Part One: Former US Secretary of Defense and former Canadian Prime Minister headline AIMS 10th Anniversary Banquet

Before a sell-out crowd of 500 people at the AIMS 10th Anniversary Dinner on November 9th, former US Secretary of Defense and former Senator from Maine, William S. Cohen, delivered an insightful speech on the challenge of balancing the needs of security and commerce throughout North America. Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney also spoke about the importance of intelligent management of the cross-border relationship.


Secretary Cohen also took time to celebrate the accomplishments of AIMS in its first ten years, saying:


“When I think of the goals of AIMS, the things that you have focused upon —offshore oil and gas policy, energy regulation, health care reform — you have many accomplishments to be very proud of.”


“…when I saw [your President] give this tremendous energetic presentation of AIMS’ first ten years this evening, I understood exactly why you have been so successful.”


“…the notion that [AIMS is] going to really zero in on school performance, the education of our children … that is something that is of so fundamental importance … that you should bring it to the attention not only of Canada but the United States.”


To see photos of the event, and the transcripts of the remarks as they become available, go to:



AIMS acknowledges the kind support of the events’ many sponsors:


Aliant, Casino NS Hotel, Duke Energy, Emera, Empire Group, ExxonMobil, Halifax International Airport Authority and, Scotiabank.




Part Two: What should we do with the offshore money?


Now that it looks like Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador will win the latest federal-provincial debate about natural resource revenues, it is important to remember that an even more important question remains to be settled. What you do with the money once you’ve got it?


Natural resource revenues are not reliable revenues nor are they akin to “normal” government revenues like sales or income taxes. As one time payments based on the fluctuating value of assets that are being permanently liquidated they should not be used to fund current demands that turn into long term commitments.


Read this piece to see why and how one time windfalls, as natural resource revenues inarguably are, need to be invested not wasted. Slightly different versions of this column appeared in both the Chronicle Herald and the Times and Transcript.


The full column can be accessed at:




Part Three: US flu vaccine crisis: government health “gurus” triumph again. AIMS in the National Post


According to AIMS’ new Fellow in Health Care Economics, Professor Brian Ferguson, the flu vaccine crisis in the United States was produced by the very policies favoured by those who seek to reform the entire pharmaceutical industry. In this op-ed published in the National Post, he asks, “Any lesson here?”.


To read the full piece go to:




Part Four: Alice in Borderland: Why Canadians cannot afford to be complacent about US drug re-importation


If, as many states are demanding, re-importation becomes legal, Canadian consumers of prescription drugs are not going to be happy with the outcome according to the AIMS Fellow in Health Care Economics, Professor Brian Ferguson. The most likely outcome is that our market will be swallowed by theirs.


When that happens, one of two outcomes will follow: either Canadian drug prices will rise to U.S. levels or, if the Canadian government manages to prevent that, American pharmaceutical companies will restrict their shipments to Canada.  In that case, each pill re-imported into the U.S. will be a pill which is not available for a Canadian consumer to take.  In either case, we lose.


To read Professor Ferguson’s latest AIMS Commentary, click here:




Part Five: Health care system operating in the dark…again


The only thing that keeps our eccentric and unsustainable health care system working is the incredible professional commitment of the individuals who work within it, battling against the perverse incentives of a crazy system. If you ever wanted proof of that statement, this story, from Brian Lee Crowley’s fortnightly newspaper column, is for you.


It tells how health planners in Nova Scotia have put surgeons on salary at a time when politicians are promising to shorten the queues for needed surgery. The problem, of course, is that salaried surgeons are almost always less productive than ones on fee-for-service. If it weren’t for the incredible commitment of our medical professionals, the situation would be dire indeed.


To read the full piece, see:




Part Six: AIMS’ newest Urban Futures paper says competition key to improving quality of municipal services in Greater Saint John…and beyond


The municipalities in the Saint John region have made considerable progress toward improving the quality of local government services delivery but they could do more says AIMS’ latest Urban Futures paper. Dr. Robert Bish, author of “Organization and Opportunities: local government services production in Greater Saint John” says that, “…the key is competition, which, through smarter thinking and more careful management, leads to higher productivity.”


AIMS’ Urban Futures initiative is exploring how municipalities of all sizes can become more efficient and provide better service. Using the Greater Saint John region of New Brunswick as an illustration, this paper reflects on how small and medium size municipalities can improve the quality of services for residents and value for money for taxpayers.


The full paper is available at:





Part Seven: AIMS seeks Managers of Development and Communications to join its executive team in Halifax


AIMS is seeking two new people to join its executive team. Both the Manager of Development and the Manager of Communications will hold lead responsibility for their respective functions within the Institute.


The positions report directly to the Vice President, and are located at the Institute’s head office in Halifax. Compensation at AIMS is nationally competitive.


For more details, go to our JOBS page at: