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Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs 2006

Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs 2006

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 288
  • Book Info
    Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs 2006
    Book Description:

    The 2006 installment of the series covers the thirty-ninth general election, in which the Conservative Party secured a minority government and Stephen Harper became Canada's twenty-second Prime Minister.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6343-5
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xii)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. Canadian calendar 2006
    (pp. xv-2)
    (pp. 3-10)

    The year 2006 was bookended by elections. It began with a federal general election campaign in full swing, an election which produced the most significant change in government in more than a decade, and ended with the election of a new leader for the erstwhile ‘Government Party.’ The year in between was largely shaped by these two events, with ‘Canada’s New Government’ working to put its Conservative mark on the country in the context of a minority parliament, while the Official Opposition Liberals spent the year embroiled in its long leadership contest.

    The year began in the middle of an...

  6. Parliament and politics
    (pp. 11-53)

    As he beamed down at election-night revelers gathered in Calgary on 23 January, Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper savoured a sweet victory. Minutes earlier, Liberal prime minister Paul Martin had conceded defeat in Canada’s thirty-ninth general election, and Harper stood poised to lead the country’s next government. The Liberals, in power since 1992, had been reduced to inglorious second-party status after a bitter campaign, one in which support for the winners had increased nearly everywhere. Even federalists in pockets of Quebec had abandoned their stubborn devotion to the Liberals and embraced the Conservatives. Harper had insisted that moral turpitude made...

  7. Foreign affairs and defence
    (pp. 54-86)

    Upon their federal election win of 23 January, the Conservatives faced a daunting task, as shall be seen, in terms of foreign and defence policy. Not only was their version of the Conservative brand relatively new, having resulted from the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Parties in 2003, but many of the elected members did not have experience in governing. The challenges were complicated by the fact that the Conservatives were able to form only a minority government. Moreover, Stephen Harper and his Conservative candidates had set the bar high during the election campaign, hoping to...

  8. Municipal affairs
    (pp. 87-98)

    The third World Urban Forum was held in Vancouver in June. The theme was ‘sustainable cities.’ The new federal government co-sponsored the forum with UN-Habitat, thus continuing an initiative of its predecessor. UN-Habitat was formed after the first UN Conference on Human Settlements in Vancouver in 1976. Just as the earlier conference had been held in the wake of the failure of the federal government’s urban initiative of the early 1970s, the 2006 event occurred as the ‘New Deal for Cities and Communities’ promised by the outgoing Martin government began to run out of steam. Although the policy changes that...

  9. First Nations
    (pp. 99-117)

    The Liberal government under Paul Martin ended 2005 on an optimistic note regarding Aboriginal issues. In late November a First Ministers’ Summit on Aboriginal Issues, the first meeting of its kind, was held in Kelowna, British Columbia. The Kelowna Accord was the product of this summit and the result of more than two years of negotiations. The agreement promises $5.1 billion in spending on health care, housing, and education for Aboriginal communities in Canada over the next five years (Globe and Mail, 12 Jan.).

    Unfortunately, the impending federal election in late January left the Kelowna agreement in limbo. The platform...

  10. British Columbia
    (pp. 118-138)

    The year 2006 was one for David Emerson to remember (or perhaps forget). He was elected in the British Columbia riding of Vancouver-Kingsway as a federal Liberal. Because the Liberals did not win enough seats to form the government, he crossed the floor to sit as a Conservative and was appointed to Cabinet as international trade minister, minister for the Pacific Gateway, and minister for the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. This created much controversy. More controversial perhaps was the softwood lumber agreement Emerson forged with the United States in his new role. Finally, a deal on softwood – but one unsatisfactory to...

  11. Alberta
    (pp. 139-152)

    On the surface, it would be hard to imagine that 2006 would have brought Albertans much to complain about. The province was absolutely booming, with rapid economic growth, large wage increases, low unemployment, and strong consumer spend ing. People were flocking to Alberta from across Canada and around the world to share in the province’s good fortunes. The problem was, however, that Alberta’s boom was creating a number of problems for the people and the government of the province. The theme of the year was dealing with the consequences of the boom. By the end of the year, the question...

  12. Saskatchewan
    (pp. 153-163)

    The year 2006 was one of those interesting years for Saskatchewan in which elections, debates in the legislature, changes to the composition of Cabinet, surprising improvements in the performance of the provincial economy, intergovernmental relations, and Aboriginal issues all provided their share of materials for media reports and the daily conversations of what Saskatchewanians like to refer to as ‘coffee row.’

    The 2006 federal election, which produced a minority Conservative government led by Stephen Harper, did not change Saskatchewan’s partisan political landscape very much. The Conservatives won 12 of the 14 seats in the province. The other 2 seats were...

  13. Manitoba
    (pp. 164-171)

    Even normally laconic Manitobans were moved to say of 2006, ‘It’s not too bad, eh?’ For the year brought a taste of economic well-being the province had not enjoyed for some time.

    There was a steady, if not spectacular, growth in the economy. Work was available for most people who wanted it, and at good wages. It was still possible to buy a house in a prestigious neighbourhood without having to hold up a bank. And there was a detectable air of optimism. Manitobans seemed ready to believe that they were at last in the queue for permanent prosperity.


  14. The Territories
    (pp. 172-183)

    After a lengthy period of slow evolution and limited national attention, the North found itself in the forefront of national and international affairs in 2006. The combination of territorial and federal elections, intense debate about international territorial politics, and passionate debates about Arctic sovereignty and climate change ensured that the North remained in the public eye throughout the year. In addition, a period of comparative prosperity and enthusiasm about Arctic resources provided the North with a new level of economic promise and opportunity.

    In 2006, the Canadian North burst into a prominence not known in Canada since the time of...

  15. Ontario
    (pp. 184-202)

    In 2006 the Ontario government continued to face challenges in the areas of education and health – its two most expensive (and arguably most important) portfolios – and it persisted in attempts to address questions of supply and demand in the market for electricity. While the inquiry continued into the 1995 events during a First Nations occupation of the provincial park at Ipperwash, a new occupation by members of an Aboriginal community – this time of a residential building site – began in Caledonia, near Hamilton. Other issues involving First Nations communities and land claims also surfaced during the year,...

  16. Quebec
    (pp. 203-221)

    Quebecers entered 2006 waiting, in both the economic and political sense, for the other shoe to drop. The Quebec economy continued a slow decline into increasing stagnation, with economic growth for the year at only 1.6 per cent, down from 2.0 per cent in 2005 and continuing a decline from the level of 2.6 per cent two years earlier in 2004. The unemployment rate in the first quarter was at 8.4 per cent for the province as a whole and at 9.4 per cent for Montreal. The rest of the year did not offer much improvement with a cumulative unemployment...

  17. New Brunswick
    (pp. 222-237)

    The old adage ‘the smaller the pit the fiercer the rats’ certainly applied to New Brunswick’s political scene in 2006, especially when one views the confusing events that dominated the spring session of the legislature. One would be hard put not to be sympathetic towards Tory premier Bernard Lord as he struggled to keep his government afloat amid backbench dissension which finally wiped out a bare one-seat majority. Few were surprised when he called a fall election. The fact that the Liberals managed a 3-seat majority yet won fewer votes than the Conservatives was less a tribute to the new...

  18. Prince Edward Island
    (pp. 238-243)

    PEI had stable economic activity and mild growth in 2006. There were numerous provincial initiatives in the realms of energy and the environment and much infrastructure investment. Politically there were municipal elections and one provincial by-election, the four incumbent federal MPs were returned to office, and the provincial electoral boundaries map was redrawn amid great controversy.

    In 2006 PEI’s economy expanded by 2.0 per cent and the provincial GDP at market prices was estimated to be $4,332 million. Personal income grew by an estimated 3.7 per cent to $3,729 million. TheAll-Items Consumer Price Indexrose 2.2 per cent. Total...

  19. Nova Scotia
    (pp. 244-254)
    Robert G. Finbow

    It was a year that portended change in public life but eventually produced much continuity. In an important symbolic move, Mayann Francis was appointed the first African Canadian lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia. But, despite the selection of a new premier, the political situation remained unchanged, with a minority Conservative government and Liberal disarray and weakness. Yet the potential for future change was evident – the NDP opposition gained strength and made historic breakthroughs in previously hostile rural regions of the province. The province held its own economically, despite high energy costs, with slow progress offshore and in economic modernization....

  20. Newfoundland and Labrador
    (pp. 255-266)

    At the beginning of 2006 the attention of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians was focused on the federal election scheduled for 23 January. On 28 November 2005, Premier Danny Williams (Humber West) wrote the Liberal, Conservative, and NDP leaders inquiring about their positions on various issues affecting the province. His purpose was to help provincial residents decide how to vote. Stephen Harper replied on 4 January, Jack Layton on 15 January, and Prime Minister Paul Martin on 16 January. Crucially, Harper promised that a Conservative government would ‘ensure that no province’ would be ‘adversely affected from changes to the equalization formula’ (Executive...

  21. Obituaries
    (pp. 267-270)
  22. Election tables
    (pp. 271-272)
  23. Index of names
    (pp. 273-282)
  24. Index of subjects
    (pp. 283-295)