Talk of a break on power bills or government help for Stora Enso in Nova Scotia prompted the Halifax Chronicle-Herald to check out what such help would mean to other companies. It turned to AIMS for comment in a story headlined:

Big Biz, Big Breaks
Lineup for government cash will be a long one
Crowley: Some deals like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Reporter David Jackson wrote:

Brian Lee Crowley, president of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, said he has no quarrel with businesses asking the province for a better tax rate, a break on electricity, or grants when the province isn’t allowing them to be competitive.

He said his problem is with government saying yes.

“We have too many examples here of favourite industries being singled out for special treatment and the thing you’ve got to remember is when one industry is singled out for special treatment, it has to be at the expense of everybody else. Somebody else has to pick up the slack,” Mr. Crowley said.

“That’s why my argument is always government should resist these special deals but has to deal with the uncompetitive nature of our business climate. Trying to fix it for one company, but not fixing it for everybody, is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul because everybody else’s tax rate has to stay high in order to finance this special deal you’ve done.

The complete article can be found at