by Jason Clemens, Niels Veldhuis
October 23, 2013
One of the constant pressures within countries organized along federalist grounds, like Canada, is the balance of power between the central and sub-national levels of governments—provinces or states. Federalism is a political system whereby a group of jurisdictions has chosen to bind themselves together by covenant. Disputes regarding tax powers, spending authority, legislated mandates, and regulatory encroachment are but a sample of the many struggles observed on an ongoing basis in federalist countries between the two levels of government. Very little attention has been given in Canada to the ways other federalist countries manage similar strains. The aim of these essays is first to understand how other federalist countries transfer resources between the two levels of government as well as between jurisdictions at the subnational level. Second, we hoped for insights into possible improvements in Canada’s arrangements and indications of areas for research in the future.