The Canadian Condition: A Guide to Research in Public Policy

The Institute is a learning body and, accordingly, its reading of the Canadian reality will become more accurate, more specific, more sophis- ticated as time goes on"not to mention that reality changes as well. The pur- pose of [this] exercise is to provide a perspective from which to identify prob- lem areas and projects.

The following six phenomena have been identified:

a) The changing configuration of centres of power and influence affecting public policy;

b) The changing economic structure internally and internationally, and the related change in the availability of natural resources;

c) The growing importance of publicly shared conditions, positive and negative, in a world of interdependence;

d) The existence of unbalanced social transactions in a society in which individuals exist in relation to organizations;

e) The changing social identities and expectations and resulting attempts to find a more meaningful place and role in society;

f) The changing role of the state with regard to individual citizens and to economic institutions.

"Raymond Breton, 1977  


Canadian Population Trends and Public Policy Through the 1980s

The federal government appears to be encouraging Canadians to think explicitly about population growth and size as aspects of the determination of ”œwhat Canada wants” in the years ahead. Some explicit concern about the range within which Canada’s population growth path should lie during the immediate and longer future does seem to be inevitable in mapping a network of Canadian social policy targets.

Already there are some who contend that metropolitan areas such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver have earned the right to be treated more extensively as quasi- independent units that could deal directly with the federal level of government.

"Leroy O. Stone and Claude Marceau, 1977 

The Legislative Process in Canada: The Need for Reform

W.A.W. Neilson and J.C. MacPherson, eds., 1978

As a class of citizens, M.P.’s regularly receive more abuse than they deserve. Part of that abuse is due to igno- rance on the part of some commentators. John Reid is correct in his attempt to counter the popular image, often conveyed by journalists and some academics, of M.P.’s as a tribe whose emblem is servitude; who regular- ly and passively accept the will of their ministers irrespective of their own opinions and/or the wishes of their con- stituents … Many critics of Parliament, and some scholars who adopt a ”œscoreboard” approach towards parliamentary effectiveness, tend to mistake debates, amendments and votes on the floor of the House and in the standing com- mittees for all of the legislative process.

"Paul G. Thomas

The fact that Parliament is under-reported and under- appreciated by the media does not lessen the media’s influence on the legislative process. If anything, the reverse seems to be true. So rarely does the press concentrate its full attention on the legislative system that, when it does, the effect is quite pronounced.

No discussion of the influence of the media would be complete without reference to the televising of Parliament. Television in the House is too recent a phenomenon to per- mit more than the most tentative appraisal. To my mind, however, television has had three effects. First, it has height- ened the profile of the Leader of the Opposition. Prior to tel- evision, in the House, Joe Clark seemed to occupy a notch a slot below and a slot behind the Prime Minister. Now, how- ever, he is seen every day to be sharing the same stage with Trudeau. He is on his feet, questioning the Prime Minister as an equal, rather than as an inferior to a superior. Television, I suspect, has made Clark appear to be more an alternative to Trudeau than he appeared before. To a lesser degree, the same is true of Ed Broadbent, the leader of the New Democratic Party. Second, television has increased the credibility of Opposition M.P.’s in general, and of the major Opposition critics, in particular. Canadians have a fairly good idea of who federal ministers are and they have an impression as to their ability. Outside their own regions, however, most Opposition members are an unknown quantity. Television has introduced the country to a new cast of parliamentary performers"M.P.’s such as Flora MacDonald, Sinclair Stevens, Elmer MacKay, Bill Jarvis, John Fraser, Jim Gillies, Lincoln Alexander, Walter Baker, among many others. Viewers have an opportunity to see and to judge the alternative government"which may be helpful, or harmful, to the Opposition.

"Geoffrey Stevens 



The Future of North America: Canada, The United States, and Quebec Nationalism

Elliot J. Feldman and Neil Nevitte, eds.

The results of over 110 years of Canadian federal institutions, with their consistent preferences in economic and development policies, have led Quebec to build a strong feeling of being too often overlooked and neglected and even the object of discrimination. The feeling is essentially one of a colonial people (although no doubt a well-fed colonial people). As in other countries where an important segment, though smaller than the majority, feels more or less cooped up, depending on circumstances, in institutions that are controlled outside themselves, we in Quebec are an inner colony.

The federal system, modern style, was invented by Americans; it was a free people, recently emancipated, that invented its own set of institutions. In our case, the story was not exactly the same. In Canada, one hundred years later, there was not much debate, nor much consultation. There was certainly no great interest except among Canadian Pacific lawyers and other railroad builders.

When people start, subtly or otherwise, to give us lessons in basic democra- cy, they should come to see how democracy now works in Quebec. We are the most staunchly dedicated to democracy of all parties anywhere in the Western world. We intend to keep government clean.

"René Lévesque

There are several alternatives for dealing with the foreign control problem. The one I have suggested from time to time is that members of the Canadian Parliament should express by resolution the view that the foreign owners of the larger Canadian subsidiary companies should gradually over a period of years sell out to Canadians.

"Walter Gordon

Ibelieve that since Quebecers are already accustomed to a high standard of liv- ing, they will refuse to give up economic union with the rest of Canada. But one cannot ignore the fact that if Quebec voters strongly support the reelected Liberals at the federal level and again support the federalist position in the refer- endum, some could possibly be disposed to balance federalist inclinations by vot- ing the P.Q. into a second term in office.

"Robert Bourassa 

Perspectives on Canadian Airline Regulation

G.B. Reschenthaler and B. Roberts, eds.

What does the average person know abut the regulation of domestic air travel? The average Canadian will likely respond that with- in Canada air travel is expensive and for some reason needs intensive regulation by government. He will be vaguely aware that a revolution in the regulation of air transportation is occurring in the U.S., a revolution that has resulted in a bonanza of discount air fares for United States citizens, a revolution that has provided air transportation between a few city pairs at a price only slightly more expensive than bus travel. He will also be aware that the same revolution in the regulation of air transportation seems to be passing Canada by.

Canada faces serious transportation problems, in part because its regulatory approach is far out of balance. The over- reliance on the anti-competitive approach to airline regulation poses problems both internally and externally. Close government regulation of prices and routes results in a high frequency of service, service inflation, uneconomic service to some communities, low aver- age system load factors, high air fares, and poor traffic growth.

"Bruce Roberts

Regulation is not necessarily evil protectionism. Airlines provide a common carrier service which is essen- tial. That means there must be some form of regulation. Variation in demand means that if there is to be any kind of satisfactory year-round service, there must be regulation. The fact that there are unresolved problems, that this segment or that is facing a ”œcrisis,” is not an argument against regulation or the regulators.

"R.J. Lafrenière

Canada in the New Monetary Order: Borrow? Devalue? Restructure!

Canada has let its dollar sink as an alternative to further borrow- ing. Financial officials no doubt hope that some dollar parity may exist to balance the country’s international payments while simultaneously serving its domestic growth objective. However, depreciation can be expected to have only a marginal effect on improving the balance of payments"while dampening domestic prosperity.

"Michael Hudson



The Way Out

It is almost impossible to determine the total amount of subsidization in the economy today. While adding up transfer payments to individuals and grants to firms provided by all levels of government would represent the initial step in the analysis, there would also have to be an accounting of all ”œfree” or partially costed and priced goods and services exchanged within the economy … Even if such a study could be con- ducted it would only terminate in some horrendous sum the economic ramifications of which would defy the most imaginative interpretation.

There is no doubt that it will be difficult for govern- ments to convince their citizens that paying for certain serv- ices which are currently provided ”œfree of charge” or at less than full cost has definite advantages over accepting some- thing for nothing. Little can be offered here as to how to increase public recognition that there is no such thing as a ”œfree lunch.”

"A.R. Bailey and D.G. Hull

Official-Language Populations in Canada: Patterns and Contacts

Throughout the bilingual zone of Quebec, one was left with the image that the strength and pervasiveness of the English language was generally out of proportion with the distribution of people of British origin and English mother tongue. In many counties where the people of English mother tongue constituted less than half the pop- ulation, the language intensity for English was greater than that for French.

The efforts of the federal government to promote both ”œofficial languages” were dismissed [in Quebec]; institu- tional bilingualism was interpreted as a ”œsmoke screen” that was unable to hide the fact that Canada was truly an English-speaking state. Institutions and the entire social fabric of Quebec were considered to be essential elements to the extension of the use of French … It seemed that the [federal] government had been correct in maintaining bilingual districts as an essential part of its language legis- lation. If the trend towards language loss within French language islands was to be moderated, the designation of districts appeared again to be urgent. In spite of this evi- dence, it must be put forth that bilingual districts may not suit the needs of the minority within language islands. There is a possibility that such designation would actually exacerbate the position of francophones beyond Quebec and the bilingual zone.

"Donald G. Cartwright 

Why Disunity? An Analysis of Linguistic and Regional Cleavages in Canada

The full powers of the federal government used in harmonious concert with those of the provincial government were directed to the promotion and encouragement of organizations in Ontario. For that reason, the organizational structure of Ontario, in particular in commerce, industry, and finance, but also in other domains, such as universities, pub- lishing, news agencies, broadcasting, has always been, and still is, better developed than anywhere else in Canada.

It is not an accident, therefore, that the population of Quebec and western Canada were said to be alienated from their government in Ottawa. The word alienation to describe that reality must have originated in Ontario, since the fact that it was used to describe the outcome of something real precluded it being used elsewhere.

However that may be, a successful redistribution of orga- nizational power through regional development policies is bound to provoke more resistance than strictly redistribu- tional policies since … such policies also alter the distribution of organizational power.

"Albert Breton and Raymond Breton 

General Guidelines Relating to the Research Programs and Operations of the Institute for Research on Public Policy

The Institute’s target audience varies from project to project but includes:

  • members of federal and provincial legislatures, togeth- er with their advisors;

  • senior government officials in federal, provincial and municipal governments;

  • senior corporate executives;

  • leaders of major organizations in Canada, including labour unions, voluntary associations, etc.;

  • scholars, researchers, teachers and students; and

  • the electronic and print news and public affairs correspondance.



The Politics and Management of Restraint in Government

Peter Aucoin, ed.

Is restraint in government the catalyst to a new political era of reduced governments in all its dimensions"expenditures, staff, and interventions?

It ought not to surprise us that the emergence of the ”œrestraint in government” phenomenon should have an appeal across Canada and for both orders of government. In short, all Canadian governments are now witnessing (1) a loss of faith in government that is not unlike an earlier loss of faith in private institutions, (2) a restructuring of the balance of interests that underlie our socio-economic order, and (3) a chal- lenge to our structures of government that are perceived to be bureaucratic empires unresponsive to public opinion or political direction.

"Peter Aucoin 

Canada’s Competition Policy Revisited: Some New Thoughts on an Old Story

Massive public regulation provides no simple answer, indeed, it carries its own serious threat to this country’s sys- tem of democratic pluralism…Canadian merger law was once grossly inadequate; thanks largely to simplistic court inter- pretation, it is now a farce. Despite the inroads of direct government control, Canada’s private sector remains big enough to provide significant coverage for competition policy.

"Irving Brecher

Regionalism and Supranationalism

David Cameron, ed.

As critics have pointed out, the con- stitutional distribution of powers between two orders of government has meant that federal systems have been marked by complexity, legalism, rigidity, conservatism, and expense in their oper- ation. It has even been argued that because federations are conservative political systems representing delicate balances of internal power, they tend to be ”œclosed” toward the outside world and less open to even wider suprana- tional associations.

In most multicultural federations, as in Canada, regional, linguistic, or cultur- al groups have developed a deep-rooted anxiety that, because of the pervasive impact of public economic policy upon all aspects of society, centralized fiscal and economic policies aiming at the rapid development of an integrated economy will undermine their cultural distinctiveness and opportunities for employment in culturally congenial conditions.

"Ronald Watts  

Sovereign People or Sovereign Governments

H.V. Kroeker, ed.

The participatory eggs laid in the political activism in the 1960s came home to roost in the late 1970s as very tough and angry chickens. Without major reforms to improve citizen participation in government policy making, the early 1980s could have all the bitterness and blood of a cock fight.

Without careful attention to the effects of expanded citizen participation and the ”œrights” that are attached to it, the ability of elected politicians to govern could seriously be impaired and eventually lead to government paral- ysis and inaction…

The concern about the ability of governments to govern is also a concern that the process of governing in democracies must most clearly and visibly vest power an responsibility with elected governments.

"H. V. Kroeker

If we are right to assume, as we all seem to, that we are sticking with rep- resentative government, that means sticking with political parties; and they, of course, are the central failures of our system. When we hold a semi- nar about citizen involvement, what we are saying, fundamentally, is that the political parties are not what, in the theory of representative govern- ment, they should be. Our parties have succeeded in bridging the country after a fashion but only be being non-ideological machines. The last thing they want of their membership is policy involvement. More precisely, they do not like it and they bother only occasionally even to pretend seriously to want it, in certain special circumstances, but never for very long and cer- tainly not when in office. Those facts have a very large part in present pop- ular frustration. They are the reason why many people are looking for sub- stitutes for political parties.

"Tom Kent



Regulatory Reform in Canada

Two and one-half years ago the Economic Council of Canada asked, ”œwho can be against regulatory reform?” and continued by saying, ”œThe evocative characteristics of the word ”˜reform’ alone should be enough to indicate the side on which the angels stand.” In focusing our attention on the prospects for reforming direct regulation in Canada, we do not wish to slight the potential value of reforming the regulatory process.

The basis of the most recent burst of interventionism appears to be a new wave of latent nationalism that has been detected in the poli- ty by the federal Liberal Party …

To the extend that government, any government, is responsive to interest group demands, it will tend to promote the status quo, more often than not, at the expense of economic efficiency. Just as interest group representation tends to be biased in favour of the few against the many, interest group demands tend to be dominated by the losers (or potential losers) in competitive market transactions.

Over time, the growth of government, together with the claims made by the less progressive sectors of the econ- omy upon available physical and human capital, may tend to crowd out opportunities for more productive investment. To the extend that ”œcrowding out” of so-called ”œup-market” invest- ment actually occurs, more and more of the economy may become vulnerable to foreign competition.

"W.T. Stanbury and Fred Thompson

Regional Development and the European Community: A Canadian Perspective

A major problem in Canada for many years has been the disparity in the levels of prosperity and in the rates of economic growth among the regions of this country. It is a problem by no means unique to Canada.

Fiscal arrangements to effect a degree of redis- tribution of government income can do much to offset the most serious differences in the capacity of governments, but they are only a palliative. They still leave enormous differences in ”œfiscal capacity.”

Programs to stimulate development in slow- growth areas have been a feature of our system for many years, with debatable degrees of effec- tiveness and success.

"Ian McAllister

The Future of the Atlantic Fisheries

The primary long-term objective of fisheries policy should be to make the industry commercially viable. Commercial viability will require a reduction in the number of fishermen, greater use of processing facilities throughout the year, and improved marketing of fish products. To accomplish these structural shifts, a number of changes are needed … Most of these changes will involve a number of social dislocations. The changes will be easier to accomplish if general economic development of the region occurs at the same time. However, even without such devel- opment, the structural changes are necessary if the industry is to take full advantage of the rich fishery resources at its disposal … It can no longer be accepted that the right to fish is a ”œbirthright.” The resources of the ocean are not unlimited. It is time that this fact, and its implications for the Atlantic region, be recognized by everyone concerned with the fisheries.

"E.P. Weeks and L. Mazany 

« Le Québec seul dans son coin »

Le Québec ne s’est pas en effet trouvé isolé parce que son gouvernement souverainiste a souhaité qu’il en soit ainsi, désireux qu’il était d’ex- ploiter ce statut de « victime » à des fins de propa- gande partisane interne. La réalité est beaucoup plus simple : aucun gouvernement, peu importe le parti au pouvoir, n’aurait pu politiquement et même moralement apposer sa signature à l’accord du 5 novembre. Cet « accord des dix », préparé à l’insu du Québec, contredisait trop de promesses, d’attentes, d’espoirs et d’aspirations pour être de quelque façon acceptable à un gouvernement québécois. Il ne tenait absolument pas compte des recommandations de commissions d’enquête fédérales, négligeait totalement les positions fonda- mentales mises de l’avant par tous les gouverne- ments du Québec depuis 1965, et était parfaite- ment contraire aux sens des promesses solennelles faites aux Québécois pendant le référendum de mai 1980 par le premier ministre du Canada et par des représentants du Canada anglais.

"Claude Morin,

Options politiques, Juillet



Economic Interdependence, Autonomy, and Canadian/American Relations

Canada has chosen to employ com- mercial and trade interdependence with the United States as the path to rapid growth in relative capability …

But regardless of the success of this strategy in political and economic terms, certain costs may have accompanied the strategy with respect to the loss of some Canadian … autonomy.

However, the benefits of the strategy may outweigh its cost, especially if negative trade-offs are made explicit and are offset. This transfer of wealth to the cultural sector has been Canadian government policy for a long time, and in such areas as film-making the policy has already achieved impressive results.

"Charles F. Doran

Canada and the New Constitution: The Unfinished Agenda

Stanley Beck and Ivan Bernier, eds.

Ce sont les hypothèses du fédéralisme renouvelé et du statut particulier qui soulèvent, au regard du droit inter- national, le plus de problèmes. La préoccupation essentielle ici concerne la responsabilité de l’État canadien en tant que sujet du droit international. En effet, les contraintes inhérentes à la structure fédérale du Canada limitent la capacité du gou- vernement canadien de s’engager de façon responsable au plan international, ce qui ne manque pas d’inquiéter les pays étrangers. Mais, par ailleurs, l’hypothèse d’une représentation multiple des intérêts canadiens au plan international entraîne le risque d’une dilution de l’obligation de responsabilité qui incombe au Canada comme à tous les autres États, ce qui sem- ble tout aussi dangereux. Entre ces deux maux, le droit inter- national souhaite seulement ne pas avoir à choisir.

"Ivan Bernier


Common Ground for the Canadian Common Market

We have asked what are the protections against erosion of the Canadian common market by regionally dis- criminatory policies. At the federal level there is an argu- ment that strong federal government power will protect the national common market interest against local pressures for regionally discriminatory measures.

At the provincial level we also find few de facto safeguards for the common market. Each provincial govern- ment is under strong democratic pressure to do what is in the apparent short-run interest of its local constituency. We conclude, therefore, that neither strong legal nor de facto political protections for an integrated common market exist in Canada today. In the absence of such protections, the principle of the common market may be seriously threat- ened, particularly in times of economic stress.

There are strong forces in Canada pushing toward local and provincial protectionism. In the period during and after the Second World War, these forces were greatly weakened for a while. Now they are strengthening once again, and the trend in Canada is for more regional protectionism. Firstly, a large number of important divergences from the common market principle are immediately apparent; secondly, the number of such divergences is much greater than would be apparent from any existing catalogue of them; and thirdly, the amount of regional protectionism is not likely to diminish.

"F.R. Flatters and R.G. Lipsey

Cultural Regulation in Canada

Besides constituting a significant redirec- tion of economic resources away from other activities into the production and dis- tribution of ”œCanadian” culture, govern- ment intervention into cultural activities represents a potential danger to the freedom of expression and unbiased production of information that is essential to the survival of a free society. In recent years, a growing number of economists have argued that the goal of income redistribution underlies a wide variety of government intrusions into free market exchange. However, the redistrib- ution does not go from the well-to-do to the poor but from broad segments of society (including the poor) to a relatively narrow group of well-educated, usually middle-class, politi- cally active, ”œopinion makers” in society. With respect to cul- tural intervention specifically, it has been argued that the main beneficiaries have been and continue to be a select group of performers, producers, and technical personnel, while the bulk of the Canadian population has been bur- dened with higher prices for the cultural services they con- sume and with a restricted choice of cultural output.

There is certainly no shortage of arguments offered by advocates of government intervention into cultural activi- ties. Unfortunately, most of the main arguments are vague and even tautological, which makes critical evaluation of them difficult.

"Steve Globerman



Instead of FIRA: Autonomy for Canadian Subsidiaries?

This study suggests a new way of deal- ing with the question of relationships between foreign parents and their Canadian subsidiaries. If its suggestions were adopted, Canadian subsidiaries would be better able to restore Canada’s competitiveness in the international market for manufac- tured goods.

That competitiveness has been slipping. Can one rely on foreign parents to provide their subsidiaries with the requisite measure of autonomy to develop their own potential? Experience both in Canada and elsewhere indicates that some degree of government intervention is needed to achieve this end. However, the Foreign Investment Review Agency (FIRA) does not address the autonomy issue directly because its sup- porting legislation implicitly recognizes continued for- eign control over a subsidiary’s decisions.

Legislation to give a subsidiary a greater degree of autonomy"to protect it against disadvantageous instructions from a parent"is already in place in cer- tain countries … Given the changing patterns of inter- national production of manufactured goods, it is essen- tial that foreign-controlled firms be encouraged to seek out foreign markets, and that they be afforded the opportunity to develop new product lines and new marketing skills.

"Samuel Wex 

Selected New Developments in International Trade Theory

Because it raises the Canadian domestic price, the Canadian tariff has long been recognized as having two effects: It causes production inefficiency, to the degree that higher-cost domestic production replaces imports; and it prevents Canadian consumers from taking full advantage of bargain- priced imports.

A third cost should now be added: There is a waste of resources in transporting protected goods around Canada. For example, when the Canadian tariff induces a Vancouver pur- chaser to buy from Toronto rather than Seattle, unnecessary transport costs are incurred.

Moreover, it has become very difficult for a country con- sidering a new form of protection to ignore the foreign response. If a country is large, then any new trade barrier it imposes can hardly go unnoticed because of the damage it will do to its trading partners; the question, then, is how they will respond.

"R.J. Wonnacott  

Aggressive U.S. Reciprocity

The less effective the GATT becomes, the more likely it is that new forms of policing will emerge. The most likely form would be for the United States to exer- cise some control over the trade barriers of other coun- tries by using the single ”œbiggest stick” in the system: access to the U.S. market. The use of this stick has already surfaced in the form of recent reciprocity proposals … No matter how reciprocity may be reformed, there is little hope that it would be completely invulnerable to U.S. protectionist abuses. It would still raise problems of sov- ereignty for America’s trading partners; it would still, to some degree, leave small countries like Canada out in the cold; and it would still risk setting off a trade war.

"R.J. Wonnacott

Selected New Developments in International Trade Theory

Because it raises the Canadian domestic price, the Canadian tariff has long been recognized as having two effects: It causes production inefficiency, to the degree that higher-cost domestic production replaces imports; and it prevents Canadian consumers from taking full advantage of bargain- priced imports.

A third cost should now be added: There is a waste of resources in transporting protected goods around Canada. For example, when the Canadian tariff induces a Vancouver pur- chaser to buy from Toronto rather than Seattle, unnecessary transport costs are incurred.

Moreover, it has become very difficult for a country con- sidering a new form of protection to ignore the foreign response. If a country is large, then any new trade barrier it imposes can hardly go unnoticed because of the damage it will do to its trading partners; the question, then, is how they will respond.

"R.J. Wonnacott

Canada, the GATT and the International Trade System

The extension of governmental intervention involving trade measures has been accom- panied by a growing politicization of trade poli- cy. In this process, the influence at political lev- els of industrial and agricultural groups seeking measures is commonly much greater than the influence of less-well-organized groups such as consumers … Governments of the leading GATT members, including Canada, are coming to regard their trade policies as simply one element of, and subservient to, their industrial, agricultural and other domes- tic strategies, which often have narrowly defined and short-term objectives. This shift in approach to trade policy by the major trading countries, if pursued, will have the most serious conse- quences for the multilateral trade system that has been built on the GATT principles. There is a growing risk that the main GATT countries will turn away from the pursuit of broader global objec- tives … Closely harnessing trade policy to the pursuit of domestic material, and other, economic strategies threatens a reversion to the kind of beggar-thy-neighbour policies that led to the disinte- gration of world trade in the 1930s. And in such a world, middle- sized countries with large trade interests, such as Canada, would be particularly exposed to damage.

"Frank Stone



Computer Communications and the Mass Market in Canada

Computer-communications services allegedly shall herald the new information age, an age which will witness revolutionary changes in all aspects of society and human endeavour. However, despite the pre- dictions of revolutionary changes and despite the present availability of the technology, there has, to date, been relatively little success in introducing computer-communications services for the general public.

A very important point to note is that, if and when terminal devices for the computer-connections mass market converge on the personal computer, the terminal cost and, perhaps, the display unit cost will disappear or at least will be reduced in significance, in terms of the start-up or add-on costs of com- puter-connections services. They will disappear if the decision to buy the personal computer is justified independent of the value of adopting computer-communications services. In this case, the computer-communications serv- ices will be add-ons which, at most and for the first time only, will involve the cost of a communications modem and either a hardware peripheral for certain production technologies like videotex or software which serves the same purpose.

"Barry Lesser and Louis Vagianos

Some Thoughts on Canada-United States Sectoral Free Trade

The clear lesson of past experience suggests that failure to pursue trade liberalization does not lead to maintenance of the status quo but, inevitably, to trade restriction. The past few years have always shown that the forces of protectionism are Containing these forces requires ongoing trade liberaliza- tion initiative.

An important area of choice open to the government will be to what extent it seeks to achieve its trade policy objectives through the multilateral framework or through bilateral agreements. In the current multilateral order, it would seem to make most sense for Canada to pursue those objectives which can be realized multilaterally in that context.

"Michael Hart

Foreign Direct Investment: 

A Survey of Canadian Research

Both theory and various studies suggest a significant bias towards capital export because of the tax system. In addi- tion, lower effective tax rates in Canada over time have encouraged U.S. direct investment in Canada. Brean notes an estimate by J.D. Murray … that the bias towards U.S. capital export may have increased the flow of foreign equity to Canadian manufacturing on average by 40 per cent to 50 per cent from 1964 to 1978.

A number of Canadian economists would define some of the policy issues raised here mainly in terms of protec- tionism. Although they would not deny that protectionism under certain conditions can raise real income (as well as serve non-economic purposes), their view of the imperfec- tions of the political process suggests that it is more likely to redistribute income … Nationalism is regarded as a collective consumption good that can give both general and particular benefits. The particular benefits are real income and better jobs and tend to be received mainly by skilled persons; gen- eral benefits in the form of psychic income reach everyone. The political process then involves persuading those who lose real income to accept such policies because of the gain in psychic income. The flood of public discussion of the NEP [National Energy Program] cannot hide the fact that substantial research on many of the issues, including those which were leg- islated, is conspicuous by its absence. One reason for this may that the government decided to conduct its studies internally … Perhaps with time these aspects of the NEP will receive more attention.

"A. E. Safarian 

Canada and International Trade Vol. 1

W.T. Stanbury and Thomas Kierans, eds.

The Canadian disease is psychological. It involves a chronic national delusion, and perhaps a chronic national schizophrenia. The delusion is a continuous and deliberate depession of per capital income in Canada in the interests of the ”œlong-term” well-being of Canadians. Somehow the ”œlong-term” never arrives … The result has been a national penalty, which is perhaps not severe in his- torical perspective, but which is disturbing because it seems so pointless.

"K.D. Freeman, D.G. Paterson and R.A. Shearer




The Social Policy Process in Canada

A strength, as far as municipal administrators are con- cerned, is the fishbowl environment of local politics: aldermen and city councillors are available, meetings are generally public, and officials are instantly accountable.

In some ways, municipalities are in an enviable posi- tion. Their status as creations of the provincial governments provides them with a convenient scapegoat for reductions in service when provincial restraint programs are in place.

"A.R. Dobell and S.H. Mansbridge 

Health Care Technology: Effectiveness, Efficiency and Public Policy

The assembly and synthesis of information on health care technology in Canada still relies upon the efforts of individual researchers, health care providers, institutions, or government branches, working with what is essentially the literature from research journals … It is only recently that medical decision-making courses with an emphasis on the rational use of technological resources have been devel- oped for front-line clinicians who initiate most decisions about the utilization of health care technology.

An important policy option is the creation of a National Health Technology Assessment Council (NHTAC). It would be the responsibility of this agency to identify new and emerging technologies for rigorous assessment, fund scientif- ically sound clinical and economic evaluations, provide a liai- son with international health technology evaluation efforts, disseminate results, and act as a general clearing house.

There does not appear to exist anywhere in the Canadian system a group of experts with sufficient knowledge about technology assessment to inform policy making, to manage international linkages, and to guide consensus forming exercises. The time for technology assessment policy initiatives has come.

"David Feeny, Gordon Guyatt and Peter Tugwell 

Universities in Crisis: A Mediaeval Institution in the Twenty-first Century

William Neilson and Chad Gaffield, eds.

Moral compromise is an especially troublesome course for universities. For all their problems, universities and their faculties remain immensely privileged. They retain a freedom of activity and expression not permitted in any other major social institution … Universities have become the major source of moral and social criticism in modern life. They are the major site of what- ever social conscience we have left … If the legitimacy of uni- versities rested only on their service to the marketplace and the state, internal freedom would not be an issue. But their legitimacy rests in fact on something else: their integrity.

"Michael Katz

About one hundred years from now we expect from computers something more like what we expect from sophisticated tutors … Listening by computers is very undeveloped, but there is no reason to think that the present formidable technical problems of constructing good listening computers will not be solved in the next hundred years.

"Patrick Suppes

Aproliferation of new journals and demands for aca- demic representation, for new programs, for reinterpre- tations of the role and contribution of women, of ethnics, and of indigenous people, and for affirmative action in uni- versities, as well as in the larger society, are all the academ- ic and intellectual manifestations of societies in turmoil.

"Alan Cairns

Une place pour le Québec au Canada

Beaucoup de gens, si l’on se fie à l’Histoire, se font des illusions au sujet de l’inévitabilité du passage tran- quille du Québec à l’indépendance internationale. Le pre- mier avocat venu vous dira que les divorces ne sont jamais faciles. Est-il donc interdit d’imaginer le grand peuple québécois occuper une place à la mesure de sa vocation historique? En tant que partenaire, non en inférieur ou en séparatiste enragé? La vérité est,

dit-on, fille du temps. Or, le temps presse. Le Québec n’acceptera pas indéfiniment son statut d’exclu de la famille constitutionnelle canadienne. Élément indispensable de la stabilité nationale et du devenir commun, il pose un défi qui exige un peu d’au- dace, forme supérieure de la prudence.

"Marc Malone



Building a Canadian-American Free Trade Area

Edward Fried, Frank Stone and Philip Trezise, eds.

Iwant to see a good, durable agreement"one that will serve as a model for the current round of negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. If the mul- tilateral negotiations are not successful, Canada and the United States could invite other countries to join the arrangement they had worked out together. Such an agree- ment will be possible only if each country is willing to address hard choices within its own area of political respon- sibility so that the solutions to key issues will be politically acceptable in the other country.

"William Niskanen

Approaches to Income Security Reform

Mario Iacobacci and Shirley Seward, eds.

The proposals outlined above by no means exhaust the range of available options … It should be clear by now that there has been no shortage of design work with respect to major income security reform. What has been missing for the last decade is a clear message that reform is desirable … In the absence of a clear mandate for pro- gram designers, the debate has tended to snag on relatively unimportant issues.

"Richard van Loon

The Softwood Lumber Dispute and Canada-U.S. Trade in Natural Resources

The basic issue is whether the increase of the Canadian share in the U.S. market was the outcome of market forces or the result of timber- pricing policies by the provinces. The available evidence regarding relative productivity levels and their growth … supports the view that market forces played the major role in increasing Canadian softwood lumber exports to the United States. While Canadian tim- ber may be ”œunderpriced” in the sense that not all of the resource rents may be captured by the Crown, the magnitude of any ”œleakage” is apparently not of the magnitude alleged by the U.S. Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports (32 per cent) nor is it certain that U.S. producers have been harmed as a result … The Memorandum of Understanding … under which Canada imposed a duty of 15 per cent on softwood lumber exports to the United States can be seen as a sal- vage operation though … the political precedent"of compromising with the protectionist efforts of a U.S. industry lobby group"remains.

"Michael Percy and Christian Yoder 

Assessing the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement

Murray Smith and Frank Stone, eds.

The major achievement of the proposed Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is that it establishes a unique and com- prehensive system of rules to govern the Canada-U.S. trading relationship in future. The rules, like the relationship, are not static. The Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement provides a frame- work for further elaboration of the rules as required.

"Debra Steger

There really is only one choice, in my view, that makes sense for Canada, for the United States and indeed, for the world. There is no question about rapid change. We just have to harness it or we will be either run over or left behind … When I am on campuses I talk about free trade in knowledge. Students like it. They are aggressive. They like to learn from other countries. They like to learn other languages. They want to travel … I find that about half the population supports the idea of a free trade agreement with the United States. But what’s very interesting is that it is higher than that among the youth, the young people.

"Grant Devine

This is not an ideal agreement by any stretch of the imagination. But it is a good agreement, and we should not allow the best to be the enemy of the good. Our task is to make the good better … A question often posed by Canadian friends [is] will the United States hold up its side of the bargain? Definitely, because if there is a completed agreement, it will be the result of an active, vocal private sector ”œselling” it to Congress, explaining that this agreement is in the pri- vate sector’s commercial interest … if someone proposes abrogating or under- mining the pact, the private sector will mobilize in opposition. That is why I am confident that the United States will stick to its side of the bargain.

"C. Michael Aho



Canadian-American Free Trade (The Sequel): Historical, Political, and Economic Dimensions

A.R. Riggs and Tom Velk, eds.

The Canadian government, rather than aiming for greater integration of our economy, should be striving for greater independence. So, when and if there is a readiness in Canada to truly implement a full employment policy, then we will be able to do so … But under the Mulroney deal future governments will have fewer public policy instruments, fewer choices, and will be far more dependent on a continental economy.

"Lloyd Axworthy

In the absence of strong economic reasons for the Canadian confederation, allowing provincial interests to dictate trade policy will ultimately be self-destructive to the Canadian economic union, in particular if these interests are Ontario interests … A free trade deal with the United States, even an imperfect one such as the one before us, could have the effect of strengthening the Canadian eco- nomic union, not because it is likely to enhance free trade between the provinces, although that may in fact occur.

"Richard Harris

I think an experimental approach is best. The agreement is not nearly so bad that we should walk away from it.

Quite the contrary, it may work out very well for us.

"William Watson


Mergers, Corporate Concentration and Power in Canada

R.S. Khemani, D.M. Shapiro and W.T. Stanbury, eds.

Many of us resent the state telling us that we can’t com- plete a transaction because that transaction may lessen competition. We all should realize that it is in our own long term interest that there should be limits on acqui- sitions, limits on ownership, limits on the use of the tax sys- tem, and limits on the use of leverage by financial compa- nies"for the very necessary purpose of making sure that the ownership of society is as diverse as is possible.

"Don Blenkarn

The Centralization-Decentralization Conundrum: Organization and Management in the Canadian Government

There is … a certain sense in which a pendulum effect is in process here.

States have centralized their organizational structures for particular purposes in the past but have done so in ways that produce a momentum that carries centralization and regulation too far; eventually the process must be reversed, given the recognition of the unintended consequences of exces- sive centralization. This, in turn, sets in motion a drive to decen- tralize in order to meet a new equilibrium.

"Peter Aucoin and Herman Bakvis 

Canadian High-Tech in a New World Economy: A Case Study in New Information Technology

We must modify the traditional dichotomy of capital vs. labour … In today’s new world economy capital is embodied in labour through education and skills training to significantly varying degrees. It is necessary to distinguish between those goods and servic- es where labour is largely unskilled, and those goods and services where the labour is, in effect, capital intensive.

"David Conklin and France St-Hilaire

Les provinces canadiennes et le commerce international

C’est dire que les beaux jours des initiatives provin- ciales multipliées en matière de réglementation du commerce international sont peut-être déjà comptés. Les provinces récoltent toujours les fruits de l’extension de leurs fonctions au cours du dernier quart de siècle … Elles ont même réussi, quoi que ce soit un phénomène encore très récent, à peser sur les orientations du gouvernement fédéral dans un domaine que jusque-là il considérait de sa seule compétence, celui des grands dossiers des relations économiques internationales. Les temps ont changé dans ce secteur fédéral-provincial comme dans les autres et la reconnaissance de l’interdépendance des onze gouvernements semble désormais être la con- dition sina que non d’une gestion stable de l’ensemble de la dimension économique du fédéralisme canadien.

"Ivan Bernier et André Binette



A House Divided

As this is written … it is by no means clear that the Meech Lake Accord will become law. Unanimous consent of the provincial legislatures is require as the Accord includes two changes that are among items listed in Section 41 of the Constitution Act, 1982, as requiring unanimity. New Brunswick and Manitoba, with governments elected to office after the Meech Lake Accord was agreed to in 1987, have not yet given their approval. The new government of Newfoundland threatens to withdraw the approval given by the pre-election legisla- ture. So far as western hopes for Senate reform are con- cerned, Meech Lake has become a morass"whether it is approved or not … In short, Meech Lake, if passed in order to solve one of our federal problems––the fact that Quebec will not consent to our Constitution as it stands"will make the solution of our other federal problem"the lack of a sat- isfactory second chamber"extremely difficult.

"Gordon Robertson


Getting Ready for 1999

Some people are sceptical about the value of changes in institutions and processes … in both the public and pri- vate sectors, organizational change is often no more than a symptom of failure to devise an effective policy. You do not know what to do about a problem, so you fiddle with the organization in order to seem to be doing something.

Canada has had an easy ride as a well-placed, resource- based economy. We are not so equipped for the role into which we must now fit, involving considerable reliance on technologically advanced activities.

"Tom Kent


The Information Economy: The Implications of Unbalancing Growth

The uneven nature of expansion within the post-secondary education sector has meant that the physical infrastructure now in place has largely become obsolete. The OECD emphasizes the similarity across countries of problems in post-secondary education which have been caused by the collapse of post-secondary education funding in the 1970s … If our model of an expanding information sector and the increasing relative importance of knowledge workers is true, then under-funding on this scale represents a massive refusal to face the structural needs of the economy.

"Lars Olberg, Edward Wolff and William Baumol 

La révolution de l’information au Canada

David Conklin et Lucie Deschênes, dir.

Tout comme il y a eu un reclassement des puissances mondiales après la révolution industrielle, nous assistons aujourd’hui au reposi- tionnement des pays suite à la révolution de l’information. Les deux grands gagnants sont sans conteste les États-Unis et le Japon. Un certain nombre de pays, y compris le Canada, se battent pour occuper la troisième place. Cette troisième place est déterminante puisqu’elle permettra à un pays, ou à un ensemble de pays, d’obtenir une part importante du marché mondial dans le secteur des technologies de l’infor- mation … Pour plusieurs raisons, le Canada est une société qui repose déjà sur l’information. C’est en grande partie grâce à Northern Telecom que le Canada a pu maintenir sa position de chef de file dans l’industrie des technologies de l’information. Northern Telecom n’est pas seulement une compagnie mondiale qui a une forte présence canadienne; elle a également contribué à la recherche et au développe- ment et elle a assuré le prestige et la présence canadienne dans l’ensemble du secteur des télécommunications.

"Thomas McPhail

Taking the Pulse: Human Sciences Research for the Third Millennium

Back in the sixties most social scientists dreamed of being relevant; being relevant meant being where the action was, meaning shaping the future, meaning responding to the pressing problems of the day … But that dream did not mate- rialize … On most issues the decision-makers in the public or in the private sector go where the best and the brightest are, and this is often outside Canada … The real humbling of the social sciences has come from their failures in social engineer- ing … The dream of social engineering was based on anthro- pological conceptions which turned out to be inadequate, on intervention strategies which assumed social dynamics that were naive, and on conceptions of society which tended to devalue the common good and individual responsibility.

"Marcel Coté



A Canadian Challenge/ Le défi québécois

Canada is foundering in an idealism, in the ideology of the ideal, that is constraining and compulsory … It is well known that the principal artisan of French Power, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, based the main part of his actions on the negation of the political consequences generated naturally by the Quebec Fact. Reality is simply taking its revenge.

By definition, the English-Canadian identity is anti- American. No wonder a highly Americanized English- Canadian society no longer recognizes its right to exist alone and to step out from under its cosmetic facade of bilingualism and multiculturalism … English Canada has never recovered from the defeat of the Loyalists at the hands of the Americans … English Canada relives this defeat every day of its life.

"Christian Dufour


The Responsible Public Servant

An argument for extending the political rights of public servants is that restrictions on these rights deprive the public in general and political parties in particular of valu- able insights on public affairs. The argument is also made that restrictions on the political rights of public servants limit the involvement in partisan politics of a large percent- age of the most educated citizens in the labour force.

The meaning and significance of efficiency and effec- tiveness are further clouded for public servants by the views of politicians on those issues. For ministers and government backbenchers, fixated by concerns about electoral populari- ty, neither the perspective of individual members of the public nor the narrow technical vision of the evaluators rep- resent an entirely reasonable approach to efficiency and effectiveness. For politicians, efficient public service is that which generates few complaints; public service is effective when it makes a lot of voters happy, regardless of cost or the relationship of the results achieved to the ostensible pur- poses of the program.

"Kenneth Kernaghan and John Langford

Japan’s Relations with North America: The New Pacific Interface

Japan desperately needs to make fundamental reforms in its domestic economy. Should such reforms be postponed beyond mid-decade, Japan will face increasing social frustration that will destabilize the political system … The land sys- tem needs to be completely restructured … Fundamental reform of a tax system that works to smother healthy, con- sumer-led domestic demand is also urgent … Japan also needs to reverse course on monetary policy.

"K. Lorne Brownsey and Richard Matthew

« La face cachée de la T.P.S. »

L’analyse économique traditionnelle nous enseigne que le caractère neutre et général de la T.P.S. est préférable sous certains aspects à l’actuelle taxe de vente aux manufacturiers. On la juge préférable parce qu’en imposant un taux unique de taxation pour l’ensemble des produits et services, on élimine une multitude de privilèges fiscaux qui ont pour conséquence de fausser l’allocation des ressources. En réduisant la discrimina- tion entre les différentes activités économiques et les contribuables de même revenu, la nouvelle T.P.S. est cen- sée réduire les distorsions engendrées par l’actuel sys- tème de taxation. Évidemment, l’enseignement économique nous rappelle que derrière les qualités indé- niables de cette taxe, se cachent des imperfections qui sont sources de gaspillage. De fait, la T.P.S n’est pas entièrement neutre et générale. On ne peut ignorer les propositions du ministre d’exclure certains biens et ser- vices, ce qui réintroduirait les distorsions et distinctions arbitraires du régime actuel.

"Pierre Simard

Options politiques, Juillet-aoët 

Provincial Tax Reforms: Options and Opportunities

To opt for a coordinated and consistent reform agenda among provinces would entail a radical departure from previous practices. Yet the reform process in any one jurisdiction affects the tax system of the others … Consequently, the development of separate reform agendas must be undertaken with an awareness of the intentions of others, with an appreciation for the impact on others, and"at many points"with explicit cooperation and coordination.

"David Conklin and France St-Hilaire



Canadian Federalism:

Meeting Global Economic Challenges?

Douglas Brown and Murray Smith, eds.

I recognize that all my pro-free-trade colleagues argue that a flexible exchange rate was an essential ingredient of the FTA … I think the basic principle is, in general, wrong … As our very regionally diverse east-west economy integrates north-south with the U.S., it will become increasingly evident that the optimum currency areas are the cross-border, north-south regions, not the national economy.

"Thomas Courchene

Federalism no longer stops at the border. Whether we think about how Canada projects itself to the world, or whether we think about how the world impacts on Canada, the border is essentially being rubbed out as far as federalism is con- cerned … With respect to federalism, I think that the largest loser from all of this in the long run is likely to be the national government. Its power is draining on the one hand to supra-national institutions and on the other to smaller local institutions. The main federal levers have become more and more constrained … The constitutional separation between negotiation and implementation of the treaties makes provincial involvement essential … We have to find a way to trade off or to link the whole question of provincial influence in negotiating interna- tionally with the need to secure provincial compliance for deals once they have been done.

"Richard Simeon

Where is the competition for investment? If we just look at it from British Columbia, for example, where’s the competition for investment in British Columbia? Is it Alberta? Is it Ontario? I think to a large extent it’s Washington and Oregon. So, from my point of view, if we only deal with the northern side of the border in addressing this question of incentives, we’re not going to achieve all that much. I think we have to deal within a North American context and I guess if we’ve got any chance at all … of addressing that problem, it has be in a North American context.

"Lorne Seitz

Aboriginal Self-Determination

Frank Cassidy, ed.

We are now in a situation where the constitutional agenda of the country is stalled for the foresee- able future. The concerns of aboriginal people, along with others, cannot be addressed until a means is found to re- establish the dialogue … Given the present hiatus in the constitutional discussions, it is fundamentally impor- tant that … efforts at non-constitu- tional self-government arrangements be maintained, both in order to allow aboriginal governments to assume greater levels of responsibility, as well as to gain valuable experience which will assist the constitutional discus- sions when they begin anew.

"John Tait

It absolutely befud- dles me, after the Dene defended their territory for thou- sands of years, why, when a few mission- aries, whether they were bishops or not; a few bureaucrats, with a document

that has already been drafted up somewhere else; and a few policeman came to the territory of the Dene, that we would suddenly consciously decide that from then on we would give up the sovereignty of our people … There is no justice. There is no equality. It’s not fair. It does not make any difference how you look at it, it’s not fair … You can look at it on the basis of the original agreements. There is virtually not a single reserve, outside of what has been established the last few years, that is still fully intact, because the Canadian govern- ment was not satisfied with taking 99.9 per cent of the land.

"George Erasmus 

« Coopération entre les provinces maritimes »

Tout se ramène à une question de « volonté politique ». Pour que la coopéra- tion régionale soit plus qu’une idée en l’air, il faut qu’elle soit prise en main, et fermement, par les chefs politiques des Maritimes … Aujourd’hui, on chercherait en vain dans ces trois provinces des indices d’une telle détermination politique … Le premier ministre McKenna a énoncé sa position dans son récent discours, mais rien n’indique que les autres chefs politiques de la région soient prêts à relever le défi. Leur silence est assez éloquent quant à leur volonté de coopérer.

"Donald Savoie Options politiques, mai



Aboriginal Title in British Columbia: Delgamuukw v. The Queen

Frank Cassidy, ed.

The most important benefit, frankly, [of the case] is that we concentrated power.

You can’t go into a process like that and not somehow create the engine, the sys- tem, the need, to achieve something … It doesn’t mat- ter what the judge said because ultimately we’re going to succeed.

"Medig’m Gyamk 

Governing in an Information Society

Achange in attitude and approach seems to be required to deal with the new information environment. Both within and outside government … it is self-defeating to try to control what data or information is released or available. The real challenge is to provide leadership to the continuing process by which people interpret and make sense of that information.

For example, in dealing with the press it may be better to disburse information (data organized within a particular frame- work) on a more regular, open basis through briefings, so that they can better understand the context within which decisions are being made … Whether dealing within the government apparatus or more broadly within society, effective leadership increasingly depends on the ability to lead that process by which … data and information are translated into knowledge.

If government is going to be able to lead the development of shared frameworks of interpretation, of shared agencies, in effect to lead a process of societal learning, changes will be needed both within govern- ment and in the relation between government and other players in the governance system. Those changes will be as difficult to achieve as the task is essential.

The process of governing in an information society, as we have come to understand it, needs to be conceived as an ongoing process of learning, a process of learning both within the government and, more broadly, within society. A continuing reality of the information society will be that the lifespan of particular instruments of governing will be limited. To deal effectively with such a rapidly changing environment, we need to become far more effective at developing new ways of governing appropriate to new circumstances.

"Steven A. Rosell

Britain and Canada in the 1990s

D.K. Adams, ed.

If Britain were shorn of its … network of for- mer colonial associations … and the ”œinflu- ence” that is presumed to accompany these associations, Britain would stand substantially diminished in its other relationships, includ- ing those in Europe, and Britain’s post colonial associations would be far more difficult to maintain if the Commonwealth link were bro- ken. It remains to be seen whether Canada and some other Commonwealth countries can effectively work to bridge the wide gaps between Britain and some of its strongest adversaries in the association.

"Bernard Wood

Since the events of the early seventies, the Canadian economy has been a rather prodigious generator of jobs, and has grown at a real growth rate not very different from the OECD average. The productivity perform- ance has, however, been markedly worse at the low end of the OECD scale. Aside from the abrasiveness of labour/management rela- tionships, this helps to explain a Canadian inflationary bias. It may also contribute to an explanation of Canada’s deteriorating trade performance and confirm deep suspicions about the quality and quantity of Canadian research and development performance.

"Ian Stewart

L’innovation technologique dans les PME manu- facturières : études de cas et enquête

La processus de changement technologique dans les PME n’est pas une démarche de tout repos et il nécessite une approche managériale intégrée … De nom- breux éléments échappent au contrôle des entreprises innovatrices et à plus forte raison, des PME, dont les moyens sont généralement plus limités que ceux des grandes entreprises. Malgré tout, un certain nombre de précautions peu- vent être prises par la PME pour éviter les mauvaises surprises … Il nous est apparu fondamental de bien planifier le changement technologique, de choisir la technologie avec rigueur, d’investir dans le capital humain, de confier le projet à la bonne personne et, enfin, d’être réaliste et conscient de l’existence d’un nombre important de facteurs impondérables.

"Jean-Louis Malouin et Yvon Gasse



Rethinking Government: Reform or Reinvention?

F. Leslie Seidle, ed.

In government we have good people trapped in bad systems. The problem is, all our rules are written to go after …

one per cent to make the other 99 per cent feel that they are stealing and are not to be trusted. So because the way the rules are written for one per cent, the message gets to other employees that their creativity should be inhib- ited. We have constantly done this.

"Ted Gaebler

Whatever potential exists for democracy in regula- tion as a form of governance, it has been cur- tailed by developments affecting the capacity of regula- tion to function as co-management, as a sphere of direct democracy … If fault is to be found, it is that the con- nection between regulation and democracy was not explored adequately at the outset or during the recent period of regulatory reform. As a consequence, no one has paid much attention to the effect on democracy of regulatory reform programs. Putting democracy on the agenda in discussion about regulation is a necessary cor- rective. In all likelihood it will change the discussion about regulatory reform … Unless attention is paid to the consequences of any reform proposals for democra- cy, the democratic potential of regulation is hardly like- ly to be strengthened.

"Liora Salter 

La pauvreté et l’État

Quand on passe en revue l’historique de la pauvreté et des différents programmes de sécurité sociale au Canada, on constate que, par le passé, c’est le soutien du revenu des per- sonnes inaptes au travail qui s’est vu accorder la priorité. Mais comme la pauvreté touche de plus en plus les personnes aptes au travail, il importe de réorienter les principaux pro- grammes qui s’adressent à ces dernières … il importe que l’as- surance-chômage soit harmonisée avec la formation profes- sionnelle de la main-d’œuvre pour jouer un rôle davantage préventif, que l’aide sociale soit également associée aux efforts de formation professionnelle pour accélérer les sorties de la pauvreté.

La stratégie proposée vise à confier aux cinq grandes régions du Canada toute la responsabilité juridique et tous les pouvoirs de taxation nécessaires à la conception, l’élaboration, la mise sur pied et l’application des programmes et des politiques de sécurité du revenu, puis à confier au gou- vernement central la responsabilité d’inter- naliser les externalités interrégionales et de les intégrer au régime de péréquation.

"Jean-Michel Cousineau

Equity and Community:

The Charter, Interest Advocacy and Representation F. Leslie Seidle, ed.

While claims of self-government raise deep problems for the integrative function of citizenship, it seems to me that the particular aspect of self-government we are considering here"guaranteed representation at the federal or intergovern- mental level"clearly serves a unifying function. The existence of such group representation helps reduce the threat of self- government, by reconnecting the self-governing community to the larger federation.

"Will Kymlicka

As macro-constitutional politics has become increasingly dif- ficult to manage, micro-constitutional has emerged as the principal means by which governments and society-based actors can undertake institutional design. The irony is that success at the micro-level further complicates and enervates macro-level constitutional politics … The last two rounds of constitutional negotiation suggest that designing the rules governing micro- constitutional politics has become one of the principal preoccupations of macro-level constitutional bargaining.

"Christopher Manfredi


Toward Sustainable Federalism: Reforming Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements

We propose a new cost-sharing scheme where the total federal contribution is based on a fixed per- centage of standard social expenditure per capita but where the level of payments to individual provinces varies to take into account differences in rela- tive welfare burdens across provinces … Such a system effectively equalizes for differences in need for social assistance … This system would be operated parallel to the fiscal equalization program through a modified fed- eral-provincial cost-sharing scheme.

"Paul Hobson and France St-Hilaire




Canada: Reclaiming the Middle Ground

The injunction to take issues ”œone at a time” and ”œon their own merits” … must be taken with a large grain of salt. A government that takes it too literally risks ending up with a series of policy conflicts. It will not do to say that conflicts can be avoided by respecting ”œrational criteria” such as efficiency and accountability. At the end of the day, a coherent policy agenda will require choices from among a number of broad, sometimes competing, objectives that the federal government may wish to promote … Taking the issue-by-issue approach at face value suggests that ”œreal” dis- agreements over policy are by and large over how best to solve specific issues and technical problems in a given policy area … In fact, what often makes a federal-provincial issue an issue is not a disagreement that will be solved in this way. It is a clash over the values perceived to be at stake.

"Donald Lenihan, Gordon Robertson and Roger Tassé

Learning About Schools: What Parents Need to Know and How They Can Find Out

Giventhebureaucraticnatureofthesystem,withinterlock- ing levels of authority and spheres of influence, [changing or selecting a school] has never been an easy task even for edu- cators within the system. In this book, I focus on ways in which parents can get information about schools"information that is relevant to school quality and hence to choice … This book pro- vides a guide to questions parents can and should ask in the process of making judgements about their child’s classroom or school. Many parents feel uncertain or uncomfortable in speak- ing with teachers or administrators.

"Peter Coleman

Governing Canada’s City-Regions: Adapting Form to Function

The efficiency of one-tier comprehen- sive municipal systems in Canada has tended to be assumed rather than investi- gated. Such assumptions are partly based on the fact that consolidation, by definition, eliminates inter-municipal disputes and duplication. Unfortunately, we do not know whether or not the disputes and duplication are simply reproduced in a different form within the complex organization apparatus of the larger municipality … On the basis of the limited data available, there seems little doubt that single-tier comprehensive systems are relatively efficient, at least in comparison to two-tier systems.

"Andrew Sancton

The Evolution of Canada’s Metropolitan Economies

The principal question is one of how to interpret the relative decentralization of high-order services from their ”œnatural habitat” in the CBD [central business district] toward suburban zones. On the one hand, one can treat the phenomenon as a ”œnormal” process: for various inalterable economic and social reasons, the decentralization of certain high-order service activities may be inevitable, and it would not be fruitful to attempt to intervene in order to arrest the process. This view of the sit- uation carries with it the risk of witnessing, in the medium or long term, the erosion of a major portion of the central city economic base. A second approach is to accept that it is unrealistic to attempt to counteract the intra-metropolitan decentralization of high-order services from the downtown area. In this case, central city governments may consider the possibility of ”œintercepting” the decentralization, that is, of creating opportunities in its own territory … The potential difficulty with this approach, however, is that is might encourage or accelerate the decentralization of high-order services from the CBD. The intra-metropolitan decentraliza- tion phenomenon is complex and the choices involved for the central city are difficult ones.

"William Coffey 

Educational Choice: Necessary But Not Sufficient

Policies, judgements, actions should be handled at local levels insofar as is practicable. In terms of our schooling discussion, groups of parents having greater input, along with principals and teachers, than occurs in most school districts today"as would be the case under a voucher system"would be an example of this principle in action. Subsidiarity is con- sistent with basic freedom and self-determination for people generally. It is founded as well on the precept that individu- als matter, that they are important, that they deserve to be heard and are capable of making sound decisions affecting themselves and their families’ well-being.

"Bruce Wilkinson  



« Les implications économiques d’un Québec souverain »

Sur le plan extérieur, le Québec a enregistré en 1993 un surplus de 3,4 milliards $, et ce sur- plus a dépassé 5,5 milliards $ en 1994. On voit que, malgré la frontière américaine, le Québec a beaucoup profité de l’Accord de libre-échange cana- do-américain et qu’il profite maintenant de l’ALÉNA. Or, un Québec souverain aura tôt fait de négocier son adhésion à cet important traité. Nombreux sont nos voisins américains qui nous confirment officieusement que cette adhésion est dans leur intérêt … Nous invitons nos collègues à tendance fédéraliste à revoir leurs analyses. Nous les invitons à prendre en compte les facteurs que nous avons évoqués"et bien d’autres que nous pourrions apporter dans une étude plus exhaus- tive. Leurs conclusions sur les effets nets de la sou- veraineté du Québec"effets à court, à moyen et à long termes"s’en trouveraient largement modi- fiées. Dans le nouveau contexte mondial, la per- formance d’un pays n’est pas liée à la taille de son économie. Le succès économique d’un pays tient davantage à la création d’une dynamique interne, à l’établissement d’un contrat social axé sur l’em- ploi, à la poursuite collective du développement économique, social, culturel et linguistique. Or, nous l’avons montré, cet objectif restera inat- teignable pour le Québec au sein d’une fédération aussi hétérogène que le Canada actuel.

"Pierre-Paul Proulx, Choix

Workfare: Does it work? Is it fair?

Adil Sayeed, ed.

Many rationales are offered for workfare, but the number of justi- fications can be reduced to a few, not all of them being well founded or convincing … The arguments that prevail in the end will vary in time and across countries but are likely to reflect the type of welfare state institutions a country has inherited from its past … In a liberal welfare state like Canada, workfare programs are likely to be under- funded, inefficient and probably self-defeating, but they could also be part of a new, more European ori- entation in social policy.

"Alain Noël

Le médium et les muses

Situons maintenant dans une perspective his- torique l’avènement de l’inforoute. Celle-ci n’est que le plus récent d’une série de développements majeurs, dont chacun a contribué à rétrécir le monde en permettant aux gens de se rencontrer, de mieux se connaître entre eux, d’échanger des biens, des services et des idées … La réalisation de l’inforoute apportera à quelques-uns la fièvre d’une aventure nouvelle … elle peut signifier l’aube d’un dialogue démocratique, interactif, où les idées circuleront de bas en haut aussi bien que de haut en bas.

"Claude E. Forget et Charles Sirois 

Rethinking the Delivery of Public Services to Citizens

While it is clear that information technology and single window delivery systems have become linked, they should be seen to be comple- mentary rather than synonymous. In this regard, careful assessment is required to determine which electronic channels for service provision are best suited to particular transactions. For example, a businessperson working from a home linked to the Internet and equipped with a modem has different capa- bilities that a senior citizen in an outlying village … As public sector managers explore the potential of single window systems bolstered by information technology … the different needs of those they serve should be kept very much in mind. As with other means of improving service, this should be a primary test as a balance is sought between achieving greater efficiency and enhancing the accessibility of public services to citizens.

"F. Leslie Seidle

« L’évolution du fédéralisme canadien »

Comme province, le Québec est une entité civique dotée d’une autonomie consi- dérable. Il est moins clair qu’il serait encore une entité civique si on le définissait comme nation ou comme peuple. Encore serait-il moins impen- sable de reconnaître dans la Constitution cana- dienne le Québec comme une nation si la signifi- cation de cette reconnaissance faisait consensus. Or, même les penseurs du nationalisme québé- cois ne s’accordent pas là-dessus; ils ne savent trop s’il faut inclure d’office dans la nation les citoyens du Québec qui ne se reconnaissent pas en elle.

"Stéphane Dion, Choix 



”œRestoring Generational Balance in Canada”

Current fiscal policy in Canada is … unsustainable. No matter which alternative case for forecasted public expenditures we use, the level of generational imbalance is significant. In our baseline sce- nario, if the existing fiscal structure remains in place for living gener- ations, those born in the future could face net lifetime tax rates more than twice the current amount for newborns, in order that the gov- ernment be able to pay its bills. Such increases would be difficult to implement in light of economic and political considerations. To relieve some of this burden on future generations, changes must occur sooner rather than later.

"Philip Oreopoulous and Laurence Kotlikoff, Choices

« Comment accroître le soutien public en faveur des enfants »

Iil est périlleux d’affirmer que l’État devrait accroître globalement les transferts vers les familles et les enfants. De plus, la polarisation des idées véhiculées dans l’opinion publique concernant le système des dépenses sociales suscite beaucoup de scepticisme face à toute proposition visant à réformer le système. Malheureusement, une telle attitude conduit au maintien du statu quo, ce qui ne permet ni de corriger les lacunes des politiques à l’égard du développement des enfants, de l’aide aux familles et de la sécurité du revenu, ni de les adapter aux nouvelles réalités sociales et économiques. L’État doit adopter une nouvelle stratégie qui vise à égaliser les chances et à répartir de façon équitable le fardeau entre les couples avec enfants et ceux qui n’en ont pas.

"Michel Leblanc, Pierre Lefebvre et Philip Merrigan, Choix

Perspectives on the New Economy and Regulation of Telecommunications

W.T. Stanbury, ed.

Are we to begin another debate about the regulation of Canadian content? If we do, we will commit ourselves to yet another dispirited and disappointing cycle. It is a cycle driven by the proud wearers of mouldy and moth-eaten Team Canada uniforms, a cycle of platitude and promise, a cycle of promise and disappointment, a cycle that is lit- tle more than the exploitation of an undefined, probably undefinable, public interest to aid and abet private interests.

"Richard Schultz

Convergence has brought about a collision between two elaborate regulatory regimes in Canada"one associated with telecommu- nications and the other associated with broadcasting. Ironically, both models, which had been separate, were developed and applied by the same regulatory agency, the CRTC.

"Steve Globerman, Hudson Janisch and W.T. Stanbury


”œOperational Agencies: From Half-Hearted Efforts to Full-Fledged Government Reform”

The government and individual ministers can- not have it both ways. If they wish to advance productive management and greater effectiveness in the delivery of public services, yet insist on retaining authority to intervene in the manage- ment of operations whenever or as they wish (and to have their deputies and other senior officials intervene on their behalf in anticipation of their wishes), they do so at a significant cost to good management … The costs come in the form of an excessively complex, and thus rigid, regime of leg- islative, central agency and departmental controls over the management of resources (financial and personnel) and the organization and management of service delivery systems. This diminishes not only the priority given to questions of economy and efficiency but also the importance attached to quality service to citizens.

"Peter Aucoin and Jean-Claude Deschênes, Choices


Maintaining a Competitive Workforce: Employer-Based Training in the Canadian Economy

We need institutional arrangements to ensure that social needs are not subordinated to the vested interests of specific groups … Vested interests in education and training are a mammoth problem. There are those within the university and the secondary school system who resist change and who argue vehemently that any tailoring of any education to the needs of the private sector is a prostitution of the education system.

"Derek Hum and Wayne Simpson



Urban Governance and Finance: A Question of Who Does What

Paul Hobson and France St-Hilaire, eds.

The analysis in this chapter would suggest that the recent move by the provincial government to amalga- mate municipalities in Metro [Toronto] is not appropriate because the new amalgamated city would not meet the cri- teria for good local government. In short, the boundaries of Metro Toronto are too large for local responsiveness and too small to address region-wide spillovers.

"Enid Slack

The current practice of imposing higher effective property tax rates on non-residential property (commercial/industrial) compared to residen- tial property raises questions relating to efficiency and equity. For example, a recent study suggests that the residential sector benefits more from local services … than the non-residential sector … Recent evidence for Ontario cities suggests that if non-residential property owners were responsible for funding only the local services that are of benefit to their properties, current property taxes could be expected to fall by more than 50 per cent.

"Harry Kitchen

While the idea of enabling government can be accommodated within standard analysis without much difficulty, the principle of subsidiari- ty, broadly defined, can have very different implications for the design of local government. The problem with the principle of subsidiarity, however, is that it is incomplete … Indeed, definitive policy guidelines will not be possi- ble until more flesh is put on the subsidiarity skeleton … Achieving sub- sidiarity is likely to imply some costs in terms of both efficiency and equity.

"Richard Barnett


« La politique familiale : ses impacts et les options »

Nous proposons, à titre illustratif, la mise en place d’une allocation fami- liale universelle non imposable. Cette mesure d’aide financière constitue la pierre d’assise d’une politique familiale qui accorde une valeur sociale minimale égale à tous les enfants, quel que soit le revenu des parents. Avec une telle mesure de compensation du coët privé de l’entre- tien des enfants, la collectivité reconnaît leur importance pour son développement et le rôle premier des familles pour les édu- quer. Notre proposition est clairement ori- entée vers le principe de la redistribution horizontale : les contribuables, peu importe leur statut familial, paient des impôts en fonction de leur capacité con- tributive pour financer le soutien aux familles … Cette approche universelle d’aide aux familles offre l’avantage de ne porter aucun jugement de valeur sur le mode de vie privilégié par les familles. Ainsi, elle compense financièrement au même titre une famille dont un conjoint est à la maison et une famille dont les deux conjoints travaillent.

"Robert Baril, Pierre Lefebvre et Philip Merrigan, Choix

« Les pensions de retraite dans une société vieillissante »

On ne peut manquer de signaler que la hausse de la fécondité est passablement plus efficace que l’accroissement de l’immigration. À l’échelle du Canada, un taux de fécondité augmenté de 0,1 enfant par femme se traduit par un surplus annuel de 23 000 naissances; or, ce surplus a le même effet qu’un apport net de 40 000 immigrants supplémentaires par an.

En matière de régimes de retraite, l’État doit fixer les normes de fonction- nement et imposer la réalisation d’objectifs précis; mais il ne lui appartient pas nécessairement de créer et de gérer ces régimes. Imposer à tous une pension égale à la moitié du revenu de la vie active, c’est, pourrait-on dire, obliger les gens à la sagesse. Est-ce plus autoritaire que d’imposer un moyen sër de financer le traite- ment des maladies, la compensation des accidents du travail ou la réparation des dommages causés par l’automobile?

"Jacques Henripin, Choix 

« La sécurité du revenu au Québec : une critique de la réforme proposée »

Jean-Michel Cousineau, Guy Lacroix et Pierre Lefebvre, dir.

Il ne faudrait pas perdre de vue que la Sécurité du revenu constitue une aide de dernier recours; et que les parcours per- sonnalisés devraient, eux aussi, être vus dans cette perspective. À l’opposé, le sys- tème scolaire doit demeurer la première voie d’intégration au marché du travail; et les incitations financières qu’on met en place doivent être compatibles avec ce rôle de l’école.

"Guy Lacroix, Choix



Sortir de l’impasse : les voies de la réconciliation

Guy Laforest et Roger Gibbins, dir.

L’impasse canado-québécoise n’est pas théorique, conceptuelle. Entre fédéralistes et souverainistes, il serait vain de chercher quelque gouffre sémantique … Pour sortir de l’impasse, dans le contexte de l’im- broglio canado-québécois, le défi est de ne faire ni vainqueurs, ni vaincus. Le Québec ne se résout pas à se fondre dans la nation canadienne. Le Canada veut durer, à l’ombre du géant américain, dans un univers en profonde mutation. L’un et l’autre veulent exister et durer, l’un et l’autre se sont réclamés du langage du nationalisme pour réaliser leurs objectifs.

"Guy Laforest

Pour la plupart des Québécois, la vie quotidienne sous un régime de partenariat ressemblerait fort à celle qu’ils mènent aujourd’hui dans « la Belle Province » sous régime fédéral. Le Québec jouirait évidemment d’une plus grande autonomie interne et exercerait une plus nette présence internationale; mais la plupart de ses citoyens remarqueraient à peine le retrait d’Ottawa. Car après tout, la présence fédérale est aujourd’hui presque invisible pour « M. et Mme Toulemonde », peu ren- seignés sur les complexités du fédéralisme fiscal … la structure du gouvernement québécois ne serait pas radicalement trans- formée … le partenariat semblerait s’Approcher raisonnablement du mythique Québec indépendant dans un Canada fort.

"Roger Gibbins

Qui est maître à bord?

Tout semble indiquer que l’incitation par le marché favorise un usage plus productif des ressources de santé. Certains observateurs ont minimisé l’importance de ces résultats initiaux sous prétexte qu’ils témoignent simplement d’une adhésion massive des plus fervents défenseurs de la formule …, mais ce genre d’argument ne pèse pas assez lourd pour que l’on en abandonne l’idée. Au contraire, il sert généralement à préconiser un ren- forcement des incitations propres aux nouveaux marchés internes. Au-delà de l’effet de mode, les « marchés internes » et les « stimulants axés sur le marché » en sont venus à apparaître comme des solu- tion mërement réfléchies, appliquées à des degrés divers ou en voie d’application dans la plupart des pays de l’OCDE. Et l’on en récolte d’ores et déjà les fruits en matière d’efficience. L’heure est venue pour le Canada de reconnaître qu’une grande partie du problème des soins médicaux inopportuns découle directement d’un mode de financement dépourvu des mesures incitatives appropriées … tout en respec- tant (et sans doute en renforçant) le principe d’uni- versalité grâce à un niveau de services établi d’après nos besoins réels plutôt que notre capacité de payer.

"Claude E. Forget et Monique Jérôme-Forget

The Transformation of Canada’s Pacific Metropolis: A Study of Vancouver

Most uncertain is whether Vancouver can eventually tran- scend [its] growing international role within the Asia-Pacific region to assume the status of world or global city … Attaining world-city status implies a function of a city’s particular role in the global economy and its level of activity in certain key areas … The principal challenge is to develop policies that take advantage of the market forces and pressures of the new global economy in a con- structive way, while recognizing and not compromising the value to the city’s unique socio-cultural and environmental qualities.

"Thomas Hutton

”œSubsidizing Child Care for Low-Income Families: A Good Bargain for Canadian Governments?”

We found that lone mothers on social assistance have only modest incentives to seek employment even when all child care costs are subsidized, and virtually no incentives to do so if child care subsidy is unavailable … In order to provide the desired employment incentives, child care subsidy systems should remain contingent on parental involvement in employment or training, particularly full-time employment or training, as is generally the case now. Minimum fees (and maximum payments well below the actual cost of care) should be reduced or eliminated. If there are problems with rising costs of licensed care, methods for containing them other than substantial parental co-payments should be found.

"Gordon Cleveland and Douglas Hyatt, Choices



Si je me souviens bien/As I Recall

Bien que cette dualité historiographique ait parfois donné naissance à des interprétations qui sem- blent aujourd’hui exagérées, voire erronées, nous croyons que ces différences ne peuvent être aisément supprimées par l’édification d’un nouvel ordre sym- bolique ou simplement écartées sous prétexte que notre histoire recèle aussi des succès communs. En regard du débat sur le statut du Québec au sein de la fédération canadienne, il importe, au contraire, d’ad- mettre que ces interprétations divergentes alimentent l’incompréhension mutuelle et influencent les échanges entre les deux communautés.


La Conquête a fait du Québec une partie du Canada. Cette phrase résume bien ce qui, encore aujour- d’hui, rend la souvenir de la Conquête aussi troublant pour tant de francophones : elle « a fait du Québec une partie du Canada ». Jusqu’à la Conquête, le Québec était le Canada ! La Conquête a transformé le sens même du nom « Canada » … En fin de compte, le nom de « Canada » allait recouvrir un paste pays à prédominance anglophone; la pop- ulation francophone s’était vu ravir son nom et son identité originels.

"Arthur Silver

”œJudicial Power in Canada and Britain”

Peter Russell and Paul Howe, eds., Choices

By contrast with the United States, where the Supreme Court is restricted to considering actual cases arising under the Constitution, our courts are virtually dragged into the political fray by the reference procedure. And there appears to be no way the Court can refuse to hear reference cases, though, as noted, it does have a measure of discretion to reject questions that are overtly polit- ical. The full Court must answer the questions put to it and do so expeditiously. Canadian courts, while always prominent in the Canadian political process, have become more ”œactivist” since the advent of the Charter. And the general public, due to a greater press coverage, has become more vocal in its criticism of the courts … There is emerging a consistent trend towards a liberal judicial phi- losophy, especially in matters relating to abortion, feminist causes, sexual orientation and the protection of the criminally accused.

"Frederick Vaughan

The spread of rights documents throughout the common law world affected the debate on incorporation in the U.K. in two ways. First, it provided models for civil rights bodies and lawyers to draw upon in drafting proposed bills of rights for Britain. Second, it represented a global trend toward the incorporation of human rights documents which left the U.K. increasingly isolated. The Canadian experience in particular, having been in operation since the early 1980s, was increasingly viewed as providing support for the argument that entrenching a bill of rights did not necessarily herald a legal or political revolution but could be incorporated into a common law system as an evolutionary step in the development of a more rights-based approach.

"Kate Malleson 

« Des droits à interpréter : les juges, le Parlement et l’élaboration des politiques sociales »

Le Canada devrait se doter d’un comité parlemen- taire permanent chargé, en particulier, d’examin- er en fonction de la Charte tous les projets de loi. Certes, la Chambre des communes et le Sénat ont cha- cun un comité dont le mandat, fort large, peut inclure un tel examen. Mais le Parlement aurait grand avan- tage à exercer cette fonction de façon plus consciente et plus systématique, en l’assignant à un comité parti- culier. Les membres de ce comité … arriveraient à développer des connaissances spécialisées et appro- fondies. Le rôle de ce comité consisterait non seule- ment à étudier la portée des droits revendiqués, mais aussi la justification des choix législatifs.

"Janet Hiebert, Choix

« Sélection au mérite et démocratisation des nominations à la Cour suprême du Canada »

C’est précisément le rôle très politique (j’emploie ici ce mot dans un sens positif, sans connotation péjorative) que les juges de la Cour suprême exercent dans l’application et l’interpré- tation de la Charte et des autres parties de la Constitution qui rend essentielle l’introduction d’un élément démocratique et stabilisa- teur dans le processus de nomination. On devrait fournir l’occasion de voir le candidat, de se renseigner sur lui et de mesurer sa valeur"avant que sa nomination ne devienne fait accompli. Le gouvernement, s’il a fait un bon choix, aidé ou non par un comité de mise en candidature, aura peu à craindre; selon toute vraisem- blance, le candidat obtiendra vite l’aval de l’organisme mandaté pour l’approbation.

"Jacob Ziegel, Choix



”œTaxing Canadian Families: What’s Fair, What’s Not”

Canada’s tax system fails to provide adequate recognition for the responsibilities of caring for children and advocate directions for reform. Recent initiatives aimed at fighting child poverty by redistribut- ing benefits from more affluent families with children has created inequities between families with children and childless individuals and have compromised economic efficiency. Our analysis shows that con- verting the CCTB [Canada Child Tax Benefit] into a universal benefit is the only policy option that fixes the two most important problems with Canada’s system of child benefits: it restores horizontal equity by pro- viding benefits to all Canadian children, and it reduces the high effective marginal tax rates faced by lower-income families with children. In our view, it is the best policy option, based on both equity and efficiency.

"Carole Vincent and Frances Woolley, Choices

The Canadian Social Union without Quebec: 8 Critical Analyses

Alain-G. Gagnon and Hugh Segal, eds.

The proposed rebalancing of the Canadian federation in the [Social Union] Framework Agreement of February 4, 1999 raises fundamental questions for the Quebec gov- ernment. It is a cause for concern that the central government is imposing its presence on all provincial and territorial governments in areas in which it has no constitutional jurisdiction … The objectives pursued by the Quebec government to provide its population with strong social bonds that could give the Quebec political community greater cohesion are simply seen as contrary to the homogenizing vision pursued by the central government.

"Alain-G. Gagnon

Seen from a distance, negotiating the Framework Agreement reproduced once again the inherent weaknesses of past attempts at changing the federation. On one side, the nation-builders of English Canada, some in Ottawa and other in provincial capitals, strive with unquestioned sincerity to develop Canada- wide initiatives aimed at harmonizing and inte- grating policies. Even when their projects seem to go beyond the letter of the Constitution, they have many good reasons to promote them. Conscious of the particular situation in Quebec, they generally attempt to associate the province with their initiatives. But because they fail to invest the effort needed to understand the true nature of the challenges deriving from Quebec’s specific nature, they more often than not become tired of negotiating and in the end let down their embarrassing partner. In the end, they come up with agreements that, because of Quebec’s absence, are not really national agree- ments. Quebec, with its experience of Canada- wide initiatives, enters negotiations with cau- tion, since any eventual agreement might go against its own values.

"Claude Ryan

”œFlat Taxes, Dual Taxes, Smart Taxes: Making the Best Choices”

Given the current state of the Canadian economy that is approach- ing full productive capacity and full employment, there are grounds for giving greater priority to supply-enhancing tax cuts rather than large cuts in basic personal tax rates or exemption levels that would boost consumer demand. The latter parts of the tax-reduction package could be phased in when the economy slows or enters the next recession … By stimulating the aggregate supply of real output and dampening inflation through productivity increases, more supply- oriented tax cuts and reforms would extend the business expansion and lift the economy’s long-run growth rate. An optimal tax package for Canada will focus at the outset on augmenting incentives for sav- ings, investment, and entrepreneurial activity in preference to consumer spending.

"Jonathan Kesselman, Policy Matters 

Recommandations aux premiers ministres Groupe de travail de l’IRPP sur les politiques de santé 

Les fournisseurs de soins, tout comme le public en général, estiment frustrant un processus où les décisions"prises en haut lieu, loin du terrain d’action et hors du temps"sont soumises à des règles et à des règlements tatillons. Pour assurer l’avenir de notre sys- tème de santé, nous devons renouer avec la décentralisation et l’au- tonomie, faire appel aux autorités locales et régionales. Nous devons confier à celles-ci non seulement la gestion et le fonctionnement des services de santé dont la population a besoin sur place, mais aussi leur conférer l’autorité nécessaire à cette fin.



Pulling Against Gravity: Economic Development in New Brunswick during the McKenna Years Political leaders in have-less provinces can borrow a page from McKenna in their efforts to promote economic development …

But as this study makes clear, this approach has its limits. Economic development in New Brunswick requires a constant pulling against gravity. Gravity does not come solely from market forces or from the province’s inherent inability to compete. It also comes from a federal gov- ernment incapable or unwilling to accommodate regional eco- nomic interests in its policies other than those of vote-rich Ontario and southern Quebec … Given this reality, New Brunswickers should no longer support a strong role for the fed- eral government in in a society dominated by Ontario and Quebec … New Brunswick should join forces with western Canada and promote new attempts to reform national political institutions.

"Donald Savoie

”œA Room of Our Own: Cultural Policies and Trade Agreements”

The United States has generally been a complainant and Canada has often had to retreat in trade battles related to specific cultural policies … it is unlikely to wish to discuss extending blanket exemptions or exceptions for cultural industries in trade agreements. But it might be open to discussing specific proposals from which it too would gain in terms of clearer and potentially more open rules of the game. If Canada accepts the possibility that its own policies would become more focused on fostering the production and availability of Canadian content, it would be in a realistic position to offer some- thing of interest to the United States and other major trading nations. It would be closer, therefore, to attaining an interna- tional agreement that spoke meaning- fully to core Canadian cultural objec- tives.

"Daniel Schwanen, Choices

« Les prérogatives du pouvoir dans les relations intergouvernementales »

Les gouvernements provinciaux et territoriaux ont accepté l’ECUS [Entente-cadre sur l’union sociale] et le fédéralisme de collaboration pour deux raisons : parce qu’ils ne demandaient pas autant d’autonomie et de marge de manœuvre que le gou- vernement du Québec et parce qu’ils ont fini par considérer les options définies par le gouvernement fédéral comme étant les seules possibles. Deux lec- tures peuvent être faites de cette évolution. L’une suggère que les provinces ont été dominées par un acteur plus puissant, capable de définir et d’imposer les règles du jeu. L’autre insiste plus sur la concor- dance de vues entre les gouvernements fédéral, provinciaux et territoriaux, et présente le gouverne- ment du Québec comme une victime de ce que Gruber appelle une « coalition activiste » forte … Les gouvernements des provinces et territoires n’ont pas atteint leurs objectifs initiaux mais ils se sont rapide- ment adaptés à une nouvelle situation qu’ils esti- maient inévitable, peu dommageable et même utile à certains égards.

"Alain Noël, Enjeux publics 

”œThe Brain Drain: Myth and Reality" What It Is and What Should be Done”

General income tax cuts should not play a central role in the brain drain debate because the (net) effects of smaller cuts on the number of persons leaving would not likely be very great, while the ”œspillover” effects of any larger cuts in terms of reduced government revenues and the associated reductions in pub- lic spending and other effects would be so large as to render any resulting brain drain effects relatively puny in comparison … There may be good reasons to reduce personal income taxes, but that debate should be engaged on its own terms, rather than dragged into the brain drain issue in the tail-wagging-the-dog fashion it has been of late, as in, ”œWe need to reduce our ”˜brain draining’ levels of taxa- tion.” … While general income tax cuts may (or may not) represent an appropriate policy move at this time, the associated brain drain effects are likely to be moderate and could thus comprise only a cor- respondingly small part of the justification for such a policy initia- tive … It would be fortuitous if the brain drain were in fact reduced to a substantial degree because of tax changes … Income tax policy, at the general level, should be formulated more or less independent- ly of its brain drain effects; while brain drain problems are best addressed with specific brain drain policy solutions.

"Ross Finnie, Choices



”œCanada and Military Coalitions: Where, How, and with Whom?”

Many Canadians, including most members of Parliament, believe that Canada is an important participant and a leader in international peacekeeping missions worldwide. They appear convinced that Canada has ”œinfluence” in NATO and the United Nations because of the commitments made there, but the reality is different. Consequently, the public may be disillusioned when they discover a more sober truth, as many did when they found Canada outside the ”œContact Group” directing NATO operations in the former Yugoslavia. The public might then appreciate that while Canada could build coalitions of the willing around soft assets where risks are low"as in specific arms control areas and international judicial matters" they might also lower their expectations of its ability to act in coalitions where hard assets are needed and high risks are anticipated. Alternatively, Canadians might decide to assemble the means needed to match the vision they have of Canada in the world.

"Douglas Bland, Policy Matters 

”œThe Bright Side: A Positive View on the Economics of Aging”

Probably the most important factor deter- mining the implications of population aging on economic growth will be human capital. It is the contention of this paper that population aging will enhance the role of human capital as an engine of economic growth because it creates strong incentives for young and future generations to invest in human capital formation. That investment, in turn, could more than compensate for the decrease in the proportion of the population of working age and the decrease in national savings.

This implies that, in policy terms, the importance of the issue of human capital, already highlighted in the aftermath of the information technology revolution, will be reinforced. If the investments in human capital materialize, population aging may stimulate eco- nomic growth in the con- text of a knowledge-based economy and increase the living standards of young and future generations.

"Marcel Mérette, Choices

« Rétablir le principe fédéral : La place du Québec dans l’union sociale canadienne »

L’aliénation de plus en plus évidente de la majorité francophone québé- coise au sein du Canada demeure le problème le plus important auquel le pays est confronté. C’est un problème qui devrait préoccuper au plus haut point les citoyens et les responsables politiques du Canada. Même ceux qui réalisent encore qu’il existe un problème Canada-Québec ne semblent plus viser la réconciliation historique du Québec et du reste du Canada, mais la totale défaite de ces « séparatistes » dont ils se sont convaincus qu’ils constituent le seul vrai problème du pays. Ils semblent dire que les francophones qui ont voté majoritairement Oui au référen- dum de 1995 ne savaient pas ce qu’ils faisaient. Cette conception tient pour l’essentiel de la pensée magique.

"Christian Dufour, Enjeux publics

”œSailing in Concert: The Politics and Strategy of Canada- US Naval Interoperability”

Canadian vital interests will not likely be at stake on the high seas …The same, though, may no longer be the case for the littoral waters of North America … Ottawa can choose not to deploy overseas with the USN; it cannot choose to ignore American efforts to secure the maritime approaches to the continent. In addition, overall sovereignty concerns will be exacerbated if NORAD is to be subsumed within the new Northern Command, thus depriving it of its distinctive bilateral character.

"Joel J. Sokolsky


To be continued…

À suivre…