Linking Regions and Central Governments

Contracts for Regional Development

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A trend toward decentralisation has meant that sub-national governments increasingly find themselves responsible for providing a host of public goods and services. Rarely, however, can they "go it alone". Co-ordination among levels of government is imperative. This book offers a unique analytic framework for assessing multi-level governance arrangements, which is subsequently applied to five case studies of regional development policy: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The book reveals the importance of contractual arrangements for customised management of interdependencies, for clarifying responsibilities among actors, for dialogue, and for learning.

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The Case of Canada

This chapter examines the use of inter-governmental agreements as contracting mechanisms for Canadian regional development policy. It begins with a review of the decentralisation context, followed by a brief summary of Canadian regional development policy. The chapter then turns to three case studies, each of which describes a different inter-governmental agreement: The Vancouver Urban Development Agreement, The Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement, and The Canada-Nova Scotia Gas Tax Transfer Agreement. The analytic framework presented in Chapter 1 is used to assess the “fit” between the co-ordination contexts and contractual arrangements that characterise each of these three agreements.

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