Our visit to Prince Edward Island promoting market solutions and the AIMS brand at the end of March proved very successful. I had the good fortune to meet with Board Members, donors and prospective donors, and visited friends at the Rotary Club of Charlottetown for their Monday Meeting. I had an opportunity to meet with the editorial board of the Guardian to discuss AIMS’ mandate and our research direction. Timely, on the day the federal budget was delivered, I gave a presentation to the Directors of the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce on the topic of Atlantic Debt and Deficits, prompting a fruitful discussion about ways and means in which to achieve economic growth in the region. Our central message is that no jurisdiction ever achieved sustained economic growth by consistently accumulating debt and growing the size of government.Finally, at a vibrant event at the UPEI campus, we met with local students to talk about think tanks, policy and economics, relaunching of our much improved AIMS on Campus Programme, which will kick into full gear this coming Fall. It is an exciting time to be a student of politics, economic and public affairs in Atlantic Canada and learn about market alternatives. We expect to visit more campuses over the course of the Spring, including Memorial University in St John’s next May.
Marco Navarro-Genie, PhD
President of AIMS
AIMS hosts its Healthcare Literacy Forum on April 13 in Halifax. It will be held at the Halifax Central Library in Paul O’Regan Hall, and features as speakers Drs. John Ross and David Zitner, both affiliates with the institute. They will discuss what people need to participate in health care, namely the “social determinants of health.” By understanding the system we have, people can better use and contribute to its maintenance. To register, please RSVP to Laraine Sleigh by e-mail,firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIMS on Campus
AIMS’ campus outreach program came to the University of Prince Edward Island on March 22. First, President Marco Navarro-Genie and AIMS on Campus Coordinator Jackson Doughart spoke to students in a Canadian Politics class. They discussed the role and purpose of think tanks, the mission and history of AIMS, and the pro-markets philosophy that guides the institute’s work. Doughart explained opportunities for students to learn practical writing and policy skills in the think tank environment, and also discussed AIMS’ internship and fellowship programs. Following an in-class Q&A, they were joined by a dozen students and three members of the Arts faculty at the UPEI campus bar, The Wave, for some refreshments and further conversation. It was the first event this spring for the revamped AIMS on Campus program.
Canada’s troubling budget path
In the Telegraph-Journal, AIMS Vice-President of Research John Williamson evaluates the 2016 federal budget. Given Canada’s relative economic health, it is hard to comprehend the decision to plunge the country into deficits that are “permanent and will increase each year.” The consequent long-term structural deficit will not be easily closed.
Education fads do our kids no favours
AIMS Research Fellow Michael Zwaagsta argues in the Chronicle Herald that today’s public education system in Nova Scotia is informed by numerous fads. Project-based learning, no-zero policies, and more technology are not helping our children become better educated.
As an important voice in advocating fiscal prudence and market solutions, AIMS is a vital institution for Atlantic Canada. The political and economic issues facing the region cannot be resolved by a further regime of dependence on the rest of Canada, or by levying a harsher tax burden upon Atlantic citizens and businesses. Going forward, bringing public expenditure within the bounds of our means is the only way to ensure that the pillars of government in our region – healthcare, education, and public services – remain viable.
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