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Part One:  Unleashing Canada: Former Ontario Premier Mike Harris to speak at AIMS event

Two-term Ontario Premier Mike Harris stepped down some months ago with a strong record of policy change to his credit. Some of his accomplishments included tax cuts, education and local government reform, health care restructuring and higher standards for government efficiency and accountability across the board. He reduced the size of the legislature, and his government produced three balanced budgets in a row, a feat unmatched by any other Ontario premier for a century. Since leaving politics, Mr. Harris has been highly critical of Canadian foreign policy, particularly Ottawa’s handling of our vital relationship with the United States. At this event, Mr. Harris will reflect on the lessons to be learned from his six turbulent years as premier and offer his thoughts on policy reform that remains undone both federally and provincially. Join AIMS and its partners, Corporate Research Associates, Deloitte & Touche and the Greater Halifax Partnership, for this outstanding event on October 22nd.

We would like to thank Office Interiors Group for its generous sponsorship of this event.

Part Two: Former FERC Chairman Curt Hebert keynote speaker at AIMS/ECANS electricity conference, “Plugging in the International Northeast”

Two years ago, AIMS and ECANS brought the very best ideas about competition, deregulation and market opening in the electricity field to Atlantic Canada at our “Plugging in Atlantic Canada” conference. Now, with a recent major power outage in central North America, looming power generation shortages in the Maritimes, painful lessons to be learned from California and Ontario, and a growing awareness of the importance of regional co-operation across the Canada-US border, AIMS and ECANS are back with an update on how power markets are evolving and what it means.
Some of the biggest names in electricity policy will be speaking at “Plugging in the International Northeast”. Headlining the bill is former US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman, Curt Hebert, as well as George Spencer of Restructuring Today, Stewart MacPherson, President, NB Power, Karl Pfirrmann, President, Midwest Region, PJM, Jim Connors, Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs, Emera and Dave LaPlante, Vice President, Market Development, New England ISO. In addition, well-known electricity consultant Gordon Weil will be presenting his new AIMS paper on a bi-national electricity market in Atlantica.

Part Three: AIMS paper argues Aquaculture industry lorded over by “feudal bureaucracy”
 AIMS has just released its major new paper on Canadian aquaculture, Fencing the Last Frontier: The Case for Property Rights in Canadian Aquaculture, completed in partnership with the Canadian Aquaculture Institute. In the paper, UPEI economist Robin Neill argues that because the industry largely exists in a legal vacuum, producers are forced to navigate a maze of sluggish and inept bureaucracy with no restraint on government and administrative discretion.

 Dr. Neill says, “the industry is effectively “owned” by government in right of the Crown and controlled by an often inept, “vestigially feudal bureaucracy” acting in accordance with the discretion of the minister responsible. But government cannot be expected to run the aquaculture industry efficiently. When all regulations and much of the industry’s financial support are at its discretion, government’s lack of competence determines the economic outcome.”

 “Fencing the Last Frontier: The Case for Property Rights in Canadian Aquaculture” was released during a speech AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley gave at a major international conference on law, property and the sea held in Wellington New Zealand on 4 October 2003. *************************************************
Part Four: AIMS President gives keynote address at New Zealand conference on property rights and the sea.
 AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley was the keynote speaker at “Foreshore, Law and Politics” an international conference on coastal, fishery and aboriginal issues held in the parliament buildings in Wellington, New Zealand on Saturday, October 4th, 2003.

 In a talk entitled “Who should own the sea and why it matters”, Crowley breaks new ground using property rights in the fishery as an illustration of a broader principle requiring property rights in the seabed, water column,

foreshore and the productive capacity of the sea. Urging the extension of the principles of property rights to many more aspects of stewardship of the sea, Dr. Crowley says, “we are embarking on exactly the kind of momentous change in our relationship with the ocean that we undertook with agricultural land in past centuries and with fish in the last 20 years.”

 For more details about the conference, organised by the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers (ACT) of New Zealand, go to the ACT website at

Part Five: AIMS at the NSCC Business Insurance Forum: Let’s not make a bad situation worse.

AIMS President Brian Lee Crowley was invited to be a member of the panel at the Business Insurance Forum organised by the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce in Truro on 24 September 2003.

 In his talk, Crowley warned that business owners, homeowners and drivers, are all rightly angry about the rising cost of their insurance. Big premium increases like those of the last year or two hurt people’s pocketbooks and divert their money from things that are more important to them. That damages their standard of living. Sometimes people can’t even get coverage when they’re willing to pay the premiums. That’s even worse than having premiums go through the roof. So, insurance today is an issue fraught with emotion. But emotion is never the best basis on which to settle complex public policy issues, especially when the costs of an ill-considered and hasty decision are likely to be with us for a very long time to come.

It is always when emotion is at its highest that people are vulnerable to the latest scheme that sounds like it will solve the problem with the wave of a magic wand. And nationalization of the car insurance industry and “regulation” or nationalization of business and other forms of insurance is the flavour of the month in this category. To hear its advocates tell the story, nationalization and regulation will lower costs, improve service, eliminate “excessive” profits and perhaps cure SARS too.

 Instead of these simplistic solutions, he recommended that the business community concentrate its attention on four points in the insurance debate:

·         Make it clear to the people who supply you with insurance that you are mad as hell;

·         Open the insurance industry to all providers who have the capitalisation and other qualifications necessary;

·         Demand that the tax burden on insurance be lowered;

·         Ensure that “liability creep” is not allowed to emerge from the court system.


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