ANTIGONISH: Last week, StFX played host to the 51st annual conference of the Canadian Economics Association.

Frances Woolley, program chair for the conference and president of the association, said the conference hosted people from all over the world. The event was expected to include visitors from six continents and is one of the largest conferences of its type in the country.

“We’re all meeting here to talk about economics,” said Woolley, noting visitors included economists, professors, and government representatives. “People present their research and people research on all sorts of topics.”

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Presentations included topics such as the well-being of children, patents, climate change, gender, trade, and others as they relate to economics.

“There’s a paper being presented that maybe air pollution causes Alzheimer’s,” she said. “It is basically the whole thing from what is going to happen to interest rates to internet dating. It’s the whole gamut.”

Woolley said the idea behind the conference, which will also include the AGM for the association, is to be able to provide an avenue for attendees to meet and share ideas.

“This is academic research that might be influencing public policy this year, it might be influencing public policy 10 years from now,” she said. “This is the cutting edge of research about the economy and about people’s lives. It’s about people seeing the latest research, presenting the latest research, getting to know each other, and creating research partnerships.”

Woolley said the conference landed at StFX thanks to professor Greg Tkacz, chair of the university’s Economics Department.

“He was so persuasive and so passionate about StFX and he has done an amazing job with the local conference organization,” she said. “The whole community has been so welcoming. When I walked through campus, people stopped and asked me about the conference. People have been so friendly in the streets.”

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Antigonish native Matt Draper has been a photographer, reporter and columnist for The Reporter since 2003.