An issue of some contention — one that has resulted in an intersection between the areas of federal government tax policy and Canadian federalism — is the merging of separate federal and provincial sales taxes into a single tax, known as the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The HST represents an important form of cooperation between different levels of government and, at the same time, a source of debate — particularly in the realms of provincial politics. This article provides an introduction to the HST and explores topics including its origins/history and key debates.[Read more…] about Harmonized Sales Tax in Canada
With the global economic recession of 2008-09, and the various attempts by the Canadian government and its counterparts around the world to address their economic difficulties, the issue of fiscal policy has come to the fore, earning significant public attention.
This article provides an introduction to Canadian fiscal policy at the federal level of government.[Read more…] about Federal Fiscal Policy in Canada
Northern Alberta’s oil sands are increasingly becoming a source of political conflict, both domestically and globally, as scrutiny of the world’s second-largest known oil reserve intensifies. While recent production in the oil sands has driven rapid economic growth in Alberta, there is increasing concern that this growth is causing unprecedented ecological harm. Major environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs), such as Greenpeace and the Pembina Institute, and local First Nations have begun to call for a moratorium on new oil sands projects until associated environmental destruction can be mitigated. At the same time, prominent political observers, such as former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed, have argued publicly that development in the oil sands is proceeding at a rate that is not economically and socially beneficial for Alberta. As the primary regulatory body responsible for the oil sands, the Alberta government is responsible for shaping most of the economic, social and environmental policies that guide oil sands development. Numerous complex and divisive policy problems that all demand resolution compete for the government’s attention. The provincial government, however, has remained generally hostile to any calls for a slowdown in oil sands growth.[Read more…] about Alberta’s Oil Sands: Key Issues and Impacts
The Canada-US softwood lumber dispute has been one of the longest and most significant trade disputes between the two countries in modern history. Central to the dispute is not only competition between Canadian and US softwood lumber companies, but also conflict over basic forestry management styles. This article discusses the North American softwood lumber industry and explains the nature of the dispute, including its basic issues, its history and the signing of the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement.[Read more…] about The Canada-US Softwood Lumber Dispute
Auto insurance is a central issue in provincial and territorial politics, and a highly complex area of public policy. In Canada, the industry reflects a collection of provincial and territorial systems, each differing significantly in how auto insurance is delivered and regulated. This article offers an introduction into auto insurance policy in Canada, and includes a look at auto insurance in the context of federalism, alternative models of auto insurance, provincial/territorial auto insurance systems, and key issues and debates in this public policy area.[Read more…] about Auto Insurance in Canada: Overview and Issues
The Equalization Program is an important component of Canadian federalism and the notion of equality between provinces regarding the social services they provide. Moreover, the principle of equalization has been a major source of debate in Canadian politics, between the federal and provincial levels of government, as well as between provinces. This article provides an overview of the purpose, operation and history of the Equalization Program, including a summary of key contemporary issues and debates.[Read more…] about Equalization Program in Canada