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Lecture 4

POL305Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Excess Burden Of Taxation, Redistribution Of Income And Wealth, Natural Person


Political Science
Course Code
Rachael Gibson

of 6
POL306 Lecture 4
Public and private places debate in city planning and this involved the role of the
Municipalities and Canadian intergovernmental relations
-Creatures of the province:
-In Canada, municipal government lack constitutional status.
-The province responsible for it determines Powers and responsibilities a
municipality has
-Provincial government -> municipality
-Context of cities operates has changed over the years, and also the
intergovernmental relations system in Canada
-The old subordination of municipality is no longer adequate to meet contemporary
economic and social issues
-in urban area that many of the society’s major challenges and policy questions are
being raised in social economic and environmental, large city and regions are key to
Canada’s global competiveness.
-Municipality has strong relation with provincial and federal level of government
-Municipalities are increasingly involved in international relationship as a result of
globalization, free trade agreements
-Characterized by increasingly complex and changing combinations of participants.
-Evolution of provincial-local relations typically characterized by increasingly
provincial oversight
-At beginning of 20th century departments of municipal affairs established to
provide leadership and guidance in municipal development
-After world war2 increased in provincial supervision due to growing service
demands on local government
-As revenues from property tax became less and less adequate, provinces increased
financial assistance.
-Conditional grants were most common and allowed provinces to ensure services
met minimum standard
-Provincial priorities were dominant as consequence, by 1960s local government
had endured 3 decades
the provicial-local relationship 1990s
Relates to issue of jurisdictional overlap and the interdependence of government
programs and policies at all 3 levels
-1990s saw major efforts in Ontario and Quebec to disentangle and reallocate or
download their responsibilities
-This was partly in response to the fiscal pressures facing provinces at this time, as
many were dealing with major cutbacks in federal transfer funds
-Reducing duplication and overlap in provincial and municipal services delivery was
viewed as a way of cutting provincial costs, and also clarifying lines of responsibility
-Considerable variation in the approaches and outcomes across provinces.
Rationale for disentanglement
-Service to property vs. services to people
-Local vs. general
-Services to people provides benefits that go beyond boundaries of one municipality
so should be financed by broader revenue sources
-Social services involved income redistribution often tied to broad provincial or
even national standards
-Some services shouldn’t be open to local variation
-Criticism of this rationale: arbitrary allocation of responsibilities, are there any
issues, which are still inherently local?
Case study: Ontario
-1990 reports suggested that Ontario shift cost of social assistance to provincial
-But this would mean around $800 million in extra cost
-Issued follow up study focus on fiscal neutrality
-Deal fell thru when province introduced major cuts in local transfer payments in
response to growing debt and deficit
-Key milestone in Harris government, shift of time is a great deal when social service
is putting out there.
-Who does what panel to discuss how delivery and funding of services should be
-Recommendations largely followed the services to people vs. services to properly
-1997 Ontario government response ignored recommendations of the panel
-Result was a service swap, where province downloaded increased responsibilities
for a number of social
-Federal/provincial government shift expenditure responsibilities directly to
-Provincial government reduces transfer to municipalities and in effect increase
municipal funding requirement
-Federal and provincial levels downsize their own responsibilities in areas such as
immigrant settlement and municipalities feel need to step in and fill the gap
-Federal mandates that municipalities meet certain requirement without providing
the funds to meet those requirements
Disentanglement issues
-Despite good intentions, the fiscal crunch of the 1990s led provinces to override
considerations about which functions would be best suited to provincial/local
-Financial concerns were particularly evident in some provinces like Ontario. The
goal here was to take over responsibilities for education
-The downloading of broad social services responsibilities was followed by a
necessary re-involvement or re-entanglement to establish appropriate standards for
these wider social service areas.
-is it pointless?
The legal relationship
-Municipalities one of the many responsibilities that the provinces could exercise