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How Ottawa Spends 2011-2012

Trimming Fat or Slicing Pork?

How Ottawa Spends 2011-2012    
Format Softcover
Catalogue No. 978-0-7735-3918-1
Pages 329
Language English only
Price $32.95
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Edited by G. Bruce Doern and Christopher Stoney
Published by McGill-Queen's University Press, 2011.

This is an annual publication. The 2011-2012 edition was released September 2011.


Continuing the excellent standards and traditions of timely scholarship, the 2011-2012 edition of How Ottawa Spends critically examines national politics, priorities, and policies, with an emphasis on the austerity measures and budget-cutting strategy of the Harper Conservative government; it also includes an analysis of the outcome of the federal election in May 2011.

Leading scholars from across Canada examine a new era of "life under the knife" in the context of the Harper agenda after five years in power, the partisan calculus of a minority Parliament, and a deep global recession still in crisis mode. Given the budget-related pressure for an election, the book poses questions about the degree to which the budget agenda involves the political arts of "trimming fat" versus "slicing the pork" of partisan spending. Several closely linked political, policy, and spending realms are examined, including economic stimulus, environmental assessment, energy and climate change, health care, science and technology, immigration, and northern strategy (including affordable housing). Related governance issues such as the use of new media, regulatory budget cuts, Industry Canada as an economic regulator, and federal compensation costs are also discussed in detail.

  • Harper Budgeting in a New Majority Government: Trimming Fat or Slicing Pork?
  • Part One: Politics and Strategies for Restoring Fiscal Balance, Economic Growth, and Governance Renewal
    • Into the Wild: The Politics of Economic Stimulus
    • The Case for a Fundamental Governance Review
    • Controlling Federal Compensation Costs: Towards a Fairer and More Sustainable System
    • Regulatory Agency Budget Cuts: Public Interest Support through a Better Approach
  • Part Two: Selected Issues and Departmental Realms
    • Harper Energy and Climate Change Policy: Failing to Address the Key Challenges
    • Time to Get Serious about the Strategic Environmental Assessment of Federal Government Policies and Plans
    • Science and Technology in Canada: Innovation Gaps and Productivity Traps
    • Health Care Spending and the Politics of Drift
    • Industry Canada as Economic Regulator: Globalive and the Lessons of Political Licensing
    • Use It or Lose It?: The Conservatives' Northern Strategy
    • Who Pays, When, and How? Government-Assisted Housing in the Northwest Territories and the Role of the Federal Government
    • The Harper Immigration Agenda: Policy and Politics in Historical Context
    • Embracing a New Relationship with Canadians: Addressing Barriers to New Media Adoption in Canada's Public Service
  • Appendix A: Canadian Political Facts and Trends
  • Appendix B: Fiscal Facts and Trends
Contributors include Frances Abele, Caroline Andrew, Vandna Bhatia, Neil Bradford, Francois Bregha, David Castle, G. Bruce Doern, Nick Falvo, Mary Francoli, Ruth Hubbard, Derek Ireland, James Lahey, Douglas Macdonald, Eric Milligan, Leslie A. Pal, Gilles Paquet, Peter W.B. Phillips, Richard Schultz, Christopher Stoney, Kernaghan Webb, and Wei Xie.

About the editors:
G. Bruce Doern is a professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University and in the Politics Department at the University of Exeter.

Christopher Stoney is a professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University.

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This page last modified: September 12, 2011

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