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Intergovernmental Relations in Canada: The Emergence of Collaborative Federalism Author(s): David Cameron and Richard Simeon Source: Publius, Vol. 32, No. 2, The Global Review of Federalism (Spring, 2002), pp. 49-71 Published by: Oxford University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3330945 . Accessed: 09/09/2013 14:57
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Relationsin Canada: Intergovernmental The Emergenceof Collaborative Federalism


David Cameron ofToronto University RichardSimeon ofToronto University
or 'federal-provincial "Executive has longbeenconsidered thedefining federalism" diplomacy" whichcombines and Westminster-style characteristic cabinet of Canadian federalism, federalism in recent a number these havecome under stress However, from government. processes increasing years of nature that haveaffected the and conduct and intergovernmental relations in Canada. forces offederalism Executive has notbeen buthas been a setof that informed federalism displaced, increasingly by practices "characterized wecall "collaborativefederalism, more the national ofco-determination ofbroad by principle rather thanbythemore traditional pattern policies offederal-leadership.

The centralobjectiveof thisarticleis to describe and explain recent relationsin Canada at the changes in federalismand intergovernmental or "federalbeginningof the twenty-first century."Executivefederalism" has long been consideredthedefining characteristic provincial diplomacy" ofCanadian intergovernmental its combination with offederalism relations, and Westminster-style cabinetgovernment. In recentyears, therehavebeen some important changesin theconduct of federalism and intergovernmental relations in Canada. Executive has been increasingly federalism informed bya set of practicesthatwe call "collaborative federalism,"characterized more by the principle of codeterminationof broad national policies than by either the Ottawa-led cooperative federalism of the post-WorldWar II period or the more federalismof later periods. While co-determination in the competitive Canadian contextgenerally involves thetwoordersofgovernment working and territorial togetheras equals, itcan also entailprovincial governments on theirown-actingcollectively in the absence of the takingthe initiative federal formulate national Adherents ofcollaborative government-to policy. federalism(mostly and theirsupporters)viewthe provincialgovernments between twoequal, autonomous, governanceof Canada as a partnership and interdependent ordersofgovernment decide nationalpolicy. thatjointly
AUTHORS' NOTE: We wish to express our appreciation to the Canadian Centre for Management a largerworkfromwhichmuch of the thinking in thisarticle Development in Ottawaforcommissioning is derived,and to the manycolleagues whose commentshave helped us refineour analysis. ? Publius: TheJournal of Federalism32:2 (Spring 2002)

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AlthoughOttawa does not generallyshare thisviewof the nature of the in several thefederal ofthecases citedbelow, nationalpolicymaking process, that is drawn into a has been premised on this process government assumption.' sinceWorld within Canadianfederalism After summarizing developments and explainitsorigins, WarII, we describetheemergent functions, pattern and evaluation. How does and practices. We conclude withan assessment frompast practiceof intergovernmental thispatterndiffer relations;how to be extendedto additionalpolicyareas; and whatare is it;is itlikely robust and democratic itsconsequencesforeffective policy-making?

TRENDS IN INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS


Severalcaveatsshould be made clear at the outset. We are not positinga thatwe describehas its dramatic breakwiththepast;thedistinctive pattern in theevolving rootsin whatpreceded it. There is muchcontinuity patterns of intergovernmentalrelations. The subject does not lend itself to analytically distinct ideal types, nor is there a single pattern of first ministers' relations.Itvariesaccordingto level (with intergovernmental relationships most dominated by strategic and status concerns) and according to issue area. In some areas, a traditionof cooperation has of dominatesthe relationship.The rhetoric mistrust developed; in others, foundin modernintergovernmental and "cooperation," "trust" agreements often reflects despite the aspirationsratherthan reality. Furthermore, relationsin institutions of the of collaboration, intergovernmental growth ad hoc Canada remain,compared withsome otherfederations, relatively and under institutionalized. War SinceWorld Relations TheEvolution II ofIntergovernmental As Canada has evolved,so have intergovernmental relations.2 In the twodecades afterthe end ofWorldWar II, the intergovernmental agenda state. This project oftheCanadian welfare wasfocusedon theconstruction institutions because,whilemostofitsmajorelements deeplyengagedfederal much of the policydesign and funding jurisdiction, laywithinprovincial thesystem Ottawa. Nevertheless, came from adapted to thesenewrolesfor of power. The key formal distribution withfewchangesin the government was the federal spending power, exemplifiedby the policy instrument proliferation of shared-cost programs. Governmentswere relatively decentralized, and close professional relationships developed among withinspecificpolicyareas. and ministers provincialand federalofficials
'This was clearlythe case, forexample, withthe Social Union Framework Agreement. "See, for example, Stefan Dupre, "Reflections on the Workabilityof Executive Federalism," of Toronto Press, 1985), pp. 1-32; ed. Richard Simeon (Toronto: University Relations, Intergovernmental of Toronto Press,1990). University
Donald V. Smiley, Canada in Question: Federalism in theEighties, 3rd ed. (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1980); Richard Simeon and Ian Robinson, State, Societyand theDevelopmentofCanadian Federalism(Toronto:

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made the Canadian welfarestatepossible,while "Cooperativefederalism" itstiming and itsdesign.3 considerably influencing moved into a different During the 1960s, the country phase. Quebec's nationalismthat transformed Quiet Revolutionunleashed a progressive about Canadian federalism. Quebec and challengedtraditional assumptions This profoundly altered the intergovernmentalagenda, placing the Constitution at its heart. The growthof the public sector at both levels meantthatgovernments wereincreasingly to bump intoone another likely in the execution of theirmandates and in the pursuitof theirpolitical ambitions. Each order of government moved into new areas of public constraints to hold themback. Moreover, concern,withfewconstitutional the a in the West, and an 1970s, by growingregionalism,particularly in assertiveness the as theirbudgets increasing English-speaking provinces and bureaucraciesgrewrelative to thoseof thefederalgovernment, added to the pressure. PierreTrudeau's assumptionof the primeministership in 1968 sharpened the ideological conflict betweenQuebec Cityand Ottawa, and betweenOttawaand severalwestern capitals. Provinceswere less and less prepared to deferto federalleadership. The cooperativefederalism of the 1950s was supplantedbya more competitive dynamic. conflict came to a head in theearly1980s.On twokey Federal-provincial issues-theConstitution and energypolicy-thefederalgovernment, led by Pierre Trudeau, challenged both Quebec nationalism and western National EnergyProgram (NEP) regionalism. The federalgovernment's and itsdetermination topatriate theConstitution or without with provincial consenthad an explosiveeffect on intergovernmental relations. These two initiativesforced fundamentallydifferent visions of the and country-Ottawa-centered, province-centered, Quebec-centered-into dividedthecountry and posed difficult painful publicdebate;they regionally, about the of character Canada's communities and the questions political roleofgovernments in defining and shapingthem.Moreover, theseconflicts of governments and politicalleaders, challenged the statusand self-image the issues in zero-sum terms in in whichnone ofthe circumstances framing could afford to lose. The was drawn into thesebattles, participants public at thebeginningas a resourceforthebattling actorsand, later, government as a participant in itsown right. theintergovernmental Bythemid-eighties, agendahad changedonce again. an electoral coalitionthatincludedall sectionsof the country, the Building Conservative ofBrianMulroney Progressive government promiseda newera of federal-provincial and cooperation. The NEP was dismantled; harmony werecloselyconsultedin thegovernment's provinces majorpolicyinitiative, thenegotiation ofa free-trade theUnitedState;and provincial with agreement wereat first insulatedfromfederalefforts at cuttingnational governments
3Keith Federalism and theWelfare State in Canada,2nd ed. (Montreal:McGill-Queen'sUniversity Banting, Press, 1987).

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spending. Mulroney'smajor achievementwas to secure the agreementof all Canadian governments to theMeech Lake Constitutional Accord (1987), byaccording family" designedto bringQuebec back intothe"constitutional of itsdistinct within Canada. status recognition theMulroney made Towardtheend ofthisperiod,however, government itsemphasison regionalequityand a seriesof decisions thatcontradicted its commitmentto intergovernmental collaboration, thus undermining and accentuating inter-regional harmony federal-provincial rivalries.4 Citizenoppositionto executivefederalism grewduringthisperiod. The patriationand the adoption of a Charter passionate debates surrounding and Freedomsin 1981-1982had fundamentally ofRights changed attitudes of governments no longerwas it a matter towardthe Constitution; sorting out jurisdiction;now it was about citizensand theirrights. If thiswas so, then what rightdid "eleven men in suits" have to shape the Canadian Constitution? However, the negotiation of the Meech Lake Accord exemplifiedthe old patternof executivefederalism. It was developed in withthepublic deliberately excluded. secret,among heads ofgovernment, referred the draft Robert Bourassa's federalist Quebec government Only in it final form. to the before was signed legislature Despite the agreement swell of all Canadian a elites, ground public opposition supportofvirtually after a processthatdid paved thewayforitsdefeatin 1990.5 Twoyearslater, another intergovernmental attempt to engage citizens more directly, Constitutional Accord, was defeated in a agreement,the Charlottetown Governments came underintensepressure to make nationalreferendum." and participatory.Several their relationshipsmore open, transparent, provinces passed legislation to require popular approval of future on day-to-day mobilization constitutional intergovernmental changes.Citizen have relationssince then has been much more muted,but governments and accountability as had to take account of the demand fortransparency model. toward the more collaborative have moved they failuresof thisperiod was A second consequence of the constitutional constitutional therealization thatfundamental changewasprobably beyond thatfollowedyetanotherfailure, reach. Withthe fatigueand frustration divisive political leaders and citizens turned awayfromsuch inherently exercises to focus on "making the federationwork,"findingsolutions flexible theinformal proveda highly through adaptationofwhathad already
the manyexamples we notejust a few:a decision to award the maintenancecontractforthe 4Among Canada CF-18 military to Montrealinstead of Winnipeg; a cap placed on the growthof federal fighter paymentsto the wealthierprovincesunder the Canada AssistancePlan, which entailed sharingof the costsofwelfare; whereQuebec reached an unusuallyadvantageousagreementwithOttawa, immigration, and where provincesand municipalitieswere left to deal withthe economic and social challenges of
integrating new immigrants. TheJournal ofFederalism 21 (Summer 1991): 169-190. ofFederalism 23 (Summer 1993): 39-55.

5See Ronald L. Watts'discussion:"Canadian Federalismin the 1990s:Once More in Question,"Publius:

C. Vipond, "Seeing Canada Through Referendum: Stilla House Divided,"Publius:The 6Robert journal

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regime, rather than through constitutionalchange.' This was a major model. impetusforthe move towarda more collaborative Relations Charlottetown Intergovernmental After Changes in governmentsand political leadership along with fiscal pressuresalso contributedto the shift. In 1993,Jean Chretien and the in Ottawa. Chretienis a pragmatic Liberals took office politicianwho had in thepastand whoseevery been burnedbytheConstitution instinct was to fashion,eschewingideologyor governin a low-key, practical,step-by-step dramatic gestures. In 1994, the Parti Queb6cois (PQ) under Jacques Parizeau tookpowerin Quebec City, Liberals. This displacingthefederalist set the stage for the drama of the 1995 referendum on sovereignty and soured intergovernmental relations.The PQ had little interest in working withothergovernments. Itwouldtakewhatever wasavailable,and complain about the alleged injusticesvisitedupon Quebec, but would decline to in themanagement oftheaffairs ofthefederationWhileLucien participate showedgreater interest Bouchard,Parizeau's successoras Quebec premier, in workingwith his provincialcolleagues, the basic posture of minimal was sustained, as ithas been withtheresignation ofBouchard participation and the accession to the Quebec premiership of BernardLandryin 2000. Change wasalso occuringin theotherprovinces.AlbertaPremier Ralph withhis Klein, elected in 1992, initiatedthe war againstbig government social democratic NewDemocraticParty Saskatchewan peersin neighboring not farbehind. In 1995, a Conservative led government, by Mike Harris, tookpowerin Ontario,committed to a "Common Sense Revolution"'with dramaticcutbacks,deregulation,and restructuring of government.Both Harris and Klein initially focused on a provincialagenda; theyhad little in developmentselsewherein Canada. Both soon discoveredthat interest no first minister can ignoreintergovernmental concerns,and thatcitizens angered by policy change withinthe province could and would turn to Ottawa to protect their interests.9 Success on their domestic agendas demanded some basic changes in how the federalsystem operated. was also driving the shift to a By the 1990s, the politicsof fiscaldeficits new model of intergovernmental relations. There was now a broad public and governmentalconsensus that public sector debt was too high, that deficits had to be eliminated,and thatthe pain associated withbringing federaland provincial financesunder controlwould have to be borne. All to governments began addressthesefiscalconcerns,withsome mixofcostrevenue cutting, generation, privatization, efficiencymeasures, and downloading.1'
1997: Non-Constitutional Renewal Federation, 7See the essaysin HarveyLazar, ed., Canada: TheState ofthe Press, 1998). (Kingston:McGill Queen's University 'Modeled in large part on the United StatesRepublican's "ContractwithAmerica." deficitcuttingthatseverely affected the provinces. It was most 9This,despite Ottawa'sown aggressive evidentin the health care field. "'See CaseyVander Ploeg, RedInkIV BackFrom the ? (Calgary:Canada WestFoundation,January Brink in a series,whichcommenced in 1993. 1998). This is the fourth

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Central to Ottawa'sdeficit-reduction was whatmightbe called strategy the exercise of the federalspendingpower in reverse. Utilizingthis"disthe federalgovernment in 1995 substantially reduced its spendingpower," to theprovinces forsocial programs(a reductionfrom transfers $18 billion to a floorof $11 billion,lateradjusted to $12.5 billion,in federalsupport forhealthcare, social assistance, and highereducation). Federal transfers under theseprograms were rolled into the new Canada Health and Social Transfer freedom from federalconditions (CHST), whichpromisedgreater (though those under the Canada Health Act remained, as did the social assistanceon the basis of residency). prohibition againstrestricting The broad nationalconsensuson themagnitude ofthefiscal crisis meant thattheseactionsdid not occasion the intenseintergovernmental conflict The criticism thatmighthave been expected in othercircumstances. were on provincial mutedrelative to thedamage being inflicted budgets,though as deficitpressures eased in the late 1990s, demands intensifiedfor a of earlier fundinglevels. Second, Ottawa's power over the restoration and itslegitimacy, werereducedalongwith thereduction provinces, certainly If Ottawawas no longerpayingthe piper,whatright in fiscaltransfers. did ithaveto call thetune? Third,thefederalcutsfostered a waveof"secondary in the transfers from downloading"-reductions provincesto theiragencies universities, (i.e., hospitals, colleges,socialagencies,schools, municipalities, of federal-provincial and the like), and ultimately to citizens. The effects Canadian society.The net effect relationsthusreverberate of throughout thisexperience (i.e., federalcuts,downsizingthe country's social, health, and educationalsystems, and copingwith thefullbrunt ofthepublicanxiety theprovincial and oppositionthatthisentailed) was to invest governments theirresponsibility, and theirright witha stronger sense of theirautonomy, what the national as well as tojudge, withintheirspheres ofjurisdiction, the provincialinterest requires."

THE EMERGENCE OF COLLABORATIVE FEDERALISM


of "collaborative These developmentsset the stage for the strengthening which are the national achieved, not by the federalism," process by goals alone or the federal federal government acting by government shaping theexerciseofitsspendingpower, butbysome behaviorthrough provincial or all of the 11 governments and the territories actingcollectively.
'"Thomas Courchene, "ACCESS: A Convention on the Canadian Economic and Social Systems," Relations (Kingston, ACCESS: bTowards a New Social Union,ed. Instituteof Intergovernmental Assessing of Intergovernmental Ontario: Institute Relations,1996), pp. 77-112and Andr6 Burelle, Le malcanadien intellectualstimulus. Globalization and fiscal (Montreal: Fides, 1995), among others,added a powerful crisis,Courchene argued, were drainingpower fromOttawa downwardto the provincesand upward to to set and supranational institutions.Ottawa had neitherthe fiscalabilitynor the political legitimacy enforce national standards.If the Canadian "social union" was to be preserved,it could only be done into the key and formally throughthe provincesactingtogether.Provincesmustbe brought"more fully based Burelle proposed a partnership and promotingsocial Canada." societal goal of preserving Andreh on interdependenceanid "ion-subordination."

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is collaboration It can taketwoforms.The first provincial, amongfederal, and territorial Canadian intergovernmental (FPT in thecurrent governments and jargon), seekingan appropriatebalance betweenfederal,provincial, territorial roles and responsibilities.FPT is based on the premisethatall fiscalandjurisdictional toolsand thatas a thesegovernments possessstrong resultof thisinterdependence,effective policydepends on coordination and territorial them. The second is collaboration among provincial among on on theview with Ottawa the sidelines. This is based (PT), governments and education are provincial thatunder the constitution, health,welfare, jurisdictions. "National"policies and standardsin these areas, therefore, forprovincesto decide together; the centralgovernmentdoes are matters not have to do it. This developmentof some aspects of national policy throughagreementsreached among autonomous but associated actors introducedan elementof "confederalism" into (provincesand territories) the Canadian system. The collaborativemodel is also an alternative to constitutional change. in the failures of issues unresolved the of Meech Lake and Many Charlottetown have re-emerged in the intergovernmentalarena-the economic union, the social union, "who does what"jurisdictionally, and the spending power. Now, rather than being expressed in the clauses, and enforcedby the uncompromising language of constitutional courts, they are to be expressed as intergovernmental "Accords," and "Framework "Declarations," Agreements." The first concreteexample of thiswas theAgreement on InternalTrade When Charlottetown was Ottawa's and defeated, hopes to clarify (AIT)."2 extend its powerswithrespectto the economic union wentdown withit. The federalgovernment therefore initiatedmultilateral with negotiations the provincialgovernments to reduce internal to barriers the designed of and in services Canada. First ministers mobility goods, capital,people, 1995. Althoughits signed theAIT in 1994,and itwas implementedinJuly structure and content mirrorthe approach of international agreements such as the NorthAmericanFree Trade Agreement(NAFTA), it is a nonit contains,forexample, a formaldisputebindingpoliticalarrangement; settlementmechanism,but its rulingsdo not have legal effect. A new InternalTrade Secretariat wasestablished, butithas no significant authority and citizensdo not have directaccess to it. Manyrestrictive were practices the the in has had grandfathered. Yet, considering difficulty country a more economic and resistance union, achieving fully integrated provincial
a functional consolidationofCanadian stockexchanges,announced in theSpring '2Plansto implement of 1999,offer an example of theextenttowhichtransnational economic integration is imposing a discipline on domestic,non-governmental whetherthe governments will it or not. The consolidation regulators, in recognition of the imperatives ofworldfinancial planningwasundertakenbythe exchangesthemselves, and in severalcases againstthefirst oftherelevant Canadian governments themselves. markets, preferences See WilliamD. Coleman, "Federalism and FinancialServices,"CanadianFederalism, eds. Herman Bakvisand Grace Skogstad(Toronto: OxfordUniversity Press,2001), pp. 179-196.

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to any increase in federalpower over the economy,the AIT is a notable provisionsare accomplishment;while its substantive intergovernmental no public weak, it is a useful first step.'3 It was developed withvirtually FewCanadians realized theagreement wasbeing negotiated; involvement. fewrealize it is now in operation. The AIT reflects dimensions ofcollaborative some important federalism. It demonstrates that despite its constitutional responsibility for and international trade,Ottawahas neitherthe powernor interprovincial the legitimacy to defineand enforcethe Canadian economic union on its and own. An alternative approach-to definethe rules in the constitution make themjudicially enforceable-isalso impossible. Hence, negotiated collaborationbecame the onlywayto make progress. intergovernmental are at workwithrespectto the"socialunion,"whichalso Identicalforces in theagenda ofCharlottetown. The socialunion,liketheeconomic figured that a of a unified is on the idea characteristic union, predicated defining a of and norms is shared and common set standards, country aspirations, with with to basic elements of social As the economic the citizenship. respect will common two arise: how national standards be balanced union, questions and who is the variations that federalism against encourages, goingto define and police the standards?In the case of the social union, a thirdquestion lies at thebase of Ottawa's arises:how is thefederalspendingpower-which in to the provincesand which was a crucial instrument fiscal transfers thewelfare state-to be exercisedand howis itto be controlled? constructing In theface offederalretreat, theprovincial and territories governments commissioned their ministers First ministers tooktheinitiative. responsible to developproposals,and an intensive forsocial affairs periodofministerial withthe new and official meetingsfollowed. Thus, as theycame to terms and policyrealities, to to fashion fiscal work began collaboratively provinces and to common policyapproaches and undertake initiatives, joint present coherentproposals to the federalgovernment.Their evolving consensus, or opposition of the federal withthe indifference even when confronted of to be remarkably strong, consideringthe diversity proved government, the table. interests and circumstances around represented The intergovernmental discussionsculminatedin February1999 when Ottawa and all the provinces except Quebec signed the Social Union Framework endorsesOttawa's (SUFA). Thisagreement Agreement explicitly
'3Suchcriticsas Daniel Schwanen and RobertHowse, whileapplauding the AIT as a usefulfirst step, on OurInnerStrength (C.D. Howe argue thatit needs to be strengthened.See Daniel Schwanen,Drawing Union(C.D. Howe Institute theCanadian Economic June 1996) and RobertHowse, Securing Commentary, Commentary, June 1996). They recommend,forexample, thatthe Secretariatshould be empowered to and to recommendsolutions,thatthe membergovernments should analyzeobstaclesto implementation in place, thataccess to the dispute ratherthanbytheconsensussystem votebyqualifiedmajority currently settlement mechanismshould be extended to privateparties,and thatpublic education on the existence on Internal and purposesoftheAIT should be undertaken.See also MarkR. MacDonald, "The Agreement for Economic Union and Federalism,"Canadian Federalism, eds. Bakvisand Skogstad, Trade: Trade-offs pp. 138-158.

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power to spend in areas of provincial jurisdiction. But thispower can no willnotbe introduced, longerbe exercisedunilaterally. Newjointprograms or existingones changed, withoutdue notice and substantialprovincial consent. Provincial responsibility for program design and deliveryis affirmed.SUFA contains the following elements:a statement of general a to the mobility principles; provision applying social-policy field; commitments and notice respectingpublic accountability transparency; rules the exercise of the federal governing provisions; government's spending power; and procedures for dispute avoidance and dispute resolution. The agreementis to be reviewedwithinthe first threeyears. While this frameworkagreement is a considerable achievement of collaborativefederalism, it should be noted that the document remains and thatthe proofofthe agreement loose and generalin character, willbe foundin thecommitment and follow-through theparticipating governments bringto its implementation. The earlyindicationsare not encouraging. Intensivediscussionon a wide variety of policyfilescontinues,but thereis tojoint problemsolving. littlesense of a commitment The sovereignist government of Quebec joined the social-union negotiations in the summer of 1998, recognizing that in the pending electioncampaign, itwouldhavesome political provincial difficultyjustifying itsnon-participation in theintergovernmental process. It declined,however, to signtheFebruary 1999 agreement on thegroundsthatafter federal heavy pressure,the finalcompromisefailedto protectQuebec's rightto opt out of new shared programswithout financialpenalty, as had been agreed in earlierprovincial drafts. absence that itcontinuesto march means Quebec's to a different if not drummer, defacto constitutionally."' The Social Union FrameworkAgreement is purely the product of itwasnegotiated at meetings held behindclosed participating governments; lowpublicprofile.'5 It wasnotuntiltheFebruary 1999 doors,and had a very of first which concluded the that the matter ministers, meeting agreement, was broughtseriously to the attention of Canadians. The agreementis a classicexample of elite accommodation. The massivepublic mobilization, so evidentin Meech Lake and Charlottetown, had notbeen repeated. This
in Quebec is arrayedstrongly "Opinion on the French-speaking scholarlycommunity against the Social Union Framework ofQuebec commissioneda numberofacademics Agreement.The Government to offer theirassessments oftheagreement;they wereconsistently negative.Alain Noel, a politicalscientist at the Universit6 de Montr6al,makes the criticalargumentvery well in "WithoutQuebec: Collaborative Federalismwitha Footnote?"(paper presentedat the SaskatchewanInstitute ofPublic PolicyConference, and Directions: TheSocial UnionFramework Perspectives Agreement, Regina, 3-4 February2000). was a provincially driveninitiative untilthe last 1'There is no question but thatthe social-unionprocess about whetherthe social union agreement worksmore to the advantageof stage.There is debate, however, Ottawa or the provinces.The variety of waysin which it has been interpreted is one of its more striking features. See, forexample, the debate between David Cameron, who argues thatthe federalspending a good arrangement forQuebec, poweris subjected to regulationand controlunder SUFA and constitutes and Claude Ryan,who contendsthatSUFA sharply increasesfederalscope foraction under the spending A BackwardStep powerand is unacceptable forQuebec. David Cameron, "The Social-UnionAgreement: for Quebec?" Globeand Mail, 9 February1999; Claude Ryan,"The Agreementon the Canadian Social Union As Seen Bya Quebec Federalist,"Inroads 8 (1999): 25-41.

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suggeststhat the stakes are lower,and public engagementis less, when seek accommodationoutsidethe constitutional arena. governments Despite the elitistprocess, the agreement does seek to respond to democraticconcernsbyplacing considerableemphasison accountability, theneed to reportback to Canadians about theperformance transparency, of theirsocial programs, and the necessity of securingongoing inputand feedbackfromcitizensand interested parties. Some observers regardthe citizendimensionas one of the centralpillarsof the agreement.'6 The AIT and the SUFA are the clearestexamples of the collaborative in thewordsofone seniorprovincial "a official, approach. Theyconstitute, workplan forcooperation and a rulebook forcompetition.""7 But it has been manifest in a wide variety of otherareas as well. HealthCare The designand funding of healthcare in Canada has been describedas a "politicalfootballgame ... a sophisticated one, played by professional statebuildersin a chargedatmospherein whichthe politicaland financial stakes are considerablyhigher than theywere in the past."'" Provinces weredeeplyangry at thefederalcutsto the CHST (the bulk ofwhichfunds health care), while the conditionsunder the federal Canada Health Act remained in force, constrainingprovincial efforts to experimentwith alternative forms offunding and servicedelivery, even as thefederalshare ofcostswasdecliningrapidly. In September2000,a First Ministers' Meeting on some common while Ottawa agreed purposes, agreed to restorea total of$23.4 billionin funding overthenextfive years.This additionalfunding wastobe on an equal, per capitabasis,alleviating one ofthemajorgrievances of the wealthier provinces. In theircommunique,'9the first ministers echoed the language of the SUFA. They agreed on a common "Vision"of providing publiclyfunded health care to Canadians "in a cost-effective and fair manner." They committed themselves to "collaborate"in promoting access to healthcare, wellnessprograms, healthcare, community care, and otherareas. primary They also committed themselvesto clear performance measurement, and reporting to Canadians usingan agreed framework and accountability, thisis to be monitorednot by the comparable indicators. (Significantly, federal government, but by "independent,thirdpartyverification.") In a prefatory note assertsthat"Nothing addition,as withotheragreements, in this document shall be construed to derogate from the respective governments' jurisdictions."
Mendelson and John McLean, "GettingEngaged: Strengthening SUFA Through Citizen 1'Matthew Engagement,"(paper presented at the SaskatchewanInstituteof Public PolicyConference,Perspectives p. 11. '7Quoted in Bakvisand Skogstad,eds., CanadianFederalism, '8Antonia CanadianFederalism, eds. Bakvisand Skogstad, Maioni,"Health Care in the NewMillennium," p. 101. '9Canadian Intergovernmental ConferenceSecretariat-News Release Ref:800-038/004,11 September 2000.
and Directions: The Social Union FrameworkAgreement, Regina, 3-4 February 2000).

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first ministers also agreed towork At thesame September2000 meeting, to promoteearlychildhood development, themselves together committing to report to Canadians on their investments and programs, annually develop and the like. The commitments a shared framework forreporting results, were vague and open-ended, withno fundingspecified. The agreement had been prepared during extensive discussions among officialsand but it received only briefdiscussionamong the first ministers ministers, themselves. Quebec signed the health accord, but not the communique on earlychildhood development.20 Labor-Force Training In some policyareas, collaborationis closelyassociatedwithdevolution of responsibilities to the provinces. The clearestexample is in the fieldof labor-force an area oflong-standing because itmerges training, complexity the federal responsibility for overall economic policy with provincial to withdraw fromthe jurisdictionovereducation. In 1996, Ottawaoffered field. It would phase out its purchase of trainingand apprenticeship and provinces wereoffered fora wide setof"active programs, responsibility labor market" relatedto them. Moreover, programs, along withthefunding federal employees now involved in these programswould move to the provincial public services. The provinces were offeredthe choice of continued"co-management" or completedevolution.Bilateral negotiations followed, resulting in agreement with nine provinces and all three territories. This time,theexceptionwas Ontario. Agreement betweenitand Ottawa wasfrustrated the bitter and between by political, partisan, ideologicalrivalry the twogovernments, and the reluctanceof the 101 Liberal membersof fromOntario to concede moneyand powerto theirprovincial Parliament arch-rivals in Toronto. Five provincesopted forco-management(largely because of theirownweak capacityto absorb the new responsibilities) and fourforfulldevolution. Ottawa initially soughtto ensure thatprovinces would be accountable to it forthe conduct of the devolvedprograms, but in the end, Ottawaagreed to allowjoint federal-provincial committees to oversee reporting and assessment. This case illustrates of collaborativefederalism. twoimportant features First,oftenoverallagreementsare followedup witha series of separately negotiatedbilateraldeals. Second, thisallowsforconsiderableasymmetry
21CICS,News Release Ref:800-038/005,11 September2000. An appended note says,"Whilesharing the same concerns on early childhood development,Quebec does not adhere to the present federaldocument because sectionsof it infringe on itsconstitutional provincial-territorial jurisdictionon social matters. Quebec intends to preserve its sole responsibility for developing, planning, managing and deliveringearlychildhood developmentprograms. Consequently, Quebec expects to receiveitsshare of new conditions." It is anyadditional federalfundingforearlychildhood developmentprogramswithout worthnotingthatQuebec is the onlyCanadian provinceto have a universal, publiclyprovidedchild care programforall childrenaged 4 to 12,at a cost to parentsof$5 per day. See Linda White,"The Child Care Agenda and the Social Union," Canadian Federalism, pp. 105-106.

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in the relationshipsthat develop-"checkerboardfederalism" as Herman Bakvisputs it.2' TheEnvironment The environment is anotherarea in whichboth ordersof government exercise broadjurisdiction. Despite strongmisgivings bya parliamentary theoppositionofleadingenvironmental and a Supreme committee, groups, Ottawa'sability to use itscriminal-law Courtrulingthatstrengthened power all governments in environmental regulation, (again exceptQuebec) signed the Canada-Wide Accord on Environmental Harmonizationand a set of on Canada-Wide and Environmental Standards, Sub-agreements Inspections in January1998. The accord can be amended only with Assessment"2 withsix-months unanimousconsent,althoughpartiescan withdraw notice. While expressing the commitment to "achieve the highest level of within the contextof sustainabledevelopment," the environmental quality on and is overcoming duplication overlapping bycreating primary emphasis setofdelivery mechanisms would a "one-window" bywhichanygivenservice for be providedbyonlyone order of government.The criteria allocation were to be based on such criteriaas proximity and the of responsibilities has to meet clientand local needs.23 Thus, the federalgovernment ability and assessment regulation delegatedmost(but notall) ofitsenvironmental activities to the provinces. A similar "harmonized, collaborative intergovernmental approach" has been adopted forotherenvironmental Canada's environmental commitments under issues,such as implementing the Kyoto Protocol regarding climate change (in which oil- and gasproducingprovincesare deeply hostileto emissionsstandardsthatwould and the developmentof nationalstrategies to deal affect theseindustries), these withsmog and acid rain. As MarkWinfield suggests, developments in theenvironmental field. conflict reducedintergovernmental havesharply oftheenvironment on theactualprotection effects theirpositive "However, in in lightof weak infrastructure have been far less clear,"24 particularly enforcement some small provincesand major cutbacksin environmental in others. activities Trade Policy tradepolicy-bothin respectto the NorthAmericanFree International Trade Agreement and to global bodies such as the World Trade interests and policies. engage bothfederaland provincial Organization-also Internationalcommerceis a clear federaljurisdiction,but (unlike in the to mean has been interpreted United Statesor Australia),the Constitution
ofthiscase, see Herman Bakvis, 2For an excellentanalysis "CheckerboardFederalism?Labour Market eds. Bakvisand Skogstad,pp. 197-219. DevelopmentPolicyin Canada," Canadian Federalism, of the Environment, 1998. 22CanadianCouncil of Ministers 23Thisanalysisis drawn fromMark S. Winfield,"Environmental Policy and Federalism," Canadian eds. Bakvisand Skogstad,pp. 124-137. Federalism, 21Ibid., 131.

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that the federal power does not extend to imposing the terms of internationalagreementson the provinceswhen theyinvolveprovincial treaties have movedbeyondtariffs to broader jurisdiction.As international issuesofsubsidies, and regulation ofbusinesses, thepotential procurement, some provinceshave impactson the provincesbecome wider. As a result, called fordirectparticipation in Canadian negotiating teams,mostrecently in possible discussion of a North American energyregime. Ottawa has refusedto permitthis. Nevertheless, Ottawahas takenconsiderablepains to involvethe provincesfully in trade policy,and to consult closelywith them (and withindustry) as agreementsare being negotiated. As Grace "The extensive efforts to build a domestic, concludes, Skogstad consensus" has lent to theoutcomes, interprovincial supportand legitimacy and has meantthatindividualprovinces are "lessinclinedto takeunilateral efforts to secure best possible outcomes fortheirprovinceat the expense of a coherentnational tradestrategy."25 These and other examples demonstrate the varietyof forms that collaborationcan take,and the variability of itsoutcomes.

THE INSTITUTIONS OF COLLABORATIVE FEDERALISM


The collaborativemodel has had an important impacton the institutions of intergovernmental relations. Perhaps the most obvious is in the role and positionof the Annual PremiersConference (APC). Initiatedat the of Quebec in the 1960s as little more thana summerretreat for instigation and their the APC has evolved into a families, premiers significant institution. intergovernmental Long overshadowed bythefederal-provincial FirstMinisters' Conference (FMC), it has become more prominent as the and of the FMCs have declined. Held frequency significance every August under a rotating thisassociationof provinces has become a chairmanship, institution, full-fledged intergovernmental professionally supported by The APC prepares and receivesposition papers, provincialcivilservants. issuescommuniques, and launchesprojects tobe undertaken bytherelevant italso has an on-going ministers; agenda ofworkthatconnectsone meeting to another. The chair has assumed a substantive role as the spokesperson forthepremiers betweenmeetings.It wasat one ofthesemeetings thatthe social-unioninitiative was begun. In striking contrast to thegrowth oftheAPC is thedecliningimportance of the FMC. The set-pieceFMC, held in the National ConferenceCentre, withfirst ministers surroundedbyphalanxes ofministers and officials, and witha combinationof public and private that were so meetings prominent fromthe 1960s to the 1980s,have recently been absent,replaced byshort sessions. working
Trade Policyand Canadian Federalism:A Constructive Tension?"CanadianFederalism, 25"International eds. Bakvisand Skogstad,pp. 159-177.

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Advocatesof collaborativefederalism have oftenseen the FMC as the conflicts at thehighest pinnacle oftheintergovernmental system, resolving leveland providing directionto the network oflowerlevelmeetings, much like the Council of Ministers in the European Union. Numerous have suggestedthatFMCs be made at least annual events, commentators and perhapsevengivenconstitutional status.However, few havebeen called since the election of the Liberal federalgovernment in 1993. This reflects the federal government's suspicion that a fullydeveloped collaborative model willundermineits"senior"status, thatFMCs providea platform for attacks on and that elevate from Ottawa, political they premiers provincial The weak presence of the FMC is politiciansto national decision-makers. role. one reason whythe APC has takenon such an important forumthatis assumingmuch greaterimportance Anotherinstitutional is the ministerial sometimespurely council, sometimesfederal-provincial, Such councils have existed for however, manyyears. Recently, provincial. theirnumbershave increased,theyhave become more institutionalized, out mandatesassignedby and have playeda more formalrole in carrying ministers.They have become theworkhorses of the system, first assuming a centralrole in the policyprocess,including,in some cases, developing close relationshipswith related interestgroups. Councils now exist for concerned withsocial-policy ministries renewal,forestry, transportation, ofministers Othergroupings education,and theenvironment. go bynames of"Ministers suchas forums, and meetings committees, Responsible."Some otherson an ad hoc basis. meet regularly, Council on Social PolicyRenewal has been The Provincial/Territorial of the premiers, sectoral active. under the instructions Acting particularly and fashioned and officials ministers strategies developed positionpapers for the consideration of the premiers and in preparation for federalin developingSUFA, provincialdiscussion. The council was instrumental role in helpingto make itwork. and itwillplayan important A key question in this process is the legal and political status of agreements. Many of the most importantfederalintergovernmental are not in factformal contracts, may thoughthey arrangements provincial later be enshrined in federal and provincial legislation. The are notlegally themselves, however, binding agreements intergovernmental or enforceable.This was made clear in a recentSupremeCourtjudgement that rejected a provincialappeal against a change in federal policy by to Parliament. of the government's the supremacy accountability asserting should that thelogicofcollaboration Takento itslimit, implies governments accords and that theyshould be be legallybound by intergovernmental accountable to each other. However,this is a major challenge in the be whichrequiresthateach government Canadian constitutional system, and thatgovernments cannotbind future responsibleto itsown legislature

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Thus,thereis a deep tensionbetweenthelogic ofcollaborative legislatures. intergovernmentalism and the logic of responsible parliamentary government.

ASSESSING THE PATTERN OF COLLABORATIVE FEDERALISM


ofintergovernmental Althoughthecontentand specificity processesand review of our several recent some agreements vary widely, examplesdisplays common threads. * The equalitybetweenprovincesand Ottawais underlinedby the fact that most councils and meetingsare co-chairedby a federaland a provincialminister. * The northernterritories of Canada-Yukon, the North West and the Nunavut-are nowintegrated established Territory, newly withtheprovinces.Meetingsare Federal/Provincial/Territorial or Provincial/Territorial despite the fact that the territories remainconstitutional ofthefederalgovernment. This offspring evolutiontowardprovincialstatushas evoked remarkably little comment,even thoughit has some potentialforchangingthe relations because three more dynamic of intergovernmental voices are added to the six smallerand poorer provinces. * The relativeabsence of Quebec. Usuallyits representatives participate in meetings, but the Quebec government has disassociated itselffromsome of the agreements. Quebec's position is that fields like education, welfare,and health are exclusiveareas of provincial and thatthe ability of jurisdiction, the federal government to spend money in such areas is illegitimate. For Quebec, national standards and norms consensusare little betterin emergingfromintergovernmental than federal It unilateralism. is remarkable, however, principle thatsuccessiveind6pendantiste premiersof Quebec have been able to develop effective withtheirfellow working relationships the fundamental difference over Canada's premiers despite future. * Most agreementsstressthatthe formalconstitutional powers assigned to governmentsremain unchanged; the goal is to exercisethese powers"in a coordinatedmanner." * Minimizingduplicationand overlappingin order to achieve and cost savingare universal themes. greaterefficiency * Consistent withthedoctrineofthe"NewPublicManagement," agreementsemphasize the need to share "best practices,"to

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2002 Publius/Spring and to monitor results.This is indicators, develop performance in SUFA. mostevident the textof * Framework are agreementsreached among all governments oftenfollowedby individually negotiatedbilateralagreements or byadditionalsub-agreements. * All agreements pay lip service to the need for greater in and for clearer lines of citizen accountability transparency citizen access to the but relations, disputeintergovernmental oftheAIT and SUFAremain mechanisms limited. settlement very * An increasingnumberof agreementsexplicitly acknowledge the need to "engage stake holders" and to "build linkages to other structures in the broad social and economic

reflect a greater Whilethesedevelopments degree ofinstitutionalization itis important not to exaggerate in Canadian intergovernmental relations, or the European Union, forexample, the change. Compared to Germany fluidand ad hoc. The relations remainhighly Canadian intergovernmental little no or has constitutional base, legislative backupbybureaucrats process linkedto thesuccessof the processratherthanto individualgovernments, forauthoritative and no capacity no formal decision-rules, decision-making. remains relations This means thatthescope or extentofintergovernmental the first the on whether ministers, especially prime heavilydependent in thissense is fragile.27 findit advantageousor not. The system minister, It is fartoo early tojudge thesuccessofthisnewmodel. Indeed, different For some, the process itself actors maydefine "success"verydifferently. might constitute success if it leads to more cooperation and less conflict.There is strongpublic opinion evidence that intergovernmental wantnot moreor lesspowersforanyorderofgovernment, citizens suggests betweenthem. but "an end to the wrangling" themoreassertive Forprovinces, Alberta, ones,suchas Ontario, especially to and BritishColumbia, success will be measured chiefly by theirability on their limit Ottawa'sability to "intrude" from theinitiative wrestle Ottawa, in shared and increasetheir and priorities, autonomy jurisdictions. programs be less than will Forsmaller, ensuring autonomy important poorerprovinces, offederaldollars. Quebec, on theevidence,approaches thecontinuedflow to theextent with theemerging deep reservations, seeingadvantages pattern ofCanada, but bid to constrain thegovernment thatitprovides alliesin their federalism thatthe extensionof collaborative fearful replace mightsimply
Voices,"(paper

environment.'"26

Winnipeg,14 April2000). exercise Australia.There a highly is also thecase in anotherparliamentary 27This federation, promising came to a halt when the national in intergovernmental collaboration, the COAG process, effectively was changed in 1996. government

Citizen's 2See discussionin F. Leslie Seidle, "Executive Federalismand Public Involvement: Integrating presented to the Conference on The Changing Nature ofDemocracyand Federalism in Canada,

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and direction and direction Ottawa'soversight withthe collective oversight of the English-speaking provinces. The SUFA is seen less as a provincial constraint on thefederalspendingpowerthanas a re-affirmation ofit. Success forOttawalies in itsability to retainitsinfluenceand visibility, in an era of budget surpluses. It seeks to maintainlinks to particularly citizens benefits to themrather thanindirectly byproviding directly through theprovinces.Indeed, some ofthefactors thatinitially led Ottawato accept collaborative federalism have nowchanged. In the 1990s,Ottawawasfaced witha fiscalcrisisthatforcedit,like it or not, to withdraw from massively the of both devolution costs and areas, manypolicy including responsibility to the provinces. At the same time,in the aftermath of the "near-death" experience of the 1995 Quebec referendum,Ottawa was anxious to itscommitment demonstrate to cooperation. Bythenewcentury, with large fiscalsurpluses(at leastforthemoment),withsuccessiveelectionvictories, withno viableoppositionon thehorizon,and with a slowbutsteady decline in supportforQuebec sovereignty, Ottawaappears less prepared to take a back seat to the provincesand more concerned to reassert itspresence in the livesof Canadians. Clearly, thisactivist impulsewillbe shaped by the fall out fromthe tragedy of 11 September2001. On one hand, a slowing towardrecession,thusreducingOttawa's economymaybe pushed farther issuesto the top of scope foraction; on the otherhand, the riseof security thenationalagenda putsthefocussquarelyon matters within falling clearly federal jurisdiction. In general, most governments take a pragmatic approach to collaboration. Most seek to maximize their freedom of action and to minimize external constraints, fiscal or regulatory; some-especially the weaker be to trade offsome autonomy fiscally jurisdictions-will prepared in returnfor adequate and stable financialassistance.Both Ottawa and the provinces will continue to guard their turfand to exploit every opportunityto win credit and avoid blame. This historic dynamic of executivefederalismhas not changed, and it is a major reason whythe collaborative model is so fluidand ad hoc. Successful collaboration depends on high levels of mutual trustamong the participants and on their internalization of itsimplicitnorms. Instead, thereis some indicationof considerable cynicismamong officials at both levels withrespect to the rhetorical promisesof collaboration. "Success"willbe definedvery differently bythosegroupsand bycitizens not concerned withfederalism or the relativestatusof governments, but ratherwithsubstantive policy and its outcomes. They will ask: does this of thepolicyobjectives we are processenhance or impede theachievement interestedin? Answerswill vary, of course, depending on the group in can achieve together whatnone question. To the extentthatgovernments

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to the extentthat theycan coordinate into a single could do separately, whole policies and programsat all levels,and to the extentthatthe costs and frustrationsof overlap and duplication can be reduced, then collaborative federalismserves all Canadians. Moreover,it suggests a reasonable wayto balance the inevitabletensionbetweennational norms and standardson the one hand, and the desire to respond to the specific ofdifferent communities and preferences needs,circumstances, provincial on the other. model that thereare manypotentialcoststo the collaborative However, on the European Union. The have been well described in the literature 'joint decision trap" emerges when autonomous, interdependentactors to consensusdecision-making seek to make decisions. The time committed and cost of coordinationcan escalate; solutionsmaybe avoided or simply The politicaland institutional expressthelowestcommon denominator.28 to win creditand avoid statusand recognition, concernsof the actors-for blame-can dominate the substantiveissues themselves. None of these dilemmasis resolvedeasily.29 collaborative federalism, Perhaps the mostacute challenge confronting is theneed to meetthedemocratic in general,30 federalism as with executive expectationsof citizens. These expectationsappear to outpace the very and there theprocess, limited advancesthathavebeen made to democratize thatwillmake thistask federalism is nothingin the processofcollaborative anyeasier. Keith Banting,noting thatfederalismvalues and democratic since discussion in tension, claimsthatCanadiansocial-policy valuesare often of intergovernmentalism-the form WorldWarII is markedby"thestrongest model." He warns that it is "worthrememberingthe co-determination Another democratic critique of such potent intergovernmentalism.""' "at leastat models that collaborative would, Gibbins, observer, argues Roger of legislatures, of political the margins, reduce the role and effectiveness parties,elections,interestgroups and the public. They would promote thatis lessaccountable, and in thatsense,lessdemocratic."The government "moves decisions ofdecentralization and intergovernmentalism combination insulatedfrompublic pressure, and into fora relatively out of legislatures
28See Fritz Scharpf, "The Joint Decision Trap: Lessons from German Federalism and European 66 (Summer 1988): 236-278. PublicAdministration Integration," discussionof thisin the Canadian context,see AlbertBreton,"Supplementary Statement," Royal 29For Vol. III (Ottawa: Supplyand Economic on the Unionand Canada's Development Commission Prospects, Report, A on the the Social Union: Steven Decentralized Kennett, Services, 1985); Approach Commentary Securing of Intergovernmental Relations,1998). (Kingston:Institute of executive his offederalism, thedean ofCanadian students 3"In 1979,Donald Smiley, critique opened federalismthisway:"My charges against executivefederalismare these. First,it contributesto undue an it contributes to business. in the conduct of the Second, undulylow level of citizen secrecy public's of governmentto their participationin public affairs.Third, it weakens and dilutes the accountability ofIntergovernmental RelationsAmong and to thewiderpublic." "AnOutsider'sObservations legislatures in Canada Today, ed. Richard Relations orCollaboration: Intergovernmental ConsentingAdults,"Confrontation of Canada, 1979). of Public Administration Simeon (Toronto: Institute Social Union," Canada: The "Keith Banting,"The Past Speaks to the Future:Lessons fromthe Postwar Stateofthe Federation, 1997, ed. Lazar, pp. 39-69,64.

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partisan debate and electoral combat."32 Many others, in Canada and elsewhere, views.33 expresssimilar thoseassociated ManyCanadian interest groupsand movements-notably withsocial policyand theenvironment34 -have historically looked to federal lack eithertheresourcesor the political leadership, believingtheprovinces willto takea leadingrole. Theyworry about a possible"rushto thebottom." Hence, theytend to be skepticalof the collaborativemodel, seeing it as inherentlydecentralizing. In a carefullyargued rebuttal,Alain Noel and progressive disagrees. He notesthatthereare "conservative arguments on both sides of the centralization/decentralization debate" and that"The Canadian welfarestate became betteranchored than the Americanone, because Canada wasa moredecentralized federation." He concludes: largely on elites and on central intervention is not onlypoor "Betting everything it is also bad for the left."35 theory; politics A finalline of criticism sees collaborative federalism as littlemore thana "cartelof elites,"in whichfederaland provincial governments manage the in order to servetheirown interests, whilefreezing out citizenand system the dangeris thatsome of the primary virtues group interests.In thisview, of a federalsystem-innovation, and competitionexperimentation, variety, will be lost in an over-zealous search for harmonization, and consistency, agreement.36

COLLABORATIVE FEDERALISM: HOW DURABLE?


Is the patternof collaborative federalism likelyto be a durable featureof the Canadian federation?Some observers believe thatitwas at rootsimply a response to the growing fiscalincapacity of the federalgovernment and that it will rapidly disappear with Ottawa's return to financial health. the Governmentof Canada's budgets of 1999 and 2000-flush Certainly, withnewrevenues-seemedto suggest a return to an earlierperiod in which Ottawaused itsresourcesto impose conditions on transfers to theprovinces
Reservations 32"Democratic about the ACCESS Models," Assessing ACCESS: Towards a NewSocial Union ofIntergovernmental Institute "The Canada Relations,1997), pp. 43-44. See also Susan Phillips, (Kingston: Health and Social Transfer," Canada: TheStateofthe Federation, 1995, eds. Douglas Brownand Jonathan Rose (Kingston:Institute of Intergovernmental Relations,1996), pp. 65-96;and MargaretBiggs,Building Blocks NewSocial Union(Ottawa: Canadian PolicyResearch Network, forthe 1996). Governance 33Inthe European context,see Marcus Horeth,"The Trilemmaof Legitimacy-Multilevel in the EU and the Problem of Legitimacy," (Discussion paper C 11, Center for European Integration Studies,Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn, 1998), pp. 6-7. 34See, for example, Patrick Fafard, "Groups, Government,and the Environment,"Managing the Environmental Union:Intergovernmental Relations and Environmental in Canada, eds. PatrickFafardand Policy Harrison(Kingston:Institute ofIntergovernmental Relationsand Saskatchewan Institute ofPublic Kathryn A Skeptical Reform: 2000), pp. 81-104;and RobertHowse,"Federalism, Policy, Democracyand Regulatory Viewofthe Case forDecentralization," Federalism: and Governments Markets in a Changing Citizens, Rethinking eds. Karen Knop et al. (Vancouver:University of BritishColumbia Press,1995), pp. 273-293. World, the ed. RobertYoung (Kingston: Noel, "Is DecentralizationConservative?" 35Alain Federation, Stretching Institute of Intergovernmental Relations,1999), pp. 195-218. 36This viewis expressed most forcefully Statement,Royal by AlbertBreton. See his Supplementary on the Commission Economic Unionand Canada's Development Volume III (Ottawa: Supply Prospects, Report, and ServicesCanada, 1985).

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and to bolsterits public visibility fundsdirectly to citizens by transferring thanthrough (as in its"Millennium Scholarship" program)rather provincial governments. Past experience has shown that the federalismof public affluence can be at least as conflictual as the federalism of fiscalrestraint. thereis some evidencethatthe emphasison cooperationand Moreover, more thanrhetoric.It has notyetbecome collaborationmayoftenbe little in thewayfederaland provincial internalized fully politiciansand officials think about each other. Indeed, even though the SUFA and other to "consultation,""collaboration," agreementsare full of commitments the reality oftenseems to be highlevels and othersuch sentiments, "trust," to accept constraints of mutual distrust and deep unwillingness on one's ministers freedomof action. This is much more evidentat the leveloffirst and officials, and theircentralagencies thanitis among line ministers who are more likely to share policy goals and political constituencies. of two-level relationshave manyof the characteristics Intergovernmental in the must to two audiences. which Yes,there games, participants respond are often strongincentivesto collaborate, but equally often,these are of winningsupporton one's trumpedby the more immediateincentives to a deeper institutionalization ofcollaborative home turf.The finalbarrier in a Westminster federalism remainsthe logic of responsiblegovernment mustremainaccountable to theirlegislatures; they system.Governments cannot be accountable to others. Hence, governments may exchange information, bargain, cajole, persuade, threaten,and even agree at an but theycannot bind each other. conference, intergovernmental willremain federalism Yetthereare reasonsto believe thatcollaborative rate a feature of thescene in thefuture.One is thatCanadians consistently as an their governments important objective; cooperation among collaborativefederalismin Canada emerged in part in response to that demand. Anotheris thatearlierapproaches based on federalleadership and its use of the spending power are no longer as feasibleas theyonce were. Indeed, Ottawa,recognizingthatthe game has changed, has made itsfreedomto act in the old ways.A thirdis commitments limiting sharply of collaborative federalism-the AIT and the Socialthatthe achievements it more likely that them-make chief Union Framework Agreement among in thefuture. There is nowsome momentum theprocedurewillbe followed officials behind the approach. Federal and provincial reportthatSUFA is the of into calculations factored public administrators increasingly being A is that the fourth reason and interest provincesand territories groups. theirown have learned thattheycan make significant progressbysetting The themselves. and dynamicis a working among inter-provincial agenda thatclassically defined to the federal-provincial relationship counterpoint of the Annual in Canada. The institutionalization intergovernmentalism muscle councils adds administrative PremiersConferenceand ministerial

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to thisdevelopment. A fifth reason is thatgovernments have found that theycan achieve accommodations throughcollaboration on substantive forum. policythatare impossibleto achieve in the constitutional More generally, the evolutionof the Canadian federationover the last fourdecades has been substantially definedbytwopowerful forces:nationelsewhere. Both forceshave building in Quebec and province-building had a major impacton the government of Canada and itsability to call the it shots. has no a means been zero-sum intergovernmental Although by the of has altered the balance of maturing provincialgovernments game, within Confederation has the in and redefined manner which Ottawa power can seek to achieve its objectives. Collaborativefederalism fitslogically intothebroad development ofConfederation the last four decades. during To say that collaborative federalism is likely to be a feature of relationsin the futureis not to say thatit will be the intergovernmental in town. thatmatter mostto Canadians-and onlygame Manyof the things therefore to the federal government-fall broadly within provincial of each other,and jurisdiction. Provincesoftenact quite independently whenthereis coordination or parallelpolicydevelopment, itmaybe a result oftheneed to respondto similar or simply emulation problemsor pressures, of others' examples, rather than the result of explicit discussion and agreement. To the extentthatOttawa'sfreedomof action is constrained whenitenters intocollaboration with itwillseekotherapproaches provinces, whereitsability toactwillbe unimpeded. Forexample,in thefuture, Ottawa to take in initiatives the field mightexploitevery opportunity social-policy via the tax system or by means of direct grants to individuals and is the Child organizations. An example of the first, using the tax system, Tax Credit,although this initiative was the product of federal-provincial cooperation; an example of the direct grant approach is Ottawa's MillenniumScholarshipFund, a controversial in undertaking, particularly While the of these alternatives does of not, course,permit Quebec. pursuit Ottawato avoid all politicalcontroversy, itputsitin a freer positionin which its capacityto act is not subject to the will of the provinces. Ottawawill collaboratewhen it feelsit has to; so willthe provinces. CONCLUSION Collaborative federalismalso needs to be set in the larger context of multilevel to governancein Canada. It willbecome increasingly necessary look to the role of local, territorial, and Aboriginalgovernments and their interface with and international institutions. Thisarticle national, provincial, has followeda standardCanadian pattern; have not municipalities figured in our analysis. This is so not onlybecause municipalities have no greatly butalso because provinces tendto control status, independentconstitutional the structure and powers of local governments tightly, robbing the very

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thatare closestto the citizenand the mostinvolved withthe governments of their lives of much of their and daily potentialdynamism vitality. quality This has occurredat a timewhen citiesand cityregionsare the centersof are increasingly economic and culturalinnovation, multicultural, and, in linkedto nationaland international networks manycases, are increasingly rather than to their provincial hinterlands. Enriching democratic mustinvolvethem. multigovernance withyetotherinstitutional In addition,Canada is experimenting forms framework. Canada's outside the traditional federal-provincial-municipal are actingmore and more like provincesthanfederal territories northern itspopulation ofNunavut, The creationof thenew territory protectorates. full defacto made up largelyof Inuit people, is Canada's first experiment withAboriginalself-government. Aboriginalpeoples elsewherein Canada are also seekingto definetheirown models of self-government. They too world. in a multigovernance willbecome players in thedevelopment minorcharacter Quebec has been a relatively Finally, PartiQueb6cois in office federalism.Withthesovereignist of collaborative for much of the period under review(from 1994 to the present), it has of a been a limitedand reluctantparticipant. There are signs,however, in politics and attitudes in Quebec. The sovereignty transformation in retreat.There appears to be a deep publicfatigue is currently movement withthe perpetual debate on the national question, dominated by hardon the other. on one hand and by hard-linefederalists line sovereignists This is encouragingan as yetinchoate search in the provincefora fresh 1996 political discourse.37 Many thoughtthatthe federalgovernment's referenceof the question of Quebec secession to the Supreme Court of Act"outliningthe Canada" and thepassage in 1999 of thefederal"Clarity bid would arouse to a secession federalgovernment's possible approach federalelection in the but this not occur. did nationalist sentiment, Finally, Bloc Queb6cois (BQ) won fewer on 27 November2000, the sovereignist ithad seatsthanithad in eitherof theothertwopreviouselectoralcontests in 44 1997 and 54 in to seats in as seats 2000, compared participated (38 was the that the federal fact seats in 1993). More significant, perhaps, ofthepopularvotein Quebec Liberalsin 2000 receiveda higherproportion thandid the BQ (44.2 percentas compared to 39.9 percent). in a federalist rather thatQuebec mayre-engage This raisesthepossibility of if Liberal the federalist than a sovereignist discourse,particularly Party
La Presse, wrotea series forMontreal'slargestdailynewspaper, Dubuc, a senioreditorialwriter "7Alain du cul-denotreavenir:Des idWes of eighteditorialsexploringthisissue entitled"RWinventer pour sortir our Future;Ideas forGettingOut of the Dead End"). Reprintedas "We Must Break sac" ("Re-inventing la Revolution This Vicious Circle," PolicyOptions, June 2000, pp. 8-28. See also Gilles Paquet, Oublier etd&clin du Quibec: Etatisme PouruneNouvelle Socialiti(Montreal: Liber, 1999); Jean-LucMigu,6, tranquille: Bilan dela rivolution la Nation (Montreal:EditionsVaria,1999); MichelVenne,ed., Penser quiebcoise tranquille (Montreal: EditionsQuebec-Am6rique, 2000). "Canada: The Re See Peter S.C.R. 217. Secession 2 also, Leslie, [1998] Supreme "3Reference ofQuebec, Federalism 29 (Spring 1999): 135-151. Court Sets Rules forthe Secession ofQuebec," Publius:TheJournal of

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Quebec underJean Charestwins the next provincialelection,and if the federal Liberals can overcome their deep distrustof their provincial IfQuebecers do opt forthe beaurisque offullparticipation in counterparts. thecollaborative and ifitsprovincial are preparedto accept system, partners that this may result in a substantialelement of asymmetry or "variable then the collaborative model will take on added geometry," impulse. elaborationof the collaborative modelStrongforcespush fora further the relatively even balance of federaland provincialpowerand status, the of the desire for high degree interdependence among governments, administrative and and the interests of citizens in the efficiency clarity, collective ofgovernments to meettheirneeds. Yetmuch ofthelogic ability of Canadian federalism standsin the way. The lack of a unifying national the lack of of officials and between the partysystem, mobility politicians twolevels,the competition to gain creditand avoid blame, the importance ofregionaland ideologicaldivisions and theinequality amonggovernments, in wealth distributionamong the provinces-all these push toward an adversarialrelationship. As Canada enters the new millennium,these does not opposing forcesremainin contention. Collaborativefederalism have itsown internaldynamic. It willgrow, or not,onlyinsofaras it meets the needs of federaland provincialelites,and theirconstituents, as they face the challengesof the new millennium. It is now partofwhatDonald Smileydescribedas the federal"condition"in Canada.39

Federal Condition in Canada (Toronto: McGraw-Hill "3The Ryerson,1987).

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