Author: Brian Lee Crowley

In 2002 Charles Baillie, Chairman and CEO, TD Bank Financial Group challenged Canadians to think aggressively about how to exceed the U.S. standard of living within 15 years. Don Drummond, Senior Vice President & Chief Economist TD Bank Financial Group invited Brian Lee Crowley, on behalf of AIMS, to bring together nearly a decade’s reflection on how the less-developed provinces of Canada can lead the country’s push to achieve higher levels of growth and prosperity.

In this paper, Crowley outlines a number of steps that could be taken to help put the region back on course to prosperity. These include Employment Insurance being reformed in a way that puts an end to labour shortages, ensuring social welfare programs are not a deterent to work, aggressively upgrade work skills through education, increase the flow of immigrants into the region and the wind down of regional spending programs, like the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Crowley concludes Atlantic Canada can be put back onto the road to growth. Lower taxes and a favourable business climate will be central to such a strategy. But many of the well-meaning but destructive old government programmes that reward dependence and obstruct growth will have to go first. Like Ireland, Atlantic Canada could go from laggard to economic overachiever — if only governments would stop “helping” so much.

Read the full paper.