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Part One: Trying times reinforce common US-Canada bond

All of us at the Institute have been deeply shocked and saddened by the horrific terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC. On behalf of the Board, volunteers and staff, we wish to express our most profound condolences to all those who have been touched by these tragic events, and our solidarity with our American neighbours in the face of these unjustified outrages. Our thoughts and our prayers are with you all in the days and weeks to come as the world struggles to understand and deal with what has happened.

We feel confident that these trying times and their aftermath will only serve to reinforce the bonds of shared values and friendship that unite Americans and Canadians in our common continental home.

Part Two: Just a few places left! Swedish healthcare event just a few days away

In less than a week, one of the most informative talks on the international experience with health reform will occur right here in Halifax. With only a  few days left, you do not want to miss your opportunity to learn first hand about the opportunities being seized elsewhere to create sustainable high  quality health systems.

Johan Hjertqvist, one of the architects of reform in Sweden, will be in Halifax to describe the steps Sweden has taken, and is preparing to take, to modernise the ways in which health care is delivered. The Swedish approach includes hospital privatisation, large-scale contracting out, use of the Internet to inform health care consumers and reduce waiting times, user fees, parallel public and private health care, and more.

This luncheon is hosted by AIMS, Greater Halifax Partnership, Deloitte & Touche, and Corporate Research Associates. These four partners are behind a new Speaker Series targeted at opinion leaders in Atlantic Canada. Our discussion on health care is the first in a four-part series about our region’s future. We want to use this series to explore leading-edge ideas in four areas critical to that future: health care, oil and gas wealth management, education, and the future of this region’s relations with our major trading partners just across the Canada-US border.


Part Three: The Internet Empowers Swedish Healthcare Consumers

How to improve health care delivery and manage health care costs are central themes in public policy debate in Canada today. It is not only Canada that faces these challenges, however, and we need not only look to ourselves for solutions.

In this, AIMS’ second commentary on Swedish Health Care in Transition, Johan Hjertqvist explores the concepts of choice, competition and accountability to the consumer. The internet is being used as a tool in Sweden to maximise the return from the competitive supply of health services. More and better information, readily available to a broad audience, ensures that a well-informed and educated public can make their own choices about the health care available to them.

This series of newsletters on Swedish Health Care in Transition is a joint project of AIMS, Atlantic Canada’s public policy think tank, and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy (FCPP).


Part Four: National Post lauds AIMS’ analysis of region’s woes

In taking a serious look at recent proposals for new federal economic development spending in Atlantic Canada, the National Post turned to “Retreat from Growth”  as a definitive source for why this is not the way to go. “Retreat from Growth” is AIMS’ most recent book and was a finalist for the Donner Book Prize for the best Canadian public policy book of 2000.

In it, author Fred McMahon notes that, by the late 1960s, employment and business activity in Atlantic Canada had nearly caught up to the rest of the country. This achievement was immediately reversed when, after 1972, the government of then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau lavished transfers, economic development schemes and improved unemployment insurance benefits on the region.


Part Five: Major equalisation event scheduled for Montreal in October

Equalisation: welfare trap or helping hand? This is the question AIMS, the Montreal Economic Institute and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy will seek to answer at a conference in Montreal on 25 October 2001. These three private-sector think tanks together represent all of the equalisation receiving provinces, giving them a unique perspective on the impact of the present system on their regions and the country as a whole.

As part of this conference, James Buchanan, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics (1986) will revisit the case for equalising grants during a luncheon conference at the University Club in Montreal. Earlier in the day, private and public sector experts will take part in a roundtable seeking to answer two questions: “What’s wrong with equalisation?” and “How should equalisation be fixed?”


Part Six: AIMS launches equalisation page

AIMS is at the forefront of researching and debating the most important economic and public policy issues facing Atlantic Canadians and Canadians more generally. The current debate on Ottawa’s equalisation payments to less-developed provinces is one example of our success in achieving our goals.

In launching its newest web page, AIMS has created a key resource for those seeking to understand and follow the equalisation debate. On this page you will find two thoughtful and informed papers exploring the question of equalisation and its impact on Atlantic Canada and the country as a whole. You may also read the wide-ranging debate about equalisation that these papers helped to touch off. The site also contains media links and links to other government and private sector sites exploring the complex equalisation question.


Part Seven: 200,000 come to where tomorrow’s public policy begins today

With record traffic over the summer of 2001 the AIMS website has now exceeded 200,000 hits. The broad range of issues and ideas discussed on the site has ensured a growing level of traffic as people increasingly turn to AIMS for options and alternatives.

Whether those people are exploring the issues from a regional, national or international perspective the AIMS site has become a definitive source for informed commentary. The level and breadth of the activity under way at AIMS is epitomised by the always changing “What’s New” box.


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