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Equal as Citizens

No matter where they live, Canadians expect and receive equal benefits from their government when it comes to old age pensions, consular services when travelling abroad, and airline safety. Canadians also expect the same quality of education, medical care, and social benefits anywhere in the country. But when government services come from provinces and not Ottawa, differences in the quality of services can be enormous. Canada’s provinces have equal responsibilities but very unequal means to pay for those responsibilities.

Equal citizenship for all Canadians is an idea that has a long and distinguished pedigree in Canadian life. When differences between the provinces grew dramatically in the early twentieth century, politicians crafted a response that sought to equalize services across the country. They called these measures "equalization," and the idea was deemed so fundamental that it was embodied in the 1982 Canadian constitution.

But Canada has changed. The centre of wealth has been shifting from Ontario toward the resource-rich provinces. The wealth gap between provinces has grown — and with it disparities in taxes and services available to citizens. Regionalism and neoconservative ideas have undermined support for equal citizenship.

In this compelling new book, Richard Starr traces the history of this idea. He tracks how it has been undermined and attacked, and proposes how it can be reframed in a twenty-first century context to attract the support of most Canadians.

Richard Starr

RICHARD STARR has worked as a journalist, public servant, broadcaster, political staffer and policy adviser. He is author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, and two works of non fiction. A lifelong student of Maritime history, Starr is married to playwright and former MP Wendy Lill. They live in Dartmouth.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price

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Introduction outlines the process to be undertaken in the book and the reason for writing about eqality of citizenship in relation to Canada 11 $1.10

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1860s to 1890s. Examines the influence of Charles Tupper and Samuel Leonard Tilly’s influence on the maritimes in terms of confederation. They convinced the maritimes of the benefit of … 20 $2.00

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1890s-1914. Differences between provinces are explored. Maritimes want a cut of the taxes. Takes economics and taxation into account in the analysis 14 $1.40

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1933-43. Angus L MacDonald led the Liberals back to power in Nova Scotia in 1933, Maritime economic change due to protective tarriffs, Nova Scotia argues for reparations on the ground of damage … 19 $1.90

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Dominion-Provincial Conference on Reconstruction, August 6, 1945, Prime Minister and Canada’s Premiers meet to discuss the reconstruction of Canada, no agreements but paved the way for the … 18 $1.80

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1950s – 1962 Looks at the origins of equalization in Canada, although the program is usually assiciated with smaller provinces it was originally carried out to accommodate the big provinces 14 $1.40

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1950s – 1960s. The beginnings of medicare and the Canadian Pension Plans are explored 16 $1.60

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1970s. October Crisis of 1970 challenges the social services being developed and an economic downturn occurs, leading to the rise of neo-conservativism, arguments against equalization 20 $2.00

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1980s. The re-election of Pierre Trudeau to the PM in 1980, constitutional reform (National Energy Policy and Charter of Rights0, The Canada/US Free Trade Agreement, the MacDonald Commission, 16 $1.60

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1990s. A tumulteous decade for Canada the main cause of turbulance being constitutional, the Reform Party, the McMahon thesis and rebuttles against it. Provincial studies of Ontario and Alberta … 15 $1.50

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1990s. Looks at the emergence of a counter to the Welfare State built on two tennents self-help through entrepreneurship and economic efficiency through intergovernmental cooperation using the … 13 $1.30

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1990s. Focuses on the relationship between provinces and the Federal Unemployment Insurance Program, looks at an attack on fisherman who applied for UI because it was felt seasonal workers did … 17 $1.70

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Early 2000s. The 50-50 suplus split of 1999, survey of Ontario’s political and economic landscape in an analysis of cash transfer from the federal government, counters this through an … 15 $1.50

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Looks at the Defeat of the Liberal Party in 2006 and the policies that were then enacted by the Harper Government. Outlines the arguments about equalization that occurred after the Harper … 13 $1.30

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Looks at different formulas for calculating the equalization payments that provinces should receive and compares what would have been given based on each formula showcasing that the Harper … 16 $1.60

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Analysis if the provinces were able to offer comparable levels of public service and examines how the Harper 2011 health funding and earlier ransacking of equalization left a giant disparity with … 19 $1.90

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looks at comparable rates of taxation, income disparity, employment rates, regional development between the provinces concluding that Canada is not meeting the goal of equal citizenship 13 $1.30

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Outlines the need for the framework of equalization to change. Goes through shifts in provincial power that occurred in 2012, outlines a building up of energy to discuss changing equalization … 19 $1.90

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Offers concluding throughts on what is discussed in the chapters and outlines why the topic of equal citizenship needs to be addressed leading up the Canada’s 150th 8 $0.80