Part 1: Urban Chic: New AIMS Paper Sheds Light on Relationship Between Ottawa, Cities
Along with healthcare and taxation, a “new deal for cities” has become a central theme of the 2004 federal election. This restructuring of the financial relationship between Ottawa and Canada’s municipalities has moved to centre stage, but are the arguments being put forward for major new senior government intervention in the life of the country’s cities sound?

In DO CITIES CREATE WEALTH? A Critique of New Urban Thinking and the Role of Public Policy for Cities, Patrick Luciani, AIMS Senior Fellow in Urban Policy reviews the three key arguments that are used to justify a greater role for senior government policy (and senior government spending) in the affairs of Canada’s cities. These arguments centre on the themes of clustering, the rise of the global city-state, and the importance of attracting educated workers or what has come to be known as the “creative class”. These ideas have become the foundation for what is called “new urban thinking”

Luciani says, “This ‘new urban thinking’ is just another name for ‘new industrial policy’, with an urban twist: a justification for greater state involvement in urban affairs.” In this, the second paper in The AIMS Urban Futures Series, Mr. Luciani argues that many of the big spending strategies being promoted by politicians simply don’t stand up to analysis.

Part 2: Plugging Atlantica into the Emerging Global Network: AIMS to APCC

Perhaps the single most important determinant in the future success of Atlantic Canada is its position relative to the emerging global networks that underpin trade and growth. Geography may be static, however in the age of globalization if a region does not find an advantageous position in the global network, it risks being left behind.

Drawing on material from Michael Gallis’s presentation to AIMS entitled Nation States and Economic Regions in the Global Network, and the large body of research AIMS has completed on the international northeast economic region, AIMS president Brian Lee Crowley paints a compelling picture of the importance of Atlantica’s place in world trading patterns and the actions that the whole international northeast must take if it is to be woven into the networks that increasingly shape our world.

In a speech before the AGM of the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce, held in PEI May 29, Dr. Crowley outlines the historical impediments to economic integration and charts a new course for the success of the international northeast economic zone.


Part 3: Social Policy and the New Economy: AIMS at the Cdn. Association of Food Banks

The key to reducing poverty is work, not welfare dependency. But even the suggestion that many people on low-incomes could make themselves better off by changing their own behaviour is guaranteed to generate the cry of “blaming the victim”. Although there are many prepared to call  for more money for government run social programmes, anyone who visits a Statistics Canada office can find out about what makes the difference between falling into poverty and escaping it: the best and most common route out is more family members working more hours. Hard work and a buoyant labour market do make the difference.

In this talk to participants at Toward A Hunger Free Canada, a national convention of the Canadian Association of Food Banks sponsored by the Metro Halifax Food Bank, AIMS president Brian Lee Crowley examines the obstacles to improving conditions for those on low-incomes. Social Policy and the New Economy gives a wealth of detail as to why work is still the best most effective antidote to poverty.


Part 4: AIMS Fellow, Dr. David Zitner: Health Care Innovator

In April of this year, AIMS’ Health Policy Fellow Dr. David Zitner of Dalhousie University wrote an opinion piece for the National Post outlining the benefits of health care co-operatives. In the article, Dr. Zitner says “Patient co-ops are a way to inject more money into the health care system without raising taxes; to improve the quality, speed, efficiency and convenience of contacts with medical professionals via technology; and to encourage more specialization among various levels of professionals like primary care nurses working under a physician’s supervision. Patient power starts here.”

Public policy initiatives generally take some time before they are accepted and eventually brought into reality, however the patient co-op seems to be an idea whose time has come in Nova Scotia. A patient co-operative is being proposed by a Pictou County doctor. In this article, Dr. Zitner and Diane Kelderman, CEO of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council say “the concept of community run, medical co-operatives are the wave of the future.”


Part 5: Valeurs “américaines”: La rhétorique contre la réalité – AIMS dans La Presse

Pour la première fois en une génération, l’anti-américanisme, le leitmotiv de la campagne libérale hors du Québec, ne rapporte pas de gains politiques. Paul Martin tente de diaboliser le leader conservateur Stephen Harper en l’associant à des valeurs ” américaines “. La principale cible de ses attaques: le volonté de M. Harper d’abaisser les impôts.

Cette approche, soutient M. Martin, mettra en péril nos programmes sociaux. Le Canada est un pays où les gens prennent soin les uns des autres et, par implication, ce n’est pas le cas des États-Unis. En temps normal, cette tactique formerait un pari sûr.


Part 6: Media turn to AIMS for Context on Election Issues

Throughout the 2004 federal election campaign the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies has been the “go to” source in Atlantic Canada to provide topical analysis. Journalists often turn first to AIMS for informed comment and assistance in providing context on a wide range of issues including employment, regional development, equalization and health care. To provide regular AIMS readers with a better picture of the scope of AIMS’ influence in these policy areas, we have compiled a page containing a selection of articles gleaned from the local, regional and national press. We will be updating this page as more material becomes available.

Part 7: Policy Directors sought by AIMS

AIMS is seeking two Policy Directors, one specializing in Education and Health and another in Social and Economic Affairs, to join its executive team.

The Policy Directors must have excellent policy minds, a gift for written and oral communications and a drive to improve the quality of public policy in Atlantic Canada and the country generally. As members of the executive team, the successful candidates will play a leading role in defining and carrying out the research, publication, advancement, education, conference, media and other activities of one of the country’s most successful public policy think tanks.