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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Common Ground: The Case for Interprovincial Cooperation in Western Canada

Report by Robert Roach

Robert Roach argues that, although not homogeneous, the four Western provinces are interdependent, and that all stand to benefit by increasing the degree to which they cooperate with one another. He points out that, unlike the relatively large number of people concentrated in Ontario or Quebec, Westerners are dispersed among four separate political units. Roach contends this has its advantages, and its disadvantages – such as barriers to growth created by a splintered regional economy.

The author contends that one means of overcoming the disadvantages and maximizing the advantages of a region divided into four political jurisdictions is through public policy cooperation. Roach suggests that missed opportunities on this front are costly, given fiscal imperatives such as rising health care costs and a global economy marked by intense competition that is prepared to snatch opportunities away from Western Canadians.

In this report, Roach articulates reasons why the four Western provinces should move beyond provincial approaches to public policy development/delivery and adopt (at least in some areas) a pan-Western approach. Roach clarifies that interprovincial cooperation, however, does not negate the value of healthy interprovincial competition and policy experimentation. He concludes that the goal of interprovincial cooperation is to capitalize on shared interests by realizing the potential benefits associated with cooperation.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Robert Roach;
Publisher: Canada West Foundation [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2003; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Provincial;
Registration Required: Yes Language: English French
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Public Administration / Intergovernmental Relations
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Western Canada
Policy Articles / Public Administration / Intergovernmental Relations / 2003
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Western Canada / 2003
Policy Articles / Public Administration
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral

Keywords / Tags:

interprovincial cooperation; western provinces; public policy cooperation; pan-western approach; interprovincial competition;