29 NOVEMBER 2011

AIMS Director of Research calls for the abolishment of Regional Development Authorities in Nova Scotia

Halifax: The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies’ Director of Research Don McIver is calling for an end to Regional Development Authorities in Nova Scotia. His view is outlined in a new AIMS paper entitled Nova Scotians Without Borders.

Regional development strategies in Canada have failed to improve the economies of their target regions. “A benefit to being a nation is the absence of barriers to the mobility of money and labour,” says McIver. “But current industrial policies attempt to get businesses to relocate to areas of surplus labour—instead of helping people get jobs where their skills are in demand.”

In Nova Scotia, the government has provided financial incentives to companies to operate in regions with high unemployment. These initiatives have failed, often after the government has given them repeated additional assistance. “In fact,” says McIver, “the regions that have received the most development initiatives for the longest periods still have the highest unemployment and the greatest population out-migration.”

McIver says that government industrial and economic development strategies need to focus on people, not subsidies to business. Regional industrial or investment strategies are not a legitimate role of government and when they attempt them, governments waste resources that could be better used to serve citizens.

“The most people-oriented government policy would be to help create an inclusive labour force with the flexibility to move people to where their personal economic and social wellbeing is maximized,” says McIver. “If that is outside the province, it may be a loss to Nova Scotia—but to those individual Nova Scotians it would be a gain.”

Click here to read Nova Scotians Without Borders.


For more information, please contact:

Don McIver
Director of Research
Atlantic Institute for Market Studies
[email protected]
902.429.1143 ext. 226

Charles Cirtwill
President and CEO
Atlantic Institute for Market Studies
[email protected]
902.429.1143 ext. 225