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Part One: Deputy PM’s Vision for the Canada-US Relationship

Canadians are deeply concerned how issues like trade disputes and the aftermath of September 11th will affect their relationship with their largest trading partner, the United States. With this preoccupation in mind, the Honourable John Manley spoke to Atlantic Canadians on his vision for the Canada-US relationship. The May 15 luncheon was part of the Economic Leadership Speaker Series, a partnership of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS), Corporate Research Associates Inc., Deloitte & Touche and the Greater Halifax Partnership.

At the time of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Deputy Prime Minister was Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and was named Time Canada Magazine’s “Newsmaker of the Year” for his role as Chairman of the Ad Hoc Cabinet Committee on Public Security and Anti-Terrorism, and for his principled stand in favour of Canadian action against terrorism and its root causes in the world. He retains responsibility for continental security matters in his new role as Deputy Prime Minister, and has forged excellent working relations with many of the officials in the US Administration who are shaping Washington’s attitudes towards Canada and the border.


Part Two: Purdy Crawford named Chairman Emeritus of AIMS

The support of some of the country’s most distinguished business leaders has helped the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies establish its high profile within the business, public policy and academic realms. Among that group, no one’s support has been more enthusiastic and unwavering than that of Purdy Crawford, volunteer chairman of AIMS for the last five years. In recognition of this matchless contribution, at the May 16, 2002 meeting of the AIMS Board of Directors, Mr. Crawford was unanimously named Chairman Emeritus of the Institute.

AIMS has always been a leader in serving the country as an independent economic and social policy think tank and Purdy has been with the Institute since the earliest days. Support like his has allowed AIMS to produce work that has been repeatedly recognized nationally and internationally for its excellence and innovation.


Part Three: AIMS author discusses the potential role of for-profit hospitals and clinics.

The most heated debate surrounding Canadian health care policy is on the potential role of for-profit hospitals and clinics. In the latest contribution to AIMS’ commentary series, Professor Brian Ferguson, health economist at the University of Guelph, identifies common Canadian myths about private health care systems and outlines the difficulties associated with estimating hospital productivity. Through a review of literature on both for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals and clinics, Prof. Ferguson concludes that permitting private hospitals to operate in Canada under Medicare will not destroy the current system. In fact, he sees a potential for private, bed-equipped clinics to make a significant contribution to the Canadian health care system.


Part Four: New Brunswick myopic on energy regulation.

Natural Gas in Atlantic Canada has already brought many hundreds of millions of dollars to our economy with new supplies, technology, and investment into the region. Unfortunately, New Brunswick is trying to change the rules in the middle of the game — rules on which a lot of this investment was based, — and introduce regulatory barriers to companies wishing to export to consumers in New England. AIMS President, Brian Lee Crowley suggests in his regular column that politicians trying to win votes by artificially driving up supply and lowering gas costs could be scaring away potential investors, restricting access to vital U.S. markets, and once again blindsiding the offshore industry.


Part Five: Smart Growth for a Smart City: A New Economic Vision for Halifax.

In his talk “Smart Growth for a Smart City: A New Economic Vision for Halifax”, delivered as part of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Noon Hour Lecture Series “Shaping Downtown: 5 Points of View”, AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley explains why the one thing that most dominates the regional urban landscape now is technology, and how this has tremendous effects on the future shape of cities.

Technology is doing more than anything else to upend traditional notions of urban geography because it is releasing people from the traditional constraints on location. With the Internet and Worldwide Web, teleconferencing, video communications devices, cell phones, etc., people (and companies) have more freedom to choose how they want to be organized, where they want to be located, and who they want to be close to. Halifax, like Moncton, Saint John, St. John’s and a host of other cities, will only grow if they can attract new residents from elsewhere in the country and the world. But because the people we need to attract may work virtually anywhere, the factors that will drive growth will not be the old ones of “attracting” major new employers, but rather creating the freedom, prosperity and cultural life that appeal to the footloose brainworkers on whom our future depends. As Crowley explains:

Remember that lower density living and travel by car are things that people want, because they reflect a higher standard of living and more personal freedom, so the trends that fashionable [urban] planning philosophies are trying to reverse are a consequence of higher incomes. If planners succeeded in reversing these trends, the result would be, and would be seen to be, a lower standard of living for people who are forced out of their cars and pushed into more crowded living conditions than they find desirable. Only a land-use philosophy that recognises these trends as manifestations of higher standards of living will have any hope of creating the conditions in which cities such as Halifax will thrive, because these are conditions that are in fact attractive to people.


Part Six: Shedding light on the university tuition debate.

Who pays and who benefits from our massive public spending on universities and colleges? In this article, AIMS author and intern John Philippe, continues to analyse the costs and benefits of a post-secondary education to both the individual who acquires that education, and the society that finances the greatest portion of the cash cost. Following-up on his enlightening report, “What’s a Degree Worth: Who Pays and Who Benefits at Atlantic Canada’s Universities?”, Philippe argues in part that it only makes sense for students, as the major beneficiaries of their education, to bear a greater share of the costs than they currently do. He also discusses how the current regime of relatively uniform tuition levels across disciplines and levels of study is wasteful in that it prohibits universities from shifting money to the areas that are in highest demand.


Part Seven: AIMS seeks summer intern.

AIMS expects to offer a four-month internship beginning in June, 2002, subject to foundation funding being made available. Internships are intended to introduce bright and innovative final-year undergraduate or graduate students to the policy making process, involve them in the important questions and issues of the day, and to give them a chance to make a tangible and worthwhile contribution to the work of the Institute. Applications are welcome from a wide range of disciplines including economics, public policy, commerce and business administration, law, history, political science, etc.

Internships can vary depending on the policy area to which the participant is assigned. Part of the internship application process will involve candidates presenting a detailed proposal for a major project to be carried out over the course of the internship. The major project should be in an area related to AIMS’ broad research interests. Candidates are referred to the paper produced by last year’s AIMS Intern, John Philippe, for a fine example of the standard to which the Institute expects its interns to aspire.

In general, applicants should possess strong writing abilities, a talent for research and excellent communication skills. During the internship program, participants will participate in regular discussions on policy issues that are designed to augment their day-to-day activities. In order to further enrich the internship experience, program participants are invited and encouraged to attend all AIMS activities whether in their policy area or not.

The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, 24 May 2002.

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