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Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs 2007

Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs 2007

Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 322
  • Book Info
    Canadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairs 2007
    Book Description:

    TheCanadian Annual Review of Politics and Public Affairsis an acclaimed series that offers informed commentary on important national events and considers their significance in local and international contexts. This latest instalment covers a year of dramatic activity in provincial politics.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-1721-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Canadian calendar 2007
    (pp. xiii-2)
    (pp. 3-10)

    Following a year of remarkable upheaval and political change, 2007 represented a period of relative calm, even stasis. The economy continued on its remarkable run of growth, allowing the new Conservative government to continue its predecessor’s tradition of presenting a balanced budget while further reducing Canadians’ taxes and increasing government spending. While minority parliaments are not generally considered stable, the Opposition Liberals emerged into the new year with a newly elected, and surprised, Stéphane Dion at the helm and were not looking to engineer a quick election. This is not to say that there were no difficult, indeed controversial issues...

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

    To the surprise of many, the minority government of Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper was fast approaching its second anniversary in power as 2007 came to a close. With barely a third of the members in a hostile House of Commons, Harper’s right-wing party faced dissent when it came to the weightiest matters on its bold agenda. Chances of survival seemed slim. Yet the campaign that was always in the offing never happened. Friendless but tenacious, the Conservatives withstood two tests of confidence that, had they failed, would have abbreviated their tenure. The Bloc Québécois saved the government when it...

  7. Foreign affairs and defence
    (pp. 54-85)

    To help frame a consideration of Canadian foreign and defence affairs in 2007, one should note that Prime Minister Stephen Harper shuffled his Cabinet on 14 August and, in so doing, replaced both his foreign affairs and defence ministers. The prime minister moved Gordon O’Connor from the defence portfolio and made him minister of national revenue. Minister O’Connor’s seeming demotion was likely based on four factors: (1) his difficulty in selling the Afghan mission to Canadians; (2) controversy surrounding his handling of soldiers’ funeral expenses; (3) the Afghan detainee issue; and (4) his fraying relationship with the popular chief of...

  8. Municipal affairs
    (pp. 86-98)

    In January the municipal council in Hérouxville, Quebec, attracted worldwide attention when it released aPublication of Standardsfor potential immigrants. It seemed an odd thing to do, because Hérouxville – a small rural community northeast of Montreal – is not the sort of place that attracts immigrants. On the surface the standards were a simple affirmation of liberal values (“men and women are of the same value”; “parents can be of the same race or not, be from the same country or not, have the same religion or not, even be of the same sex or not”) and local customs (“We...

  9. First Nations
    (pp. 99-114)

    In mid-March the Conservative government under Stephen Harper released its budget. Harper used the budget to announce his “new approach” to Aboriginal spending. The federal government’s new spending initiatives were to focus on “incentives to get individuals out of poverty through job training and home ownership.” Over the next two years Ottawa announced it would make $300 million available to Aboriginal people to encourage private home ownership on reserves. Critics suggested that this approach overlooked the fact that housing on reserves is generally held as collective band property. Other areas of spending include $20 million towards helping Aboriginal fishers and...

  10. British Columbia
    (pp. 115-126)

    The year was a green one for British Columbia. The throne speech, budget, and many of the year’s activities addressed climate change. It was also green if one equates that with prosperity. BC led Canada in job growth and opened the year with a 4.3 per cent unemployment rate. Finally, while the mining industry showed considerable promise, the forestry industry struggled with problems of attracting skilled workers and a protracted coastal strike.

    A landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision regarding BC’s Bill 29 affected the whole country and meant that collective bargaining was now recognized as a Charter right. Another...

  11. Alberta
    (pp. 127-139)

    A quick glance at Alberta in 2007 would not have indicated that much was changing in the province. The province’s economy continued to grow, the same party was in power, and there was no figure to challenge the government’s grip on Alberta. Underneath the surface, though, things were in motion. The governing Conservatives appeared to be running into their first real political difficulties since the early 1990s, as Premier Ed Stelmach seemed to be having trouble connecting with voters, particularly in Calgary, Alberta’s largest city. The province also engaged in a lengthy debate over the development of its signature oil...

  12. Saskatchewan
    (pp. 140-149)

    Saskatchewanians were able to celebrate both family and football in 2007. The family was celebrated near the start of the year during the first Family Day holiday, and football was celebrated near the end of the year when the Saskatchewan Roughriders won the Grey Cup.

    The year started with concerted efforts by the New Democratic government, led by Premier Lorne Calvert, to foster economic and population growth. Towards that end, it launched a new multimedia advertising campaign targeted at youth in Saskatchewan to stay in the province and for those living in other parts of Canada to move to the...

  13. Manitoba
    (pp. 150-158)

    The NDP was re-elected to office in May 2007, winning a third consecutive majority. This unprecedented result was a tribute to their competent management of affairs and, to a large degree, the popularity of their leader, Premier Gary Doer. However there were dissenters, and not everyone was enthusiastic about Doer or his regime.

    The gross provincial product for Manitoba passed $38 billion this year, and the growth rate was just over 3 per cent, about average by national standards. Private investment was strong, although public investment had slowed down.

    This was to be only a temporary pause, however, since the...

  14. The territories
    (pp. 159-174)

    The first decade of the twenty-first century saw the steady emergence of the Canadian North as an international political battleground and as one of the most hotly debated areas in the world. Throughout 2007 the North’s profile continued to grow, through the continued engagement of Aboriginal and territorial leaders on the world stage and growing confusion and concern about the broad questions over Arctic sovereignty. For decades the North operated in relative obscurity, but the unique combination of debate about climate change, the opening of the Northwest Passage to commercial navigation, resource development plans, and the increasing important of Indigenous...

  15. Ontario
    (pp. 175-193)

    Issues of health, education, energy, and the environment continued to capture the attention of Ontario political actors in 2007, as did concerns about the provincial economy. This last issue was conflated with continued disputes about the distribution of federal funds to the provinces and Ontario’s claim that it was not receiving fair treatment. The occupation by native protestors of a building site in Caledonia continued, the inquiry into the Ipperwash incident of 1995 filed its report, and the provincial government recognized a need to enhance its involvement in Aboriginal affairs. All of these matters were however overshadowed, or at least...

  16. Quebec
    (pp. 194-212)

    The year 2007 in Quebec’s history will be remembered for two distinct episodes with important political and policy ramifications. First Quebecers elected a minority provincial government on 26 March. It came as quite a surprise; minority governments are unheard of in Quebec politics. One has to go back to 1878 for the last time this happened. Jean Charest’s Liberals were re-elected, but the message was clear: Quebecers meant to keep them on a tight leash. Their confidence in the Charest government and the policies it had implemented during its first term in office had none of that resounding vitality politicians...

  17. New Brunswick
    (pp. 213-225)

    Five months after the last House prorogued, the new Liberal government finally launched its first legislative session on 6 February when Lieutenant Governor Herménégilde Chiasson presented the throne speech. Most importantly in terms of events and reactions during the rest of the year, it referred to two studies that had already begun their work since their creation a month earlier. The Self-Sufficiency Task Force was co-chaired by Francis McGuire, president of the Moncton-based Major Drilling and a key adviser to former premier Frank McKenna, and Giles Lepage, former president of La Mouvement des caisses populaires acadiennes. Their views on how...

  18. Prince Edward Island
    (pp. 226-231)

    Prince Edward Island’s economy fared well in 2007, although prospects for agriculture were dire. The provincial government changed in May 2007 from twenty-three Conservatives and four Liberals under Pat Binns to twenty-three Liberals and four Conservatives under Robert Ghiz.

    In 2007 PEI’s economy expanded 2.4 per cent and the provincial GDP was estimated to be $4,538 million.²⁹ Personal income grew an estimated 4.3 per cent to $3,915 million. The All-Items Consumer Price Index rose 1.8 per cent. Total employment was 69,300 people, and the average unemployment rate was 10.3 per cent. The population estimate was 138,627* as of 1 July....

  19. Nova Scotia
    (pp. 232-241)

    It was a year of political continuity as the minority government of Premier Rodney MacDonald managed to survive with the help of Opposition leaders who were not eager to go back to the polls. However, the government’s popularity dipped amidst small scandals, errors, and policy reversals. The NDP emerged as a legitimate threat to win power, with growing support outside Halifax. The Liberals elected a new leader to begin their reconsolidation as a credible Opposition. The economy performed in mediocre fashion outside metropolitan Halifax, with a few technology and offshore projects producing optimism. Relations with Stephen Harper’s federal Conservatives were...

  20. Newfoundland and Labrador
    (pp. 242-256)

    The year 2007 began in Newfoundland and Labrador with political shocks and surprises. On 4 January Premier Danny Williams (Humber West) announced the departure from Cabinet of the transportation and works minister and minister of Labrador affairs, John Hickey (Lake Melville), “pending further information on a review currently being done by the Auditor General … into constituency allowances” (Executive Council,News Release, 4 Jan.). Four days later Auditor General John L. Noseworthy submitted separate reports to House of Assembly Speaker Harvey Hodder (Waterford Valley) on double-billing by Hickey and Progressive Conservative member of the House Assembly (MHA) Kathy Goudie (Humber...

  21. Obituaries
    (pp. 257-260)
  22. Election tables
    (pp. 261-264)
  23. Index of names
    (pp. 265-274)
  24. Index of subjects
    (pp. 275-290)