HLTC24H3 Chapter Notes -Crown Attorney, Urban Sociology, Toronto Public Health

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6 Dec 2011

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Sancton and Sams (2010) Chapter 25, Provincial and Local Public Administration
The Canadian federal government accounts for less than half of all government spending in Canada.
Canada = decentralized federation
Provincial and local spend most of our public funds.
The federal and provincial governments in Canada share common institutional arrangements. All are
parliamentary systems of the Westminster model.
Federal and provincial governments share same public admin. arrangements, local = more influenced by
American arrangements
In America states and local governments = same, in Canada, provinces and local = different
Provinces must also grapple with difficult issues involving the organization of municipal governments
and special-purpose bodies (SPBS), or specific organization, issues that are entirely foreign to the kinds
of organizational problems that confront the federal government.
Despite the obvious differences in their institutional structures, the concerns of provincial and local
governments in Canada are inextricably intertwined (more intertwined than federal-provincial)
Functions and Organizational Structures of Provincial Governments
Section 92 and 93 = outline responsibilities of provincial gov’ts
The Constitution provides that within each parliamentary system, the lieutenant governor, appointed on
the advice of the federal minister, acts in place of the monarch. This CANT change.
Premier – head of the provincial government, appoints all cabinet & deputy ministers, appointed by
Every (Ministry of Finance) in a province main goal = raising enough revenue from taxes to cover
Ministry of Justice, Ministry of the Attorney General = responsible for ensuring that ppl who violate the
law are prosecuted by Crown attorneys (who work closely with police) in courts.
Eg. An alleged murderer will be arrested by a municipal police officer, charged under the provisions of a
federal law (the Criminal Code) and prosecuted by a provincial Crown attorney before a federally judge
in a court of law established by the province
Provincial ministries of municipal affairs = implement the laws concerning the establishment and
operation of municipal governments and to monitor their financial management.
Municipal affairs ministries are left to regulate the municipal electoral process, conflict-of-interest rules,
record-keeping and financial procedures.
Ministries of labour / human resources = governs the relationship between employers and employees.
Except in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba, provinces directly administer income security (welfare)
programs themselves
Virtually all other provincial ministries are in one way or another concerned with providing services to
the public, either directly, through Crown corporations and non-governmental organizations, or through
local governments.
Real story about provincial government activity in Canada is that it is usually some other organization-
such as a Crown corporation or provincially funded non-profit organization-that has direct contact with
ordinary citizens and consumers.
Crown Corporations and Non-Profit Organizations
· Crown corporation = an organization structured in many ways like a private corporation except that the
provincial government owns all the shares
· Provincial involvement in electricity through Crown corporations was a crucial feature of most provinces'
economic development throughout the twentieth century
· the most ubiquitous (widespread) provincial Crown corporations in Canada involve liquor, other
corporations are related to water supply (aimed towards municipalities)
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· Non profit organizations, originally sponsored by churches, charitable organizations and municipalities,
rely on provincial funding
Non profit organizations = universities, churches, hospitals = are at the boundary between the public
sector and the civil society, which is the network of voluntary organizations that stands between the
state, on the one hand, and families and individuals, on the other
Subsequent to the establishment of this system in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta also created regional
councils of one kind or another, usually for health services. Are not elected & have taxing authority
The Organization of Local Government
2 kinds of local government = municipalities and special–purpose bodies
Municipalities = responsible for a number of government activities and functions whereas special
purpose bodies are responsible for usually one function or a bunch of closely related ones, are appointed.
Eg. Municipal responsibility = public education, special purpose body = school board
Populated areas (eg. Ontario & Quebec) have 2 tiers of municipal governments
Upper tier in Quebec being either a municipal regional county or a metropolitan community. In Ontario
it is either a county (in rural areas) or a regional municipality (in large urban centres & their rural
Two-tier systems (two-tier municipal systems is that a lower-tier municipality has exclusive authority
to pass by-laws under a sphere – unless the sphere or part of the sphere has been assigned to its upper-
tier) came under severe attack in Ontario under the Harris government because of alleged overlap and
Some were converted to single tier systems (eg. Hamilton, Chatham) , biggest one 1998 = Toronto
BC’s regional districts = brought municipal services to areas that previously had no municipal
government and provided a mechanism for co-operation among neighbouring municipalities that were
already established.
Responsibilities of municipalities include = education, public health and income security
Whether a municipality / special-purpose body carries out a function is a decision made by the
provincial gov’t
Municipal staff headed by one individual the city manager which has its origins in the American-based
The position of city manager (the head of a municipal staff) has its origins in the American-based
Progressive movement of a hundred years ago. The belief was that corrupt urban political machines
could be cleaned up by removing elected councillors from any managerial functions and convincing or
forcing them to hire a professional manager with broad authority over all municipal staff
The city manager remain a chief administrative officer (CAO) in function
A CAO is involved in the hiring of department heads but do not make the final decision; they are the
main conduit of information between staff and council.
All CAO’s report to all councillors collectively, not to any particular individual, not one boss but many
Provincial-Municipal Relations
At various times since the mid-1960s municipalities have faced major plans in reorganization. Many
municipalities got reduced in Ontario and Quebec.
Another form of major change in the provincial-local relationship involves an upheaval in the allocation
of functions between the two levels and consequent financial rearrangements.
One of the most important issues in provincial-municipal relations is the role of local special - purpose
Two main sets of interests are involved here, best labelled ‘professional’ and ‘municipal’ rather than
‘provincial’ and ‘municipal’. Professional interests favour special purpose bodies while municipal
interests oppose them.
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The best-known local special-purpose bodies in Canada are school boards because their existence is
protected by the Constitution of Canada.
Municipalities in Canada have 3 complaints about their provincial governments.
#1 = Provinces haven’t provided them with a secure revenue base. Most municipalities are limited to
restricted areas of direct taxation which is a tax on property and to various forms of user charges.
#2 = fiscal downloading
#3 = provincial conditional grant programs have distorted local priorities by inducing municipalities to
fund programs at levels they might not have chosen on their own.
Issue of disentanglement – during the 1990’s most provinces agreed to disentangle the provincial-local
Fitzpatrick & LaGory - “Placing” Health in an Urban Sociology: Cities as Mosaics of Risk & Protection
Central to urban sociology is the assumption that place matters. Yet, urban sociology has virtually ignored the
role of place in understanding a critical aspect of personal and collective well-being—health. This article
attempts to synthesize major sociological theories of health, within an urban ecological framework, in an effort
to provide insight into how the distinct spatial qualities of neighbourhoods impact the health risks, beliefs, and
behaviours of their residents. Because the ecology of metropolitan regions is a landscape of uneven risk, hazard,
and protection, it produces dramatic differences in the physical and mental health of its residents. Most affected
by this process have been inner-city, disadvantaged populations who have shouldered the primary weight of the
“urban health penalty.
He describes the distance between the old and new schools of thought as “the yawning gap of an
intellectual fault line, separating Chicago from Los Angeles” (Dear, 2002).
Article is intended to begin the process of revisiting the health-place relationship and its role in the
development of a new urban sociology.
Space and place play a central role in organizing social life
Most notably, life and death experiences in high-poverty ghetto areas in the United States are closer to
distant foreign lands than to suburbs just a few miles away.
Capital creates and destroys its own landscape (Zukin, 1991) and globalization has accentuated the
process. The metropolis becomes more than a mosaic of social worlds: it is a landscape of uneven
development with enormous discrepancies in the socioeconomic and health conditions of its population
“One of the most important characteristics [of the health care challenge] is the interrelationships among
health and social and environmental problems. The so-called ‘urban health penalty’—the confluence
of circumstances such as poor nutrition, poverty and unemployment with deteriorating housing, violence
and loss of services—has created a deepening health crisis in the inner city” (Andrulis, 1997).
Risk is the likelihood of a hazard causing harm to an individual or population
What Beck (1995) calls “social risk positions” develop that follow the inequalities of place and class
standing. In the “risk society,” levels of hazard and risk are differentially distributed in the urban
landscape, and the distribution of risk and hazard in turn differentially affect health outcomes
Environments can be viewed as risk spaces. The most obvious place-based health risks are physical
aspects of an environment. Such as harmful chemical agents, pollutants, viruses, and bacteria contained
in a local space
Areas of a city can be viewed as resource spaces where social supports & goods & services capable of
protecting inhabitants from harm are differentially distributed. That is, cities have both a topography of
risk and a topography of protection.
Lower levels of “social organization” characterize the inner-city neighbourhoods of today. He notes
several optimal dimensions of neighbourhood social organization: (1) the prevalence, strength, and
interlocking of social networks; (2) the degree to which neighbours take personal responsibility for
neighbourhood problems; (3) the extent of surveillance done by neighbours; and (4) the degree of
participation in formal and voluntary organizations tied to the neighbourhood and to the larger
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