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Canada by Picasso: The Faces of Federalism

The Conference Board of Canada, 158 pages, September 21, 2006
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This collection of essays examines the future of Canadian federalism from the distinct viewpoints of the Conference Board’s first three scholars-in-residence: Janice Gross Stein, Roger Gibbins and Antonia Maioni.

Document Highlights

This collection of essays examines the future of Canadian federalism from the distinct viewpoints of the Conference Board’s first three scholars-in-residence. The authors discuss, among other issues, the perceived fiscal imbalance between various levels of government and options for bringing Quebec into the constitutional family.

Janice Gross Stein argues that it is impossible to neatly match responsibilities and revenues among various levels of government. She advocates a new type of “networked federalism” that allows all levels of government to work together more easily.

Roger Gibbins outlines a new national policy rooted in the sensibilities and history of western Canada, and warns that focusing on decentralization may not be the best way to debate new approaches to federalism.

Antonia Maioni looks at Quebecers’ need for recognition and autonomy, arguing that these needs are fundamentally different from those of other provinces. She argues that symmetrical decentralization will not adequately address Quebecers’ concerns.