Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Getting It Right

Getting It Right: Regional Development in Canada

Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 360
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Getting It Right
    Book Description:

    Getting It Right is the first "insider's" account of this period of regional development in Canada. Harley McGee draws on his experience with the government at senior regional and departmental levels, and on primary and secondary sources, to examine the evolution of federal regional development policies and the structures developed between 1970 and 1991 to implement them. He dispels some of the myths and challenges some of the perceptions about the manner in which regional development has been tackled by governments in Canada. He explores the federal-provincial dimensions of regional development, as well as the difficulty of reconciling the perceived dichotomy between national and regional policies.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6351-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Tables and Charts
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. xxiii-2)

    Students of regional development will find a richness of resource material on the subject in libraries across the country. The Economic Council reference above, which is a quotation from its own first annual review of 1964, puts in perspective the influence that geography, geology, and climate have had on settlement patterns and economic activity in Canada. What is also apparent in reviewing the literature is the sometimes prominent, sometimes subtle, but always present federal-provincial relations aspect of the regional development effort and the political compromises that have prevailed over time. This book includes discussion of that relationship and of the...

  8. Chapter One Regional Development: The Canadian Context
    (pp. 3-33)

    One thing that strikes a researcher of regional development policies in Canada is the range of opinions held by those having any connection with the subject, be it politician, bureaucrat, academic, economist, business, or casual observer. Governments form a separate category because they represent the combined views of politicans and bureaucrats and they may be influenced to a greater or lesser extent by all the others who see fit to express a point of view. It is only governments, however, that make deliberate policies and take specific actions aimed at influencing regional economies. This does not prevent everyone else from...

  9. Chapter Two dree: Dispelling the Myths
    (pp. 34-86)

    Under no other mantle has the federal government, aided and abetted by provincial governments, focused such deliberate, coordinated attention on regional economic development as it did under the Department of Regional Economic Expansion, created on April 1, 1969. Numerous other federal actions over time acknowledged the economic differences that existed and continue to exist across Canada. dree was, however, to be the government’s intended solution to regional economic inequality in this country. The solution was to be achieved by focusing and consolidating the full attack on the problem in this one central department. This was the intent, despite the fact...

  10. Chapter Three dree in Retrospect
    (pp. 87-124)

    In 1978 richard phidd and Bruce Doern, after reviewing various policies and approaches to regional development practised to that time, said, “Thus the management of regional economic development policy is a complex activity. It would appear that neither a pure market system with its bias in favour of moving people to jobs nor an exclusive public sector strategy designed to create jobs in the lagging areas regardless of cost can solve the dilemmas in regional development policies which we have outlined.”¹ The dilemmas were many—the coordination of federal efforts, the perceived conflict of regional development policy with national economic...

  11. Chapter Four After dree: drie and mserd
    (pp. 125-148)

    The mandate announced for the new Department of Regional Industrial Expansion included the enhancement of the administration of regional programs and an improvement in the government’s capacity to pursue balanced industrial growth on a national basis. The department was to focus the government’s industrial policies and programs in support of regional development strategies. drie would concentrate on deriving industrial benefits from major projects, engaging the private sector in dialogue focused on development opportunities, and facilitating industrial adjustment.¹

    Public sector reorganizations, particularly of the magnitude of the dree/itc merger and related Mserd and External Affairs changes, involve an array of activities...

  12. Chapter Five New Directions?
    (pp. 149-190)

    By 1986 it was important for the Conservative government to put its stamp on the regional disparity problem in Canada. Notwithstanding an upsurge in economic activity and employment in the mid-1980s, prosperity reigned unevenly across the country. It was easy for the government to criticize past regional development policies, more difficult to devise new ones. On June 4, 1986, regional development ministers, building on their statement of principles for regional economic development of a year earlier, commissioned a study on regional development assessment. The study was to be conducted jointly by federal and provincial officials for submission the following year...

  13. Chapter Six Evaluation
    (pp. 191-219)

    Evaluation means different things to different people. It has been fashionable to base success or failure of a particular policy, program, or action of government on the degree to which it can influence quantifiable performance indicators. Latterly, influential authorities, including the Economic Council of Canada and the Macdonald Commission, have cautioned that judging economic and social performance on the basis of numbers alone is not sufficient.¹ Evaluation experts have long been aware of this. Draft evaluation guidelines circulated by the federal Treasury Board Secretariat (tbs) in 1978 observed that performance indicators were but one important element of a management information...

  14. Chapter Seven Prescriptions
    (pp. 220-246)

    Most of the prescriptions for improving regional economic circumstances in Canada’s regions fall short of addressing the difficulties the implementor faces in translating these theories into practice. The widely quoted Economic Council of Canada study of 1977,Living Together: A Study of Regional Disparities, phrased its recommendations as framework policy statements, rather than as specific courses of action to be followed.

    The Atlantic Development Council, in its 1978 report, “The Atlantic Region of Canada: Economic Development Strategy for the Eighties,” listed at least seventy recommendations for action by governments and the private sector, but presented its report as a general...

  15. Chapter Eight Conclusions
    (pp. 247-264)

    Federal regional development policies have included centralized explicit regional development programs, provincial implementation of federally designed schemes, rural-based efforts, targeted industrial programming, the growth-pole concept, federal-provincial design and management of regional development initiatives, decentralized federal administration, explicit and ad hoc organizational forms, dedicated development agencies dating from the 1960s, and almost continuous change of policy direction. Federal departments with no dedicated regional development mandate have pursued national policies that have enhanced or contradicted regional economic progress. All policies have found their expression in program, management, and organizational terms. On the evidence, it has to be concluded that decentralized program design,...

  16. Appendix 1: Comparison of gda and erda
    (pp. 265-270)
  17. Appendix 2: Representative Projects
    (pp. 271-274)
  18. Notes
    (pp. 275-310)
  19. References
    (pp. 311-318)
  20. Index
    (pp. 319-329)