As reflected by the results of the 2011 census, the creation of new House of Commons Seats and the ongoing news about the westward titling of the economy, it is clear that the nature of the Federation is shifting. The latest research from the Canada West Foundation looks at the consequences for the region and the country, now that the West is truly “in”.
Taking Stock of the Federation by Dr. Roger Gibbins, President & CEO and Robert Roach, VP, Research, is the synthesis report from a roundtable held on February 9, 2012 in Calgary. This roundtable gathered sixteen participants who provided their insights on the contemporary political landscape, the likely direction of future change, and the potential for strains within the federation across the four western provinces.
“Each region in Canada is vitally important,” notes Dr. Gibbins. “While differences between the regions have evolved, they are still key variables in both Canada’s political environment and the economy. For the federation to work well, we must ensure that all regions— including the West—are heard, understood, and integrated into the whole.”
While participants expressed a general sense of optimism about the region’s future, they also highlighted some significant challenges western Canadians will face in securing a new position within Canada and the global economy. By addressing issues like market access, sustainable environmental management, labour shortages and a fiscally unbalanced federal state, we can ensure that the future remains bright.
Taking Stock of the Federation is part of Foundation’s The West in Canada initiative, which examines public policy innovation in the West, discusses and recommends ways to improve the Canadian federation, and analyzes regional economic, demographic and public opinion trends. Click here for your copy of the report.