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Intergovernmental Policy Capacity in Canada

Intergovernmental Policy Capacity in Canada: Inside the Worlds of Finance, Environment, Trade, and Health

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 568
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  • Book Info
    Intergovernmental Policy Capacity in Canada
    Book Description:

    Gregory Inwood, Carolyn Johns, and Patricia O'Reilly offer unique insights into intergovernmental policy capacity, revealing what key decision-makers and policy advisors behind the scenes think the barriers are to improved intergovernmental policy capacity and what changes they recommend. Senior public servants from all jurisdictions in Canada discuss the ideas, institutions, actors, and relations that assist or impede intergovernmental policy capacity. Covering good and bad economic times and comparing insiders’ concerns and recommendations with those of scholars of federalism, public policy, and public administration, they provide a comparative analysis of major policy areas across fourteen governments. Intergovernmental policy capacity, while of increasing importance, is not well understood. By examining how the Canadian federation copes with today’s policy challenges, the authors provide guideposts for federations and governments around the world working on the major policy issues of our day.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8735-9
    Subjects: Political Science
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Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations
  1. Front Matter (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables and Figures (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acronyms (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Preface (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. Acknowledgments (pp. xvii-2)
    Gregory J. Inwood, Carolyn M. Johns and Patricia L. O’Reilly
  7. 1 Intergovernmental Policy Capacity: A New Perspective (pp. 3-31)

    Governments in Canada are under increasing pressure to provide solutions to Canada’s policy problems, but what Canadian has not expressed exasperation at the apparent inability of the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to work together to produce policy for Canadians? Today’s seemingly intractable problems in the economic, social, and environmental sectors, as well as the growing interrelatedness of policies and our networked world, highlight the need for governments to work together across jurisdictional and state-society boundaries. Information and communication technologies have reduced time and space. At the same time, Canadian society is more diverse and multi-layered. All of these realities...

  8. 2 The Landscape of Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations in Canada (pp. 32-79)

    This chapter reviews the major factors that collectively formed the landscape in which Canadian federalism and intergovernmental relations evolved during the period of our study, 1995–2005. We conduct this review within our framework of ideas, institutions, actors, and relations. These categories contain the major factors which the federalism, public policy, and public administration literatures and our research have revealed as central to understanding Canadian federalism and intergovernmental relations, and which together influenced the perceptions and opinions of officials. In subsequent chapters we use this framework of factors to elucidate our core concept of intergovernmental policy capacity (IPC).

    For some...

  9. 3 Intergovernmental Relations Generalists: The View from the Centre (pp. 80-130)

    It is clear from chapter 2 that Canadian federalism evolved with an increasing concern and emphasis on the ability of federal, provincial, and territorial governments to collaboratively develop and implement public policies which affect Canadians. We look in this chapter at the factors which affect intergovernmental policy capacity (IPC) from the perspective of intergovernmental relations generalists – those officials who work in intergovernmental ministries and central agencies – in all Canadian governments. As we noted in chapter 1, these intergovernmental relations generalists are public servants who work solely or primarily on intergovernmental business and are located in separate departments or units within...

  10. 4 Finance: Long-Standing Influence (pp. 131-177)

    The “long, tiring, unproductive era of bickering” Finance Minister Flaherty referred to presumably meant the previous handful of years. But as Stevenson points out, debate over the terms of fiscal federalism has been a persistent feature of Canadian politics at least since Ontario demanded compensation when Sir John A. Macdonald offered “better terms” to Nova Scotia in 1869 (Stevenson 2006). While the intensity of conflict has waxed and waned over the years, one point is clear; fiscal federalism is at the heart of intergovernmental relations. Any analysis of intergovernmental policy capacity (IPC) must therefore assess the role of finance ministries....

  11. 5 Environment: High Expectations, Low Deliverables (pp. 178-216)

    Issues such as climate change, water pollution, biodiversity, and the regulation of toxic chemicals highlight the importance of intergovernmental policy capacity (IPC) in environmental policy. Since the 1960s, federal-provincial-territorial relations and policy agendas related to the environment have evolved amidst the ebb and flow of public attention and political will of various leaders. There is a welldeveloped literature on the history and significance of federalism in this policy area outlining periods of collaboration, disentanglement, and unilateralism in Canada’s environmental union (Harrison 1996; Fafard and Harrison 2000). Indeed Canada’s environmental union can be characterized by a “blend of cooperation, competition and...

  12. 6 Trade: Measured Cooperation (pp. 217-258)

    It is perhaps a truism to say Canada is a trading nation. It always has been. It is also the case that no other country has a more concentrated pattern of trade than does Canada, with almost 82% of Canadian exports destined for North American markets. Of that total, only about 2% went to Mexico while about 80% were sent to the United States in 2006. In the period of this study, perhaps no other policy was of greater importance to the overall economic well-being of the nation given the global focus on trade liberalization.

    There are two dimensions to...

  13. 7 Health: Money and Turf Wars (pp. 259-301)

    Health policy played an important role in intergovernmental relations in the 1990s and early 2000s. Like many intergovernmental policy developments, this one raised heightened concerns for money and jurisdiction. Constitutional jurisdiction for the design and delivery of health care rests predominantly with the provinces, but the federal government plays a key role in funding this ever-expanding sector with federal fiscal transfers and the conditions laid out in a federal statute (voluntarily signed by the provinces), the Canada Health Act (CHA), to ensure equal access to quality health services across the country. So the government with the least policy jurisdiction has...

  14. 8 Comparative Analysis Across Policy Sectors: Similarities and Differences (pp. 302-345)

    The scholarship at the interface between federalism, public policy, and public administration has long recognized the challenge of drawing theoretical and empirical generalizations even within one policy area, much less across several. Likewise, many intergovernmental generalists who deal with multiple sector files also cautioned about making generalizations across different policy areas. However, many of their comments, woven together with those of finance specialists and policy specialists in environment, trade, and health, tell an interesting comparative story of intergovernmental policy capacity (IPC) in Canada. This chapter presents some of the findings outlined in chapters 4 to 7 in comparative context. In...

  15. 9 Intergovernmental Policy Capacity and Jurisdictional Variation: Fourteen Stories (pp. 346-413)

    Jurisdiction matters. This is one sentiment we heard from many officials we interviewed. In addition to the variation by policy area outlined in chapter 8, one cannot easily characterize the intergovernmental policy capacity (IPC) of the federation without considering jurisdictional differences. While not asked directly to compare IPC across jurisdictions, officials often did so. However, in considering the significance of jurisdiction, a caveat must be attached to the officials’ comments. While they were being asked specifically about IPC, some spoke more generally of the independent policy capacity of jurisdictions, which clearly is related to IPC but different.

    For some of...

  16. 10 Findings, Recommendations, Conclusions, and Challenges (pp. 414-472)

    Intergovernmental policy capacity (IPC) is a concept embedded with assumptions about current and future policy-making in Canada. Does Canada need more IPC? The answer presented in this book is yes. There may be specific cases where moreintergovernmentalcapacity may not be required, where the sub-national governments or the national government have the independent policy capacity to deal with particular issues within their own jurisdiction and the introduction of intergovernmental elements becomes cumbersome or inefficient. However, the governments of the federation clearly have to be able to work together in virtually every policy area; indeed, it is difficult to identify...

  17. Appendix 1 Provincial Equalization Prior to 2004 (pp. 475-475)
  18. Appendix 2 Territorial Transfers Prior to 2004 (pp. 475-475)
  19. Appendix 3 Federal transfers 2006–07 (pp. 476-476)
  20. Bibliography (pp. 477-518)
  21. Index (pp. 519-548)