Part One: Nation States and Economic Regions in the Global Network: Michael Gallis at AIMS

In this era of growing continental economic integration, those cross-border regions that learn to act as coherent economic units will maximise their prosperity while minimising the risk of damaging disruptions to trade and investment. AIMS’ Atlantica initiative is intended to help make Atlantic Canadians aware of the common problems we share with our American neighbours just across the border, and the important synergies we could realise through effective and concerted action.

Michael Gallis has pioneered a specialty in helping public, private and institutional leaders to work effectively together to create globally competitive regions. He has mobilised leaders to understand and respond to the challenges and opportunities of regional commerce in the 21st century throughout North America. Mr. Gallis delivered a vision of where Atlantica, the cross-border region here in the international northeast, fits into the global network, that was both powerful and illuminating to an AIMS breakfast in May.

Part Two: AIMS offers fresh perspective on Nova Scotia’s knowledge economy

Nova Scotians are asking themselves what strengths and weaknesses they bring to the table in the ceaseless battle for competitive advantage in the knowledge economy, the place where technology and international trade meet. One assessment of Nova Scotia in this regard has been the annual Knowledge Economy Report Card of NovaKnowledge, a respected NGO concerned with the knowledge economy in the province.

AIMS, using the 2003 Report Card’s original analysis as a starting point, offers an additional fresh perspective on the issues Nova Scotians need to come to grips with if they’re serious about having the knowledge economy flourish in their province. In “Acknowledging the Gaps in Our Knowledge Economy: A Call for Clear Thinking on High Tech in Nova Scotia”, Dr. L. James Retallack investigates key issues and make suggestions to provide better starting points for understanding Nova Scotia’s current situation and, ultimately, encourage the growth of the knowledge economy within the province.

Contact the author, Dr. L. James Retallack, at [email protected]

Part Three: Caring About Others = High Taxes: A false equation

In Canada, particularly in political circles, debate over levels of taxation generates much more heat than light. Proponents of higher taxation structures equate their position with a more “compassionate” policy agenda. The argument suggests tax cuts are part of an “American style” agenda, which only favours the rich and is inherently mean-spirited toward the less fortunate. While this argument may appeal to our prejudices toward our neighbour to the south, it doesn’t make it true. In his regular column in the Halifax Chronicle Herald and Moncton Times and Transcript, AIMS president Brian Lee Crowley asks the question “What do we get for our money, and does that value justify our level of taxation?”

Part Four: Atlantic Prosperity: AIMS debates Jack Layton before Atlantic Mayors

Invited by outgoing Mayor Brian Murphy of Moncton to speak opposite Jack Layton, leader of the federal New Democratic Party, in a friendly debate about the future of Atlantic Canada, AIMS’ President Brian Lee Crowley presented an optimistic view of Atlantic Canada, avoiding the paternalistic and dismissive tone so prevalent in Ottawa and some other parts of the country. Crowley argues that it is wrong to view Atlantic Canadians as people with no jobs, no drive and no hope, prepared to be bribed with transfer payments. Crowley says, “There is nothing Atlantic Canadians cannot do, if only the rest of the country will stop doing us these favours. They mean well, but they don’t understand us, and they don’t understand how their interventions have made worse the problems that they sincerely wanted to contribute to solving.”

Part Five: L’assurance-emploi, un système pervers – AIMS dans La Presse

Dans ses contes et ses chansons, Félix Leclerc parle sans cesse des valeurs qui nous habitent, mais qu’il voudrait voir grandir davantage en chacun de nous: le courage, la détermination, l’indépendance, la liberté. Si Leclerc a visé juste en soulignant que ” la meilleure façon de tuer un homme, c’est de le payer à ne rien faire “, alors pourquoi les libéraux fédéraux nourrissent-ils des intentions si meurtrières à l’égard de tant de Canadiens? Car quelle autre conclusion peut-on tirer de l’annonce faite par le gouvernement, tout juste avant le déclenchement des élections, voulant que s’il est réélu, il consacrerait 300 millions supplémentaires aux prestations d’emploi destinées aux travailleurs saisonniers?

Dans sa chronique régulière dans La Presse, le plus grand quotidien de langue française de l’Amérique du Nord, le président de AIMS, Brian Lee Crowley observe que, toutes les études sérieuses consacrées aux prestations d’emploi versées aux travailleurs saisonniers ont reconnu sa perversité, piégeant génération après génération dans cette sorte de dépendance destructrice dénoncée par Leclerc.

Part Six: Revitalizing Atlantic Canada  – AIMS in the National Post

For decades, federal politicians have shown up at election-time, declaring they are “here to help,” thus presaging a disastrous policy outcome. Their well-meaning efforts, with promises to close the prosperity gap with the rest of the country, have retarded Atlantic Canada’s economic convergence with the rest of Canada. For too long, “economic development policy” has been based on the government-knows-best model — a concept that presumes bureaucrats, rather than entrepreneurs and investors, are the best judge of which business opportunities should be pursued. In this commentary in the National Post, AIMS’ Director of Research, Don McIver outlines some of the foundation concepts behind AIMS’ recent paper, “You CAN Get There From Here: How Ottawa Can Put Atlantic Canada on the Road to Prosperity”.