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Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs

Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs: 1998

  • Book Info
    Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs
    Book Description:

    Featuring essays on parliament and politics, Ottawa and the provinces, and external affairs, the Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs provides a comprehensive account of the year?s events.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7211-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Canadian calendar 1998
    (pp. xi-2)
    (pp. 3-10)

    In 1997 the Liberal government had returned to the polls for a mandate, ostensibly on how they should use the prospective budget surpluses that had been created by the fiscal policies of their first mandate. Following their election in 1993, the Liberals had instituted a period of cost-cutting designed to eliminate budget deficits and create the conditions for lowering Canada’s taxes. The fiscal stewardship of Finance Minister Paul Martin combined with the good fortune of a robust economy in the United States to produce the prospect of budget surpluses for as far as the eye could see. While the 1997...


    • Parliament and politics
      (pp. 13-55)

      In some respects 1998 was a caretaking year for Parliament. Although thirty-four new bills were introduced during the year, the majority were routine in nature. With regard to the autumn sittings, Canadian Press reporter Bruce Cheadle observed that it was ‘characterized by a dearth of government legislation’ (13 December). Several of the bills laid before the House of Commons did have a more substantial quality, and the stage was set for major initiatives that would emerge in fuller form in 1999. Against this backdrop, the daily business of the House was also punctuated by the sorts of draining controversies that...

    • Ottawa and the provinces
      (pp. 56-67)

      After several years of quiet but intense behind-the-scenes manoeuvring, the precarious state of the Canadian Confederation was once again very publicly revealed in 1998. Not only did the year witness the epochal Supreme Court judgment of the right of secession within the Canadian Constitution, it also featured negotiation of a new federal-provincial entente concerning the future direction of the development of the principal components of the Canadian welfare state, and an election battle in Quebec which saw the separatist Parti Québécois government returned to power under its new leader Lucien Bouchard.

      In September 1996, the federal government asked the Supreme...

    • Foreign affairs and defence
      (pp. 68-100)

      Canada was prominent, noisy, and sometimes ill-mannered in its foreign policy in 1998 and, though far from ineffective, its actions occasionally drew the wrath of domestic and international observers for, alternatively, the paucity of its resources or the impracticality of its vision. Such less-than-universal viewpoints occasionally made headlines, especially in the ambulance-chasing Ottawa press organs, but – as usual – the vast bulk of Canadian foreign and defence policy activity continued uninterrupted by the tempest, especially in the areas of trade, international diplomacy, and ongoing defence relations. Canada upgraded some elements of its shrinking military capabilities in 1998, purchasing search...


    • Ontario
      (pp. 103-129)

      As they approached their fourth year in office, the Conservatives under Premier Mike Harris began to slow the pace of reform. The controversial changes in legislation that had marked their first three years in office were not matched in 1998; instead, they began to consolidate the changes made and to prepare for the next election, widely anticipated to be in the spring or fall of 1999. Even those who approved of the general direction of the government’s record were occasionally critical of the pace of change. As well, there was a recognition among party strategists that the Conservatives should not...

    • Quebec
      (pp. 129-146)

      The year began with a natural disaster – an ice storm – which deeply traumatized Quebecers and revealed the fragility of emergency-response systems and the state’s shortcomings in coping with such a catastrophe. Economically and politically, the provincial government stuck to its austerity budget and fought the federal government’s decision to ask the Supreme Court to rule on the legality of a unilateral declaration of independence. The election of Jean Charest to the leadership of the Quebec Liberal Party threatened the political survival of the PQ government. Premier Lucien Bouchard failed to galvanize Quebecers on the issue of the reference...

    • Nova Scotia
      (pp. 146-157)

      On 2 September, Swissair Flight 111, en route to Geneva from New York, crashed into the ocean off Peggy’s Cove as it attempted an emergency landing at Halifax. The pilot had declared an emergency and reported smoke in the cockpit. Despite the valiant efforts by local fishermen, who took to sea immediately in small boats to look for survivors, all 229 passengers and crew perished. The world watched in shock as this scenic area became the sight of a massive effort to recover human remains and wreckage. Families of the victims came from Europe and the U.S.and a memorial service...

    • New Brunswick
      (pp. 157-167)

      Premiers come and go, as Frank McKenna did in 1997, but one constant remained: a perpetual cash shortage that logically might be traced to Ottawa’s decision to cut transfer payments to the have-not provinces. Trying to balance budgets while coping with ever-rising costs for health care, social services, electrical power, and highways new and old, while at the same time finding cash incentives to lure new businesses, posed almost impossible challenges for Mr McKenna’s successors, cabinet colleagues Ray Frenette and interim leader Camille Theriault, who became premier and party leader on 2 May. Adding to their problems, mother nature struck...

    • Manitoba
      (pp. 167-176)

      The Filmon government celebrated a decade in office in April 1998. For a long time, the Premier had seemed to be coated with Teflon. But this year, the government confronted its first real hint of scandal. Allegations were made of vote-rigging during the 1995 provincial election that appeared to have involved some of Mr Filmon’s top aides and close friends. Nonetheless, there was no no proof that that the Premier had personally been involved, and in the fall, he told a party fund-raising dinner that he would lead the Progressive Conservative Party into the general election expected in 1999. His...

    • British Columbia
      (pp. 176-191)

      Forest profits went up in smoke as health care’s smoking gun, Penny Priddy, vowed to fight big tobacco in a year that was marked by concern for the health of the public and marred by a fledgling forest industry. While the forests were not literally burned, the industry was in a state of crisis. High stumpage fees, the costs associated with implementing the Forest Practices Code, and poor performances by the Asian markets contributed to decreased profits and sawmill closures.

      Another crisis was also evident, according to the province’s nurses and doctors. Lack of health-care resources and insufficient wages led...

    • Prince Edward Island
      (pp. 191-198)

      The year 1998 in Prince Edward Island saw a moderate but steadily growing economy, some notable sports-related events, important government decisions related to health-care infrastructure and funding, and the beginning of a scandal involving the City of Summerside police department.

      The gross domestic product of PEI expanded by 1.8 per cent to $3,016 million in 1998. There was a decline in population in the first two quarters of 1998, but a rebound to almost the 1997 level by the end of the year, reaching 136,868 people.

      Employment grew by 0.7 per cent, while the annual unemployment rate was 13.9 per...

    • Saskatchewan
      (pp. 198-218)

      In 1998, Saskatchewan started to plan both for the millennium festivities to be held two years later and for the province’s 100th Anniversary to be celebrated in 2005. The unstated hope was, of course, that mother nature and good fortune would give the province reason to celebrate. Towards that end, the government appointed a Citizens’ Advisory Council on Anniversaries consisting of nineteen volunteers from across the province. The first task of the Council was to solicit views from the public on how the province should celebrate those two historic events (StarPhoenix,29 May). In ‘next-year country’ (a nickname for the...

    • Alberta
      (pp. 218-233)

      As 1998 began, observers of the Alberta political arena could have been forgiven for expecting the year to be uneventful. In the previous year, Alberta’s voters had returned the governing Conservative party to power with an even larger majority. Fiscal policy, the dominant issue of the previous ten years, did not divide the province acutely. The deficit had been eliminated and the debt was being paid down at a brisk pace, despite a slowing provincial economy. There was even money for modest spending increases and tax cuts. Furthermore, the provincial government had seemed somewhat at a loss for direction in...

    • Newfoundland and Labrador
      (pp. 233-243)

      Perhaps, 1998 can be best described as a year that marked new beginnings in Newfoundland and Labrador. The first oil flowed from the rich reserves on the Grand Banks, when Hibernia finally came on stream. Moreover, plans were finalized to develop the offshore Terra Nova Oil site as well as the petroleum resources discovered on the west coast of the Island. The export value for fish products reached new levels as the province’s fisheries continued to be diversified and expanded. However, the traditional groundfish stocks had failed to recover, threatening the many communities that had depended on them for generations....

    • Yukon and Northwest Territories
      (pp. 243-256)

      Amid grim economic news, the Yukon’s New Democratic Party government took criticism in many areas and the conservative Yukon Party and the centrist Liberal Party jostled for distinct profiles. Disturbing early slumps in the mining industry also haunted the Northwest Territories. But with fewer economic crises and the opening of itst firs diamond mine, the NWT seemed less preoccupied by the economy than by division scheduled for April 1999. Yet a November conflict of interest scandal shook the government.

      The territories were dynamically engaged in matters beyond their boundaries, both federally, continentally, and internationally. Engaging with events from a harsher,...

  8. Obituaries 1998
    (pp. 257-260)
  9. Index of names
    (pp. 261-276)
  10. Index of subjects
    (pp. 277-291)