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Political Science
Course Code
Victoria Wohl

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Canadian Politics: Week 6 - October 19th, 2010
- Economic development update given not in Parliament but in Mississauga in front of a group of
Chinese-Canadians: decline of Parliament
- All provincial ministers met in Vancouver last week
Good test questions:
What are the constituent components of Parliamentary government? (crown, senate, HoC)
What are the functions of Parliament?
What are the roles of MPs?
What is Federalism?
- Law that covers federalism is in the BNA Act
- 28 countries in the world have a federal system, making up 40% of the population of the world
- Pg 195-196, the power to make laws is divided between a central government and provincial
- In theory the premiers would not be subordinate to the prime minister, in reality subnational
governments are concerned with less vital, more local concerns
- In practice, federal systems are usually biased in one direction or another, Canada is one of the
most decentralized systems in the world, the United States is one of the more centralized ones
- Natural political competition by both levels to expand their jurisdictional powers
- One indicator of a bias in a federal system is you look at who controls taxation, banking, finance
o Provinces are big actors in Canada
- Who gets the residual power? Any power that iv[o]X
o /vvU][(o
o In US, it belongs to the states and to individuals
- Since the 1950s, federal government has been giving up tax points to the provincial
governments, giving them more tax room
- What happens when you have a dispute between federal and provincial governments regarding
o One way is to go to the courts
o Another more practical way is to negotiate out of court
- }µv]ÁvÁZ](ovÁZ]}À]v]ov[o
o For example, airports are federal, federal governments regulate airlines
In mid 1970s, federal government decided Pearson airport was too small,
decided to build an airport in Pickering
People in Pickering were against it, started lobbying provincial government
Province decided it was against the airport, said that it would not provide roads
and sewers to service the airport, so the airport was not built
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o If federal government restricts unemployment insurance, more people go on welfare,
provincial problem
o Feds control in-land fisheries, control coasts, shipping, but provinces control property,
public land, if pollution washes ashore, province is responsible
- Federal-provincial meetings can occur as power is so centralized that executives can get things
done, power is concentrated in the executive, can make a deal and carry through on it
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- Provinces have gained increasing power because of judicial decisions
o JCPC (Judicial Committee of the Privy Council)
High court on constitutional questions until 1949
Made decisions giving power to provinces
Provinces also gained because they became increasingly assertive and
aggressive about expanding their jurisdiction after WWII, especially Quebec
x Public expectation, people wanted positive government, wanted
government to provide publically funded education/hospitals, welfare
programs, to provide shelters for abused spouses
o Growth in modern welfare state
o Provincial governments responsible
o Intra vires
Inside of your jurisdiction
o Ultra vires
If you paoÁv}u}vÇÇ}µ}v[ZÀZ]]]}vU}µÁ]oo
o Stare decisis
- Fig 7.3, pg 220
o Government expenditures as a percentage of GDP, in 1950 federal expenditures made
up 11%, by 2006, made up 15%
o In 1950, provincial expenditures made up 5.5%, by 2006 made up 17.5%
o On revenue side, feds collected 16%, same in 2006
o In provinces, took in 5%, in 2006, 19%
- Federal power resides in taxation and the spending power
o Federal government can also impose conditions for giving money to provinces
Medicare as a Shared-Cost Program:
Federal Government Conditions (to pay 50% of costs of program that follow conditions)
1. Comprehensive
a. Cover all medical conditions
2. Portable
a. If someone moves from Ontario to AlbUZÇ[ooPZu}ÀPZ
i. E.g. For first three months will be covered by OHIP then by Alberta healthcare
3. Universal
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