The Politics of Fiscal Federalism: Equalization Policy in Canada

Event

6th Floor, 680 Sherbrooke St. W., QC, H3A 3R1, CA

This talk by Prof. Daniel Béland is part of our Winter 2020 Policy Lecture series. These academic talks are intended for McGill students, alumni and faculty.

How should federal money be distributed to Canada’s provinces? The federal equalization program attempts to address fiscal disparities between provinces. In part because of its explicitly redistributive nature, equalization is a source of political controversy. The rhetoric of equalization critics such as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has become increasingly contentious at a time when the federal program features prominently in debates over issues such as carbon pricing and pipeline building. How can we make sense of these recent developments? What is the future of equalization in Canada and what steps can we take to improve the program, from a political standpoint? The answers to these questions are not straightforward but addressing them now is particularly vital in the context of a Trudeau Liberal minority government that faces increasing pressures to reform fiscal federalism in Canada.

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About Daniel Béland :

Daniel Béland is Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and James McGill Professor at the Department of Political Science at McGill. A student of politics and public policy, he is currently working on research projects focusing on issues ranging from universal social policy and health care reform to the role of ideas in policy development and the relationship between fiscal policy and welfare state development.

Professor Béland holds a PhD in Political Sociology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), where he returned as a visiting scholar in the spring of 2014. A Part-Time Professor at the University of Southern Denmark from January 2014 to December 2017, he has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University and the National University of Singapore, a visiting professor at the University of Bremen, the University of Helsinki, the University of Southern Denmark, and a Fulbright Scholar at The George Washington University and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Before joining McGill University in January 2019, he held a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) at the University of Saskatchewan (Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy).

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