Part One: The White House Comes to AIMS: David Frum on Canada-US relations

He has been called “one of the leading political commentators of his generation” by the Wall Street Journal. Canadian David Frum is considered one of North America’s top political and social observers. On June 12, Frum, former speechwriter and now advisor to US President George W. Bush captivated an AIMS audience with an illuminating discussion of Canada-US relations.

Mr. Frum provides frank analysis and unique insight into the nature of affairs between the two countries on issues such as national security and intelligence cooperation, refugee policy and immigration, and diplomacy.


Part Two: Angus McBeath, Edmonton Superintendent of Schools to speak at AIMS Event July 11.

Edmonton proves that school choice and accountability works in the public schools.

Edmonton has revolutionized its public schools. Every school is now an education enterprise led by a strong CEO (principal) with the power to implement change and the capability to acquire the services and resources the students need, when they need them. Throughout North America, Edmonton is being held up as the example of what the public schools can and should be.

Angus McBeath, a native Maritimer, will recount how his adopted city found the formula to revive the spirit, energy, and commitment of people to public education. Edmonton has proven that choice, accountability and performance are not incompatible with the Canadian public school system, but key to its renewal and improvement.

It is thanks to a partnership with the Society for the Advancement of Excellence in Education that AIMS is able to offer you an opportunity to hear and exchange ideas with Angus McBeath free of charge.

This will be an event of interest to anyone who has children in the system or is concerned about the quality of education our public system is offering. The talk takes place from 9:30 to 11:00 am, Friday July 11th at the Halifax Club, 1682 Hollis St., Halifax. Please note, pre-registration is required, and space is limited. Registrations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. We would appreciate the courtesy of notification if the registrant is unable to attend. *************************************************

Part Three: Shooting the Messenger: Why Educators Blame AIMS for Their Own Problems

The Atlantic Canadian education establishment was quick to vilify the AIMS report card on high schools calling it “a disservice” and “misleading”. What it did not do is back up argument with fact. In this commentary for Progress magazine Jim Meek observes, instead of carping at critics, educators must take a closer look at the benefits of ranking our schools.

In this article, Mr. Meek points out Atlantic Canada’s public education system appears to need improvement, “In comparison with other regions of Canada, our four provinces appear to be locked in a race for last place. Rankings of 15-year-olds in Atlantic Canada showed students from our four fair provinces finished 7th, 8th, 9th and tenth in reading; 7th, 8th, 9th and tenth in mathematics; and 7th, 8th, 9th and tenth in science. That’s tenth out of ten provinces by the way. (We do earn an A+, however, for consistency.)” 

Part Four: First the Gas, Then the Grid: Keeping the cart behind the horse

Speaking at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Gas Association in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, AIMS President Dr. Brian Lee Crowley made the case that while some believe Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have opposing interests in natural gas, nothing could be further from the truth. Both would benefit more from increased gas exploration and development, and both would be harmed by a premature extension of the national gas distribution grid to uneconomic areas. Rather than creating artificial domestic markets that are expensive to service, we are far better off reaping the full market value of the resource at this stage, and encouraging an expanding exploration and development industry.

The exploration and development effort to date has already created more economic benefit for New Brunswick than the availability of natural gas itself in the southern part of the province, so it makes no sense to damage that exploration effort in order to bring gas to the northern half. Finding more gas will ultimately improve the economics of extending the national grid, but now is the time to be clear about the real priorities and to keep that distribution cart firmly behind the exploration horse. 

Part Five: Ingenuity, the Genome and Generics: Cheap pills now or new pills tomorrow?

Pharmaceuticals have been one of the key drivers of a revolution in the health of people around the world. We have harnessed human creativity in the medical field and conquered disease after disease. What is the reward for the companies that have invested billions of dollars, done the research and taken the risk of trying to improve human health? Everywhere politicians are trying to force them to lower their prices. They deny the companies’ products access to hospital dispensaries, create buying cartels, and reduce patent protection or any one of a host of other manoeuvres.

We have frequently done this in Canada. The result is lower prices for medical marvels already discovered. But these short sighted policies will do more harm than good if they bring us cheaper pills today, but reduce the research effort needed to find the cures we need for diseases we have not yet conquered. In this column from the Halifax Chronicled Herald and Moncton Times and Transcript, AIMS President Dr. Brian Lee Crowley examines how human ingenuity in its destructive form threatens the flow of pharmaceutical innovation in Cheap Pills Now or New Pills Tomorrow? *************************************************

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