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Canadian federalism and international trade agreements: Evaluating three policy options for mitigating federal-provincial conflict

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
The division of powers that has evolved under Canadian federalism regarding the negotiation and implementation of international treaties divides these responsibilities between the federal and provincial governments respectively. This division of powers, however, does not accurately reflect the changing nature of international trade agreements, which are increasingly addressing areas of provincial responsibility. The result will likely be increased resistance from the provinces to implementation should they not play a more substantial role in the negotiation of future agreements. This thesis examines the Canadian trade policy formulation process and evaluates three mechanisms by which provinces have been or could be involved in it: consultation, ratification, and provincial participation in Canadian negotiating delegations. The appropriateness of each of these options is evaluated based upon criteria of constitutionality, representativeness, efficiency and acceptability to international actors. The conclusion discusses situations in which each option might be desirably pursued and challenges to greater provincial involvement.
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