Atlantic Institute for Market Studies

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The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) is a think tank based in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.


AIMS is a conservative, free-market think tank in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. On its website, AIMS states that it is funded by "contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations and other organizations, as well as by the sales of our publications." It does list its "patrons" between 1995 and 2005 in its 2004-2005 Annual Report, and acknowledges the ongoing support of "several anonymous donors".

AIMS president, Brian Lee Crowley, is also on Board of Research Advisors of a similar think tank, the Frontier Institute for Public Policy, in Manitoba. [1]Brian Lee Crowley is also a member of the low-profile but influential right-wing Civitas Society, founded by Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan, campaign manager for and advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Brian Lee Crowley has a regular column in the Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia's major and only independent newspaper.

The Institute promotes free-market ideology, and is at the forefront of the battle against public health care in Canada. Among its sponsors or "patrons" it lists the pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer and Merck Frosst.

Like its sister think tank in western Canada, the Fraser Institute in Calgary, Alberta, the Atlantic Institute of Marketing Studies issues annual "report cards" for public schools in Atlantic Canada, which lead to the impression that public schools provide poor education and receive a great deal of media coverage. [2] [3] [4] Many leading academics and universities in the region have sharply criticized the metholodology of the AIMS study of public schools, saying the results are without scientific merit.

Pushing for deep US-Canada integration with "Atlantica"

In June 2006, AIMS organized a conference in St. John, New Brunswick to promote deeper integration between the Maritime provinces in eastern Canada, the province of Quebec and New England, and area AIMS called Atlantica. Chronicle Herald newspaper, 10 June 2006, “Protesters disrupt Atlantica Conference”, pp D1 and D5. The conference brought together powerful business interests and figures, such as Kenneth Irving, son of New Brunswick oil, forestry and media tycoon, the late Kenneth Colin Irving, and now CEO of Irving Oil Ltd. Irving is one of AIMS' many large corporate sponsors. The cost of attending was $600. The conference was disrupted by protesting students and labour groups outside, shouting “Irving Oil, Irving Oil, how many unions will you spoil?” [Ibid]. Three protesters were arrested. They had gone to St. John to hold their own counter-conference, called “Resisting Atlantica: Reclaiming Democracy.”

Opposing Smart Growth

In 2004, Nathan Fahey reported that the Atlantic Institute of Marketing Studies "publish[ed] a report ominously entitled "Smart Growth: Threatening the Quality of Life." According to AIMS, anyone who is for smart growth is against the good life. For example, AIMS argues that mass transit could never solve our traffic problems or ease air pollution. The AIMS report asserts that if smart growth advocates had their way, traffic congestion and air pollution would only increase. Their report is proof that a good spin needn't suffer under the burden of logic" (Fahey, 2004).


Board of Directors

Contact Details

Atlantic Institute for Market Studies
2000 Barrington Street, Suite 1006
Cogswell Tower
Halifax NS B3J 3K1
phone: (902) 429-1143
fax: (902) 425-1393
E-Mail: aims AT

Other SourceWatch Resources

External links

  • Nathan Fahey, "Spin out of control.(Off the Beat)", Alternatives Journal, 1 September 2004.
  • "Ideas at Work in Eastern Canada", Atlas Investor Report, Fall 2001, pages 6-7.
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