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Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs 2004

Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs 2004

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs 2004
    Book Description:

    TheCanadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairsis an acclaimed series that offers informed commentary on important national events and thoughtfully considers their significance in local and international contexts. This latest instalment reviews the year 2004, in which the Liberal party was elected to a minority government.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9351-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xii)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. Canadian calendar 2004
    (pp. xv-2)
    (pp. 3-10)

    Whereas the past several years had been dominated by international questions, in 2004 Canadian politics was decidedly inwardly focused. It is not that issues of foreign policy and defence were not important, particularly with the evident deterioration of the war in Iraq and Canada’s ongoing involvement in Afghanistan, but rather that the year was defined by a federal general election. The Liberal Party had governed with a seemingly unassailable majority for a decade, and it had begun the year energized by a leadership convention that was marked by unparalleled unity. By the year’s end, while still in government, the Liberals...

  6. Parliament and politics
    (pp. 11-51)

    In November 2003 Paul Martin scored a massive victory in the contest to elect a successor to Jean Chrétien as leader of the Liberal Party and prime minister of Canada. When he took the oath of office the following month, the highly regarded former finance minister presided over a highly popular government buoyed by the change at the top. The Official Opposition, the Conservative Party, leaderless and bereft of a platform following its November 2003 birth out of a merger of the Reform Alliance and Progressive Conservatives, lagged badly. Yet, just weeks before the conclusion of the country’s thirty-eighth general...

  7. Foreign affairs and defence
    (pp. 52-90)

    When Paul Martin became prime minister at the close of 2003, one hope was that Canada would have a more assertive and recognized presence on the international stage. Certainly, the cabinet committee structure Prime Minister Martin put in place indicated this priority; whereas Prime Minister Jean Chrétien had no cabinet committees that dealt specifically with either foreign or military affairs, Paul Martin’s structure had three (Global Affairs; Canada-U.S.; Security, Public Health, and Emergencies). To ensure renewed Canadian assertiveness abroad, Martin kept Bill Graham in his position as foreign affairs minister. This allowed the cabinet to continue to capitalize upon his...

  8. Municipal affairs
    (pp. 91-103)

    The year 2004 began promisingly for Canadian municipalities. There was good reason to believe that Paul Martin, the new prime minister, would carry through on his promise of a ‘new deal for cities.’ In a number of important municipalities, including Toronto and Vancouver, there were freshly elected mayors who were pressing for changes that would allow them to take more aggressive action on a range of problems, from the infrastructure deficit to social distress. Most of the relevant interest groups and policy think tanks seemed to agree that cities needed more powers and more resources. Not only was there pressure...

  9. First Nations
    (pp. 104-122)

    The Speech from the Throne in February 2004 outlined a policy strategy designed to place greater focus on domestic rather than foreign and defence issues, and central to this new domestic policy were Aboriginal concerns. Prime Minister Paul Martin condemned the conditions under which First Nations people in Canada lived, and announced his intention to scrap the Aboriginal Governance Act (a name applied to a series of legislation created under the previous Liberal government). Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien had introduced this act supposedly in an effort to make Aboriginal reserves more fiscally accountable.

    The Assembly of First Nations (AFN)...

  10. British Columbia
    (pp. 123-135)

    British Columbia’s Liberal fi nance minister, Gary Farrell-Collins, made headlines several times in 2004. In February, he introduced a balanced budget and by year’s end the economy appeared to be in good shape even though it had suffered the challenges of the avian flu epidemic, the mountain pine beetle, and considerable labour strife. However, at the close of the year, Farrell-Collins surprisingly announced his resignation on what might be perceived as a high note yet amidst controversy surrounding charges that his former aide committed fraud and breach of trust regarding the B.C. Rail deal.

    While the newsmaker was probably the...

  11. Alberta
    (pp. 136-151)

    The year 2004 was uncharacteristically busy for Alberta’s citizens, as they were called to vote not once, not twice, but three times in federal, municipal, and provincial elections. With the possible exception of the municipal election in the city of Edmonton, none of the elections returned especially surprising results. Nevertheless, each had its own particular twists and turns, and each had implications for the way politics would unfold in the province over the next few years.

    By the end of 2004, it was hard to imagine that as the year dawned,Prime Minister Paul Martin had dreams of establishing a significant...

  12. Saskatchewan
    (pp. 152-166)

    The year 2004 was a relatively positive one for Saskatchewan in which provincial pride received a boost from the results of two different national talent contests. In one contest, Tommy Douglas, a former premier of the province, was voted the greatest Canadian in the national competition conducted and televised by the CBC for his role in laying the foundations of the country’s universal health-care system (Saskatoon StarPhoenix, 30 Nov.). This result provided the surviving stalwarts of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation with confirmation that history would recognize the greatness both of Douglas and of the party that he had led. Clearly,...

  13. Manitoba
    (pp. 167-175)

    The New Democratic government of Premier Gary Doer maintained a low profile in 2004. The economy did quite well, if not perhaps as well as in previous years. The main focus of public and media attention at mid-year was the federal election, one that had important ramifications for the province and, in particular, its capital. Later in the year, attention shifted to all the excitement generated by the opening of a new arena on the site of the former Eaton’s building on Portage Avenue in downtown Winnipeg.

    It was a complaint of the small Liberal caucus (with only two seats,...

  14. The Territories
    (pp. 176-191)

    For decades, the Canadian north attracted little national attention and seemed locked in a permanent place on the political and economic margins of the nation. Yet, through the early years of the twenty-first century, northern Canada continued to evolve and develop in important ways, altering the long-standing colonial relationship with the government of Canada, emerging at the forefront of several critical global debates, and demonstrating the resilience and creativity of Indigenous peoples, communities, and governments in a constantly changing political environment. While the region still struggled to assert its presence in national affairs, widespread concern about climate change altered global...

  15. Ontario
    (pp. 192-214)

    For much of the first part of 2004, the Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty that had taken office in October 2003 seemed to be continuing the election campaign. While it announced several planned reforms (the end of mandatory retirement, abolition of the sixty-hour work week, red-light cameras at intersections, etc.), it was able to do very little to advance them until the legislature reconvened in March, and it continued to express concerns about constraints that would result from the budget deficit it had inherited from the previous government. There was considerable attention paid to the allegations of profligate spending by...

  16. Quebec
    (pp. 215-232)

    It was literally unheard of. Never had a newly elected government fallen out of favour so quickly. In January 2004, barely ten months into its first term in office, the Liberal government of Jean Charest reached new lows in voters’ satisfaction. Three public-opinion polls conducted by separate polling companies and taken at different times in the month all pointed to a sharp decline in popular support for the Liberals.¹ The party lost over ten percentage points between the April 2003 election and the beginning of 2004; two in three voters admitted to being dissatisfied with the government’s management of public...

  17. New Brunswick
    (pp. 233-246)

    Faced with a one-seat majority after the 2003 general election, the Progressive Conservative government of Bernard Lord knew it was in for a rough year both politically and financially. The premier acknowledged this on 29 January in a ‘State of the Province’ address delivered to a $125-a-plate dinner attended by about six hundred at a Fredericton hotel. He identified New Brunswick’s 2004 priorities as sustainable health and senior care, quality education, job creation, lower automobile insurance, and balancing the budget (Telegraph Journal, 30 Jan.). In addition, he promised that his government would decide the future of the Point Lepreau Nuclear...

  18. Prince Edward Island
    (pp. 247-258)

    The year 2004 was one of slowed economic growth for Prince Edward Island compared both to the previous year and to the Canadian economy. A significant number of public-infrastructure and publicly supported private-sector investments were made through joint provincial-federal programs. The provincial net debt reached $1.25 billion at the end of the 2003–4 fiscal year, an increase of 11.7 percent from 2003. In total, twenty-six bills were passed in 2004, including the Renewable Energy Act, which laid out a strategy and set targets for PEI’s future energy requirements. In February the Island’s largest seafood processor, Polar Foods, went into...

  19. Nova Scotia
    (pp. 259-268)

    The year 2004 in Nova Scotia was marked by cooperation between government and opposition, as all parties sought to avoid any confrontation which could bring down the minority government of Conservative Premier John Hamm. With an election possible in the minority situation in Ottawa, with all three parties short on resources, and with the public weary of campaigns, no political leader wanted to be responsible for forcing another vote. The premier denied rumours he would try for an election soon, despite the Tories’ rising poll numbers at year’s end. The two opposition parties were forced to tread carefully to provide...

  20. Newfoundland and Labrador
    (pp. 269-276)

    The year 2004 was one of financial reckoning in Newfoundland and Labrador. On 5 January, Finance Minister Loyola Sullivan released a special review of the province’s finances,Directions, Choices and Tough Choices, by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The report was sobering and was the focus of a ‘State of the Province’ address given by Premier Danny Williams the same evening. The PwC findings, he said, showed ‘an evolving financial crisis,’ which, ‘if ignored or unresolved,’ threatened the entire future of the province (Executive Council, News Release, 5 Jan.). What the situation required was ‘accountable and strategically minded government’ and decisions made‘ for...

  21. Obituaries
    (pp. 277-280)
  22. Election tables
    (pp. 281-284)
  23. Index of names
    (pp. 285-300)
  24. Index of subjects
    (pp. 301-316)