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Home Policy Articles: Regional & Sectoral: Page 2

Canada is a large and diverse country made up of many unique political, social, and economic sub-units. How do different regions of the country differ from one another? What unique trends are present in different sectors of the Canadian economy?

This section of examines issues pertaining to the various regions that make up Canada, as well as different sectors of the Canadian economy.



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Big City Revenue Sources: A Canada-U.S. Comparison of Municipal Tax Tools and Revenue Levers

Big City Revenue Sources: A Canada-U.S. Comparison of Municipal Tax Tools and Revenue Levers, by Casey Vander Ploeg of the Canada West Foundation, contributes to the debate over the fiscal squeeze facing Canadian cities by exploring the tax tools and revenue levers available to Canadian cities and comparing these to tools and levers available to American cities.

Boomers Are Ready for Nonprofits But Are Nonprofits Ready for Them?

Jill Casner-Lotto reports on the challenges and promises that lie ahead for human resource management in the nonprofit sector.

Brooking No Favourites: A New Approach to Regional Development in Atlantic Canada

In this report Mintz and Smart make the case for fundamental reform in the delivery of federal development assistance to Atlantic Canada. They contend the federal government should replace existing grants and tax credits to businesses with broad-based corporate tax reduction in the region. They suggest that existing grant programs are well-intentioned, but poorly targeted.

Building a Stronger Canada: Taking Action on Western Discontent

This report is an update of the Canada West Project entitled The West in Canada. This project began in September 2003 with the report called The West in Canada: An Action Plan to Address Western Discontent. According to Roger Gibbins and Robert Roach, the first report reflected a deep-seated belief among Western Canadians that the Government of Canada doesn’t listen to, understand, or care about their interests and aspirations.

Building the West for the 21st Century: A Conference on Economic Transformation in Western Canada

In response to the new Canadian environment where regionalism and regional issues often take centre stage in the federation, the Public Policy Forum decided to host a conference to examine the unique issues and needs created by economic transformation in Western Canada. The purpose of this conference was to identify ways to ensure the continued prosperity of the West and to improve the ability of the Canadian federal system to respond to regional pressures.

California Shorts a Circuit: Should Canadians Trust the Wiring Diagram?

Mark Jaccard’s article focuses on the California energy crisis of 2000-01 in the aftermath of its electricity reforms, considers the apparent failures of those reforms, and suggests lessons that can be learned, from a Canadian perspective. Jaccard begins by outlining the debate surrounding privatization of the energy sector, arguing that “sceptics” who believe privatization will inevitably lead to California-like crises are wrong. Rather than demonstrating an inherent flaw in the reforms being undertaken in Ontario and Alberta (occurring at the time of his writing), Jaccard suggests the California crisis should be viewed as an example of the “large risks of market design.”

Canada and the liberalization of air transport markets over the Atlantic

Jeanniot considers liberalization of the air market advantageous and wonders why such timid steps are being taken. He suggests that Canada should take the lead and act more significantly in liberalizing the air transport markets over the Atlantic.

Canada and the U.S.: A Seamless Energy Border?

In this report Bradley and Watkins explore the closely integrated energy economies of Canada and the United States. They point out that energy trade has grown significantly and become more market-based – stimulated by deregulation and underwritten by NAFTA. The authors argue this relationship has generated substantial benefits for Canada, and that growth has taken place with little friction; this said, they suggest that this benign situation is likely to change.

Canada's Future Rail Policy: Is Politics Derailing Good Economics?

This article, by Gilles Rheaume and Andrew Shea, examines Canada’s rail policy and its options for the future. In particular, it examines one question – a question Rheaume and Shea consider to be fundamental: should Canada adopt an open market based on “competitive access,” or maintain its current system (which is favourable to CN and CPR)? The authors consider an analysis by the Canada Transportation Act Review Panel that is relevant to this question. In short, they agree with the Panel, that there was no evidence to suggest that either railway earned excessive financial returns.

Canada’s Energy Future: An Integrated Path

In this report, Jason Churchill, Len Coad, and Maureen Dickson propose that Canada’s energy policy must take into consideration the international obligations to reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions, and environmental protection for present and future generations of Canadians.

Canada’s Innovation Agenda: Where are we Going?

The key conclusion of Where are we Going? is that innovation in the Canadian economy is important because it is increasingly the key factor in generating wealth. This conclusion comes from a Public Policy Forum-led roundtable discussion on the issue of innovation in the knowledge economy. Roundtable participants – including private sector CEOs, deputy ministers, university presidents, and heads of research institutes – were tasked with exploring innovation in the Canadian economy.

Canada’s Transportation Infrastructure Challenge: Strengthening the Foundations

This report, by Brown, Hoover, Howatson and Schulman, is the result of research examining how transportation infrastructure investment is governed and funded in Canada and other key countries. It identifies the shortcomings in the Canadian transportation system, considers the pros and cons of various options, and identifies possible solutions to current gaps. Brown identify the major governance objectives, funding objectives, governance characteristics, and funding instruments used in the transportation sector.

Canadian Aquaculture: Drowning in Regulation

Canadian Aquaculture: Drowning in Regulation, by Robin Neill and Brian Rogers, is a summary of the discussions from two aquaculture conferences held by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and the Canadian Aquaculture Institute. The report stresses the conclusions drawn from both conferences: that fundamental institutional change is required in Canadian aquaculture. According to the authors, aquaculture is mired in a dysfunctional regulatory system. There is, they claim, no overall rational model for the assessment of the social economic benefits of aquaculture, resulting in a regulatory environment that is failing due to economic and political interference.

Changes in the Prairie Economy, 1980 to 2000: With Emphasis on Agriculture and

A review of the changes in the structure of the economy of Prairie Canada clearly shows that the region is no longer dominated by the export of regulated grains. Indeed, agriculture itself has shifted away from producing regulated export grains, choosing to grow and adopt production and marketing practices that can yield higher returns to farmers.

Charting a Course: The Cruise Industry, the Government of Canada, and Purposeful Development

According to Ross Klein, port cities overestimate the value of cruise tourism and underestimate the costs. Expectations for a continuing boom in the growth of cruise tourism in Canada may not be realistic, Klein contends, and future port city expenditures should give full consideration to all potential risks and benefits.

Choosing a regulatory framework for private health insurance

In this economic note Norma Kozhaya discusses how to set up private health insurance and regulatory pitfalls to avoid.

Cities at the Crossroads: Addressing Intergovernmental Structures for Western Canada's Cities

Cities at the Crossroads: Addressing Intergovernmental Structures for Western Canada's Cities, published by the Canada West Foundation, examines what author Denis Wong contends is an increasing demand for mechanisms enabling the three levels of government to work together for vibrant cities.

Clusters of Opportunity; Clusters of Risk

In this report, a cluster is defined as “a geographically proximate group of interconnected companies and associated institutions in a particular field, linked by commonalities and complementarities.” Essentially, a cluster is a dense agglomeration of firms. As Munn-Venn and Voyer point out, clusters are commonly perceived to contribute to the superior economic performance of a region.

Common Ground: The Case for Interprovincial Cooperation in Western Canada

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.

Congestion Relief: Assessing the Case for Road Tolls in Canada

Robin Lindsey argues that the implementation of road tolls on Canadian roads, highways, and urban centres merits serious attention.

Coping With Change: Human Resource Management in Canada’s Non-profit Sector

Brisbois and McMullen point out that while interest in, and recognition of, the social, cultural, and economic contributions of the non-profit sector have grown in recent years, little is known about how the sector or how organizations within it are organized. This is especially true, the authors suggest, regarding information about paid employees and human resources in the sector.

Cruising - Out of Control: The Cruise Industry, The Environment, Workers, and the Maritimes

Ross Klein looks at the cruise ship industry in the Maritimes. Although there has been a focus on attracting cruise ship visits, he suggests very little attention has been given to the costs associated with these visits. Klein begins with an overview of the cruise industry and its place in the Maritimes, and proceeds to discuss issues relevant to local concerns.

Culture and Economic Competitiveness:  An Emerging Role for the Arts in Canada

Jason Azmier’s discussion paper Culture and Economic Competitiveness: An Emerging Role for the Arts in Canada, published by the Canada West Foundation, argues that arts and culture are an integral element of quality of life and economic competitiveness for cities.

Curbed Enthusiasm for Electricity Reform

This briefing by Down, Hoover, Howatson and Rheaume is the first in a series of publications by the Conference Board of Canada examining electricity restructuring experiences in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This series explores the unique characteristics of the electricity industry and the special challenges that regions face when undertaking restructuring. This particular briefing takes a detailed look at the relationship between environmental policy and market regulation as related to restructuring.

Dairy production: the costs of supply management in Canada

In this economic note, Valentin Petkantchin argues that supply management is a needlessly costly system, particularly for Canada’s dairy industry.

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