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POL2101 (183)

March 6.docx

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University of Ottawa
Political Science
Luc Turgeon

March 6, 2013 Fiscal Federalism - Definition: the evolving financial relations between the deferral, provincial and municipal governments - Always been a source of tension in Canada, but increasingly over the last 15 years o Budgetary restraints o Shift of power away from central Canada to western  Alberta got really rich really quickly  Significant source of transfer  Alberta government prefers lower taxation - Dimensions o Constitutional  Who is entitled to different levels of taxation o Intergovernmental transfers  How should we finance this? o Tax structures Intergovernmental transfers - Means by which the federal government an build national programs and promote national standards - Key transfers in Canada o Canada Health Transfer o Canada Social Transfer o Equalization  Not a conditional program  Provinces can do whatever they want - Other key transfers for cities, urban transit, infrastructure - Those transfers often have conditions attached to them in order to influence how they are spent o Originally each of these had conditions attached to them o Over time the number of conditions have declined Equalization - Federal transfer program for addressing horizontal fiscal gap o Enables less prosperous provincial governments to provide public services that are reasonably comparable to those in other provinces, at reasonably comparable levels of taxation o The idea was not that every province would have the same amount of money to provide the same services  Was to level the playing field  If every province had the same level of taxation that is how much money they would have  Certain provinces would have more taxes and more services and vice versa - Entrenched in the Canadian Constitution in 1982 - Unconditional payments - Equalization in Canada today o Federal program o Six provinces receive it o 16.1 billion in 2013-14 o See link in slide  read for DGD The Charter of Rights and Freedom Key Terms - Parliamentary supremacy vs Constitutional supremacy - Charter of Rights and Freedom - Notwithstanding Claus - ??? Reminder: Key Distinction - Parliamentary supremacy o Parliament is the ultimate source of authority o In Canada, we always had limited parliamentary supremacy  We’re a federation  Powers that divided the federal and the other  What the fed did could be challenged in court if it did
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