Dr. Michael MacDonald, AIMS Senior Fellow, was invited to give this paper at the recent International Business Summit held in Cape Breton. Since the closing of the coal mines and steel industry, business and government have been trying to develop an economic and social transition from the defunct industrial base to a new economy focused on small innovative business and the knowledge economy. The Summit signalled a turning point in business growth in Cape Breton as it grew out of a partnership between the Cape Breton Boards of Trade, the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and organized labour. It was a major event bringing together about 65 North American business leaders to investigate doing business in the new economy of Cape Breton. Dr. MacDonald leads two AIMS initiatives that are an ideal fit with the new economy in Cape Breton, the Canada Cities and the Atlantica projects.
At the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Capital Cities Organization in Fredericton on September 14, 2002, Dr. Michael J. MacDonald, AIMS’ Senior Fellow, was invited to present the keynote address on the future of Canada's cities. The debate on the role of Canada's cities within the federation and on ways to fund future investment in infrastructure and services is a major issue as Parliament begins a new session in the Autumn of this year. Trapped in a Victorian political structure that ignores the dynamic role of Canada's cities in the national and global economies, these urban municipalities now account for more than 80% of Canada's population. Yet recent public policy has ignored this fact and governments for the most part are focused not on these growth centres but on communities in crisis.