The Institute of Intergovernmental Relations welcomes working papers dealing with some aspect of intergovernmental relations, multi-level governance and fiscal federalism from scholars in political science, economics, history, law, geography and related fields. Authors should submit a copy by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Papers should normally not exceed 12,000 words, should conform to general academic standards, and may be either in French or English. Following an editorial review, authors will be advised of any recommended changes and the decision respecting posting of the paper on our website. The email addresses of the authors will be included with the posted working paper so that readers may communicate comments or observations directly to the authors.
How should Canadians mitigate and cope with severe shocks to provincial revenues? Should the federal government enhance nationwide insurance? Should the provinces limit and insure against provincial revenue volatility themselves? And how do we identify useful and politically acceptable policy solutions?
On April 17, 2019, the Queen’s Institute of Intergovernmental Relations brought together a group of economists, political scientists and policy experts to explore these and other issues related to provincial revenue shocks. The discussants and panellists were:
- Robin Boadway (Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, Queen’s University)
- Tom Courchene (Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics and the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University)
- Adrienne Davidson (Skelton-Clark Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Political Studies, Queen's University)
- Patrick Deutscher (Queen’s University; former Chief Economist of Ontario and former Assistant Deputy Minister in the Office of Economic Policy at the Ministry of Finance)
- Kyle Hanniman (Assistant Professor, Department of Political Studies, Queen’s University)
- Scott Matthews (Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Memorial University)
- Trevor Tombe (Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Calgary)
- Tracy Snoddon (Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University)
A number of panellists prepared summaries of their presentations, which can be found below:
|The Federal Response to Provincial Fiscal Shocks: Imperatives, Opportunities and Pitfalls [PDF 158KB]||Robin Boadway, Queen's University||2019|
|Improving decision-making and debate around Canada's intergovernmental transfer system: The Potential of an Independent Council [PDF 199KB]||Kyle Hanniman, Queen's University||2019|
|Public Opinion and Managing Subnational Fiscal Risks [PDF 194KB]||J. Scott Matthews, Memorial University||2019|
|Trevor Tombe, University of Calgary||2019|
|Tackling Provincial Revenue Volatility [PDF 202KB]||Tracy Snodden, Wilfrid Laurier University||2019|
On November 20, 2017, the Queen’s Institute of Intergovernmental Relations hosted a one-day workshop on the Québec government’s Policy on Québec Affirmation and Canadian Relations Quebecers, our way of being Canadian. The event, entitled Let’s Talk: A Conversation about Canada and Quebec, was sponsored by the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes, and featured Jean Marc-Fournier, the Québec Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie.
Mr. Fournier participated in two panel discussions with six distinguished discussants. Topics included the merits, drawbacks and challenges of constitutional reform and recognition, self-determination, interculturalism and the federal spirit.
The discussants were:
- Bob Rae (Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, former Premier of Ontario, former Member of Parliament, Special Envoy to Myanmar);
- Kathy Brock (Professor, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University);
- Peter Russell (Professor Emeritus, Political Science, University of Toronto);
- Avigail Eisenberg (Professor, Political Science, University of Victoria);
- Alain-G. Gagnon (Professeur, science politique, l’Université du Québec à Montréal); and
- Michael Doxtater (Assistant Professor & Queen’s National Scholar, Languages, Literature, and Culture, Queen’s University).
A number of the panellists prepared summaries of their presentations. Links to the summaries appear below.
|Merits and Drawbacks of Constitutional Reform [391 KB]||Peter Russell||2017-1|
|Harmony through a Dialogue on Diversity in the Federation [287 KB]||Kathy L. Brock||2017-2|
|Towards a New Federal Compact [355 KB]||Avigail Eisenberg||2017-3|
|Appraising Interculturalism and Refusing Canada's Constitutional Stalemate [424 KB]||Alain-G. Gagnon||2017-4|
|Two Sides to the Quebec "Way of Being Canadian" [429 KB]||Michael Doxtater||2017-5|
This selected collection of working papers are authored by Professor Ronald L. Watts during his tenure at the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations. For the results of the 2007 Watts Conference please contact us at email@example.com.
Working Papers on Fiscal Imbalance 2007
The Institute is publishing a series of online papers on equalization, fiscal imbalance and Canadian federalism. The initial papers were drawn from the IIGR conference Fiscal Federalism and the Future of Canada held in September 2006.
|Strengthening Canada's Territories and Putting Equalization Back on Track: The Report of the Expert Panel on Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing [PDF 116KB]||Al O'Brien||2007|
|Reconciling the Irreconcilable Addressing Canada's Fiscal Imbalance [PDF 93KB]||Council of the Federation||2007|
|Is Equalization Broken? Can Equalization be Fixed? [PDF 108KB]||Janice MacKinnon||2007|
|Natural Resource Shocks and the Federal System: Boon and Curse? [PDF 143KB]||Robin Boadway||2007|
|Equalization Reform in Canada: Principles and Compromises [PDF 132KB]||Joe Ruggeri||2007|
|Fiscal Federalism and the Burden of History [PDF 136KB]||Garth Stevenson||2007|
Spending Power Working Papers 2007
The Institute is compiling a new series of working papers on the federal spending power, an issue which has become more salient in the lead up to the Speech from the Throne.
The Institute welcomes submissions to the working paper series. To submit a paper or for further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Fiscal Federalism and the Future of Canada: Can Section 94 of the Constitution Act, 1867 be an Alternate to the Spending Power? [PDF 108KB]||Marc-Antoine Adam||2007|
|The Federal Spending Power is now Chiefly for People, not Provinces [PDF 196 KB]||Tom Kent||2007|
Public Health Working Papers 2008
Federalism and the Public's Health
The safety of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. Canadians expect their governments to work together to ensure that these and other basic aspects of their public health security are provided for. However, recent history, most notably the response to the SARS outbreak, has shown that this can be problematic. Fundamentally, the ability of governments to work together to protect the public's health is strongly linked to the effectiveness of the intergovernmental relations that exist in this area. And while the study of federalism has been a mainstay of the Canadian research community for many years, one subject that has received scant attention is the manner in which the different levels of government interact to protect the public's health.
The Institute of Intergovernmental Relations is therefore pleased to announce a new Working Paper series to help fill this void: the first systematic analysis of federalism in public health. It is based on a project that the Institute launched several years ago when public health was not a policy priority of governments. Since then, unfortunately, Canadians have been exposed to several major health protection crises and concerns, ranging from SARS, to the growth of smog, the return of vaccine preventable diseases and most recently the listeriosis outbreak. All of these issues raise questions of "who is responsible for what" among orders of government. Moreover, unlike many issues in Canada, these files typically involve more orders of government than just federal and provincial/territorial levels. Local and Aboriginal governments often play or should play an important role. Foreign governments and international organizations like the World Health Organization may also be involved in making or implementing the rules that are supposed to protect Canadians.
Kumanan Wilson and Harvey Lazar are the editors of this working paper series. Dr. Wilson holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Health Policy at the University of Ottawa and is a Research Associate at the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations. Dr. Lazar is currently a Fellow at the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations and Adjunct Professor in Public Administration and Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Global Studies, both at the University of Victoria. This project was launched while Lazar was director of Institute of Intergovernmental Relations. We would like to thank the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada for funding.
Special Series on Asymmetric Federalism 2005
Series Introduction: Asymmetrical Federalism in Canada: When is it a Good Idea?
The federal Liberal Party's 2004 general election platform heavily emphasized issues that are wholly or mainly subject to provincial competence under the constitutional division of legislative powers (e.g. health care, child care, cities/communities). Since the federal government lacks the authority to implement detailed regulatory schemes in these subject areas, acting on these election commitments necessarily requires federal-provincial or increasingly federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) agreements (based at least in part on the use of the federal spending power). The much publicized September 2004 FPT agreement on health care and its financing was one example of such an agreement.
A crucial and controversial question that arises is whether the FPT agreements that flow out of this potentially large intergovernmental agenda should treat all provinces and territories similarly or whether the agreements should e expected to differ from one province/territory to another. This issue of symmetry or asymmetry raises questions at two levels. The first is whether all provinces should be viewed as "equal" in legal and constitutional terms and, if so, how does one reconcile such equality arguments with explicit constitutional provisions that are geared to the specificity of particular provinces? The second relates to the political and administrative level and the plethora of intergovernmental agreements it generates. When should Canadians expect all provinces/territories to be treated similarly in these agreements and when should difference be the rule? The health care agreement referred to above, for example, included a separate bilateral Canada-Quebec side deal. Should Canadians applaud or be worried about this kind of asymmetry? What about the anticipated intergovernmental arrangements to create a Canada-wide system of child care? Should all provinces be treated identically on child care or should we anticipate differences from one jurisdiction to another? Similar questions arise in relation to revenue sharing arrangements in the aftermath of the off-shore financing agreements that Ottawa has reached with Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.
Given this context, it is timely to make available to Canadians the considerations that are relevant to the issue of symmetry/asymmetry. We are doing this by publishing a series of short commentaries over the first half of 2005. These papers will explore the different dimensions of this issue- the historical, the philosophical, the practical, the comparative (how other federations deal with asymmetrical pressures), and the empirical (both public opinion and what has been happening recently in relation to the issue of asymmetry in intergovernmental relations). We do this in the hope that the series will help improve the quality of public deliberation (and for that matter private deliberation given how much of intergovernmental relations is effectively closed to public scrutiny) on this issue. The authors are mainly from different parts of Canada (the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, and British Columbia) and hold varying viewpoints on Canadian federalism. A few authors are not Canadians, however, and they too will add to our perspective. Together, they will provide Canadians with much of the knowledge base and argumentation that is relevant to analyzing the role of asymmetry in Canadian federalism.
Special Series on the Interdependence of Democracy Initiatives and Federalism Initiatives 2005
In May 2004, the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations (IIGR) convened a conference to analyze: (1) developments in intergovernmental relations; (2) various democracy initiatives; and (3) the interaction between the democracy and federalism reform agendas. The underlying assumption was that the democracy and federalism agendas might be structurally interdependent. For example, changes in executive-legislature relationship being proposed in several jurisdictions could diffuse effective authority from executive to legislature. This could influence the dynamics of intergovernmental relations with executives having to enter into the intergovernmental arena more constrained by their legislatures than has historically been the case.
Conversely, much strengthened relations among first ministers, doing business as usual, might be seen as reinforcing a system of governance that is weak in transparency, uneven in accountability and undermining the ability of legislatures to influence their executives. All of this would seem inconsistent with a democracy reform agenda.
The IIGR has made available most of the conference papers. Taken together, we believe they will help stimulate public debate on the interdependence of the democratic and federalism reform agendas.
|The Creation of the Council of the Federation [PDF 28KB]||Marc-Antoine Adam||2005|
|Speaking Notes [PDF 28KB]||John Milloy||2005|
|Turning Voters into Citizens: The Citizens' Assembly and Reforming Democratic Politics [PDF 78KB]||R. Kenneth Carty||2005|
|Reform of Democratic Institutions: Quebec's Comprehensive Plan [PDF 19KB]||Andre Fortier||2005|
|Democratic Reform: A Work in Progress [PDF 24KB]||Kathy O'Hara||2005|
|Democracy, Parliamentary Reform and Federalism [PDF 39KB]||Herman Bakvis & Gerry Baier||2005|
|The Supreme Court Appointments Process: Improved Federal-Provincial Relations vs. Democratic Renewal? [PDF 42KB]||Sujit Choudhry||2005|
|Combining the Agendas: Federalism and Democracy [PDF 27KB]||Richard Simeon||2005|
|Linking the Democratic and Intergovernmental Agendas: Legitimacy and Effectiveness [PDF 23KB]||Grace Skogstad||2005|
Special Series on the Council of the Federation 2003
Canada's Provincial and Territorial Premiers agreed in July 2003 to create a new interprovincial-interterritorial Council of the Federation to better manage their relations and ultimately to build a more constructive and cooperative relationship with the federal government. The Council met on October 24, 2003 in Quebec City and on December 5, 2003 in Charlottetown where the premiers signed a Foundation Agreement. This initiative holds some significant promise of establishing a renewed basis for more extensive collaboration among governments in Canada while also raising some important questions and challenges.
In the weeks leading up the October and December meetings, the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at Queen's University and the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Montreal jointly published a series of commentaries to encourage wider knowledge and discussion of the proposed Council, and to provoke further thought about the general state of intergovernmental relations in Canada today. These commentaries are included here together with the Foundation Agreement itself.
We have also included as an appendix a paper written some years ago by Tom Courchene that helped to encourage the events leading to the establishment of the Council.
This series was edited by Douglas Brown at Queen's University in collaboration with France St-Hilaire at the IRPP.
|Réponse à deux critiques: Conseil de la fédération et droit à la différence du Québec [PDF 104KB]||André Burelle||2003|
|Le Québec et la Concertation Inter-provinciale [PDF 199KB]||Claude Ryan||2003|
|Conseil de la Fédération Entente Fondatrice [PDF 220KB]||Les Premiers Ministres des Provinces et des Territoires||2003|