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We could be set for better relations between the feds and the provinces: experts

(Courtesy Liberal Party of Canada

Liberals taking on more intergovernmental responsibility

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Are we set for a new age of better relations between the feds and the provinces as our new prime minister takes on responsibility for intergovernmental relations?

The buck has always stopped with the prime minister on intergovernmental relations anyway, says UBC’s Max Cameron, but Justin Trudeau’s decision to formally give himself that ministerial role indicates he’s looking to change what was more of a top-down relationship under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

“The decision to take on [intergovernmental] relations is an interesting one,” says Cameron. “Certainly as we watched the campaign and listened to Mr. Trudeau speak about his vision for a new government, the idea of working more closely with the provinces did come up repeatedly.”

Cameron says this could particularly be felt when it comes to health and education.

“The decisions about how funding will be allocated to the provinces [could change],” says Cameron. “Mr. Harper’s approach was, ‘here’s a set amount,’ and provinces will do what they like with that.”

Cameron notes other prime ministers have taken on ministerial roles before — so this isn’t entirely unprecedented.