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Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs

Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs: 1988

Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 352
  • Book Info
    Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs
    Book Description:

    The Canadian Annual Reviewhas long been praised for its excellence. Known for its accuracy, readability, and insight, it offers a synoptic appraisal of the year's crises, controversies, and developments from both federal and provincial perspectives.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7201-7
    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. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
    David Leyton-Brown
  5. Canadian calendar 1988
    (pp. xiii-2)
    (pp. 3-8)

    Canadian politics and public affairs were dominated in 1988 by the question of free trade with the United States. Internationally the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) marked a significant departure in Canada’s most important bilateral relationship, and domestically it constituted the precipitating issue of the federal election, and the major issue in the election campaign. The FTA was formally signed by Prime Minister Mulroney and President Reagan on 2 January, and the implementing legislation was finally passed by the Senate and became law on 30 December. In between these dates, the FTA proved to be the defining issue of the...


    • Parliament and politics
      (pp. 11-75)

      The year 1988 will be remembered for the federal general election of November, which returned the Progressive Conservatives to power for a second term, a result which paved the way for adoption of a comprehensive free trade agreement between Canada and the United States. Commentators regarded the campaign as a pivotal one for a number of reasons and struggled to find adjectives worthy of capturing the drama, division, and controversy it inspired. Historical parallels were retrieved from the distant past, almost invariably comparing the election to critical moments in the country’s history. The election standings sealed the agreement by providing...

    • Ottawa and the provinces
      (pp. 76-92)

      Like 1987, the year 1988 in Canadian federal-provincial relations was dominated by the Meech Lake Accord. Unlike 1987, however, when the federal-provincial agenda was dominated by the process of negotiating the Accord itself, 1988 witnessed a return to the federal-provincial issues which had initially led to the negotiation of the now-stalled proposal for a new constitutional order. As the Accord stumbled from the effects of the refusals of the governments of New Brunswick and Manitoba to ratify it, several issues with which the Accord was supposed to deal surfaced once again. These included most notably federal-provincial conflicts over the direction...

    • External affairs and defence
      (pp. 93-134)

      Canada’s foreign relations in 1988 could best be understood by the government’s desire to address economic and trade issues, human rights abuses, and domestic concerns. First of all, the Free Trade Agreement signed by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and U.S. president Ronald Reagan on 2 January marked the tone of Ottawa’s external affairs for the entire year. Until the passage of the free trade bill on 30 December, the bilateral initiative topped the government’s foreign policy agenda. Not only did the trade agreement dominate Canadian-American relations but it also permeated talks with other countries. Japanese prime minister Noboru Takeshita expressed...

    • Military and security issues
      (pp. 135-188)

      It was a busy yet anticlimactic year for Canadian defence policy and the Canadian Forces. On the one hand, 1988 witnessed major developments in procurement and organization (including the activation of 1 Canadian Air Division in Europe and the creation, at CFB Kingston, Ontario, of the headquarters for the army’s new 1 Canadian Division), an on-going debate over the Mulroney government’s controversial plan to acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines (SSNS), and a dramatic resurgence in international peacekeeping. The renaissance of peacekeeping – and, indeed, of the United Nations – took Canadian military personnel to Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq during...


    • Ontario
      (pp. 191-218)

      The Ontario economy continued to be generally prosperous during 1988, but the political scene settled into a post-election, majority-government lull. In marked contrast to the 1985–7 period, in which it took the lead on numerous issues, the Peterson government became reactive and responded only to those problems which because of opposition and public pressure it could not avoid. These included Sunday shopping, automobile insurance, housing, health care, and Temagami, and even in these areas, the government acted in a pusillanimous manner.

      The government’s solution to the difficult Sunday shopping issue had been signalled in December 1987 when Solicitor-General Joan...

    • Quebec
      (pp. 219-234)

      The year 1988 continued to be marked by debates about the Meech Lake Accord. The primary threats to the agreement came from outside of Quebec, but the election of Jacques Parizeau as leader of the Parti Québécois (PQ) restored Quebec sovereignty as a viable political option. The issues of political favouritism and patronage particularly affected the Quebec Liberal party (QLP). This preelection year allowed the QLP to review its electoral platform and to insert new themes into its program. The language question again raised many tremors, with the eventual result being the adoption of Law 178 at the end of...

    • Nova Scotia
      (pp. 234-242)

      Elections dominated the public life of Nova Scotia in 1988. Beginning in September, the province’s voters went to the polls three times in as many months for provincial, municipal, and finally, federal elections. Another type of campaign met with success after six years when Nova Scotian Bruce Curtis and his supporters obtained permission for Curtis to serve his New Jersey sentence for aggravated manslaughter in a Canadian prison. In February, Curtis was transferred to a penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario, and in May was moved to Springhill’s medium security prison.

      Over the summer, the province had two royal visitors; Queen Beatrix...

    • New Brunswick
      (pp. 243-252)

      During his first full year as Canada’s only premier without an opposition, Frank McKenna faced some unique problems and some predictable ones. Perhaps his worst problem was finding jobs for his huge stable of backbenchers, but assigning them to standing, select, and special committees of the legislature went a long way towards solving it. Refusing to alter his position on the Meech Lake Accord did not endear him to Prime Minister Mulroney or Premier Bourassa, but his forthright statements gave him repeated coverage in the national media – an unusual bonus for the premier of New Brunswick. Within the province,...

    • Manitoba
      (pp. 252-261)

      The year 1988 was one of great change in the political life of this province. The NDP government was brought down by one of its own caucus members, and the Tories formed a minority government after the ensuing general election. The Liberals dramatically improved their position, and formed the official opposition. The Meech Lake Accord became the dominant issue in provincial politics late in the year when Premier Filmon withdrew his support for the Accord following Premier Bourassa’s response to the Supreme Court’s decision on Quebec’s signs legislation. And, after several good years, the provincial economy slowed down, the result...

    • British Columbia
      (pp. 261-269)

      The year 1988 was one of growth for British Columbia as well as one of growing frustration for the province’s government. The population grew in size, and the economy continued to recover from the recession. But social conflict over controversial issues like abortion and dissatisfaction with the governing style of Premier Bill Vander Zalm led to some major political set-backs for the government.

      In terms of population, British Columbia was Canada’s fastest growing province in 1988. Net growth of 68,129 brought the total to 3,029,000. Of this number, movement from other provinces accounted for 29,900 and international immigrants for 16,700....

    • Prince Edward Island
      (pp. 269-280)

      The economy of Prince Edward Island was relatively healthy in 1988. The labour force grew by 3.3 per cent during the year, which exceeded the national average growth of 2.0 per cent. During the peak of seasonal employment in July, the labour force comprised 67,000 people, an increase of 15.5 per cent over July 1987. However, while more jobs existed in 1988 than in 1987, growth in the labour force caused unemployment to decline only slightly, from 13.2 per cent in 1987 to 13.0 per cent in 1988. The number of people unemployed ranged from 6,000 in June, August, and...

    • Saskatchewan
      (pp. 280-295)
      W.A. WAISER

      The year 1988 was one of far-reaching change in Saskatchewan. Whereas Premier Grant Devine and his Conservative government had taken a few tentative steps towards privatization during their first term, they were now determined to bring about a fundamental change in the direction of the province. The government’s privatization program, or ‘public participation’ as it was called, was not introduced without difficulties. Not only did it go against the traditional Saskatchewan emphasis on state-directed development, it was also implemented during a period of stagnant economic growth. It was further complicated by a number of issues – both old and new...

    • Alberta
      (pp. 295-308)

      Alberta politics in 1988 had the strange appearance of a concert performance in which the soloists and the accompanists were playing two different pieces. In the foreground, a free-spending government spoke cheerfully of economic recovery and massive new megaprojects, while behind them the international price of crude oil went into free fall, a recently defunct opposition party continued a boisterous recovery, and the long-running Code Inquiry sporadically uncovered tantalizing tid-bits that deepened the mystery of the Principal Group collapse.

      The dramatic event of 1987 was the sudden collapse of Donald Cormie’s Principal Group Limited empire after Provincial Treasurer Dick Johnston...

    • Newfoundland and Labrador
      (pp. 308-317)

      Meech Lake, free trade, and the Canada-France fisheries dispute were continuing issues of national concern which crowded the provincial agenda during 1988. The year, however, saw the introduction of a major new issue, the closure of the Newfoundland railway. The announcement on 20 June that the railway would cease operation in exchange for $800 million rode on the crest of a storm of protest from communities throughout the province which had been steadily gaining strength since year’s beginning when the first rumours began to circulate that the railway would be scrapped.

      While none could deny the importance of the national...

    • The Yukon
      (pp. 317-324)

      The Yukon’s 6,000 native people reached a land claim agreement-in-principle with the federal and Yukon governments in 1988. The pact moved the parties closer to settling the fifteen-year-old claim than ever before. Yukoners also enjoyed generally good economic news, and, aside from Meech Lake, pleasant relations with Ottawa. In politics, territorial election speculation grew all year. That prospect made debate in the legislature both lively and often biting.

      The Christmas spirit quickly ended as MLAS returned from their Yule break to resume the Fourth Session of the 26th Legislature. The opposition parties continued to needle the NDP government over its...

    • The Northwest Territories
      (pp. 324-332)

      The Meech Lake Accord and official bilingualism strained the Northwest Territories’ (NWT) intergovernmental relations in 1988, and Liberal victories in the November federal elections suggested popular anti-Ottawa sentiment. But three interwoven dynamics appeared to be shaping the territories’ institutions more profoundly. Firstly, Yellowknife and Ottawa shared one goal fairly amicably: the devolution of province-like powers from federal control. New energy, health, and other powers swelled the government of the NWT (GNWT) despite budget restraint. Secondly, aboriginal land claims negotiations advanced, especially with the Dene-Métis settlement of September. Thirdly, aboriginal leaders struggled to reinforce the GNWT’s waning commitment to decentralize. The...

  9. Obituaries 1988
    (pp. 333-336)
  10. Index of names
    (pp. 337-350)
  11. Index of subjects
    (pp. 351-362)