AIMS president takes job with Ontario institute

The head of a Halifax think-tank is leaving for one in northern Ontario.

Charles Cirtwill, president of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, said Wednesday that he’s going to the Ontario government’s new Northern Policy Institute.

“I was offered a better job,” he said with a laugh when asked about the pending departure.

“I’ve been here 12 years, and we’ve got a lot of work left to do here in Atlantic Canada, and I’m having a lot of fun doing it,” Cirtwill said. “But I was approached to take a job in Ontario to help a new think-tank get up and running, and so I’ve agreed to go off and give that a go.”

Ontario’s Liberal government announced the creation of the new institute last August.

A news release at the time said its mandate is to “boost the northern economy and help provide a stronger voice to northern Ontario,” as well as make policy recommendations for the region.

Cirtwill said one of the reasons he was approached was his work on rural community policy in Atlantic Canada.

Born and raised in Lakeside, Halifax County, Cirtwill said he’ll be based in Thunder Bay. He said he has some family there.

He has been president of the Atlantic Institute since 2009 and was its acting president between 2006 and 2009.

A search is underway for his successor, who could be in place in the next three to four weeks, he said.

Cirtwill said he’ll likely stay around until the fall, and possibly as late as January, for the transition to a new president.