold a second conference in 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, such as the role of the aboriginal community in the aquaculture industry.

“How To Farm the Seas II” will be held at the Sheraton Vancouver Hotel on February 15-17, 2001.

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