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Lecture 4

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Political Science
Rachael Gibson

POL306 Lecture 4 Public and private places debate in city planning and this involved the role of the government. 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 20 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 Disentanglement: 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 government -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 redesigned -Recommendations largely followed the services to people vs. services to properly separation -1997 Ontario government response ignored recommendations of the panel -Result was a service swap, where province downloaded increased responsibilities for a number of social “Downloading” -Federal/provincial government shift expenditure responsibilities directly to municipalities -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
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