HSCI 305 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Property Law

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Chapter One – Part One
Federalism and Medicare
Canada is a federal state and not a unitary state
The Federal Government transfers funds to the provinces to pay part of the cost of hospital and
physician services
But it does not provide these services directly
Under the Constitution, it is the provinces, not the federal government who are primarily
responsible for the delivery of health care
Federal State
Each level of government has authority over specific things
Normally there is a mechanism for resolving conflicts over spheres of authority
In Canada the Supreme Court interprets such disputes
Legislative powers and taxation are normally shared between the two levels of Government
Advantages and disadvantages of a Federal State
Problems matching resources (taxing capacity) and responsibilities
Conflicts over jurisdiction between national and provincial governments i.e. who is responsible?
And who pays?
Unitary States
Central government alone has powers to make decisions for the whole state
It does not share power with other levels of government
The central government may establish lower level institutions of government and delegate
various powers to them (Examples: regional governments, municipalities, health authorities,
school districts etc.)
But the central government retains the ability to change their structures
Advantages
One government is responsible for all decisions
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Document Summary

Canada is a federal state and not a unitary state. The federal government transfers funds to the provinces to pay part of the cost of hospital and physician services. But it does not provide these services directly. Under the constitution, it is the provinces, not the federal government who are primarily responsible for the delivery of health care. Each level of government has authority over specific things. Normally there is a mechanism for resolving conflicts over spheres of authority. In canada the supreme court interprets such disputes. Legislative powers and taxation are normally shared between the two levels of government. Central government alone has powers to make decisions for the whole state. It does not share power with other levels of government. The central government may establish lower level institutions of government and delegate various powers to them (examples: regional governments, municipalities, health authorities, school districts etc. ) But the central government retains the ability to change their structures.

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