How Does Canada's Decentralized Federation Impact Environmental Regulations

Reeba Khan
2019 Federalism-E  
This paper argues Canada's decentralized federation plays an influential role in thwarting environmental regulations at the federal and provincial levels of government. The text is structured as follows: the author's argument comes first, which is followed by an opposing viewpoint and a subsequent rebuttal reaffirming the author's stance. The paper's evidence is based on scholarly journal articles, lectures, and textbooks. The author's arguments build on the Constitution's ambiguity regarding
more » ... biguity regarding environmental responsibilities: the ambiguity promotes a piecemeal approach to environmental regulations at the provincial level. This results in unsynchronized policies across Canada which weakens the overall efficacy of the environmental policies. Moreover, despite attempts at clarifying environmental responsibilities there is still dissonance because Canada is a decentralized federation. Subsequently, the federal government cannot force synchronization or compliance. Furthermore, at times, the federal government must underplay its hand even when it takes constitutionally charged actions because sound environmental actions require provincial actions as well. Ultimately, this paper showcases how decentralized federalism plays federal and provincial level governments against each other when it comes to environmental regulations. This results in poor environmental policies at all levels of government.
doi:10.24908/fede.v21i1.13849 fatcat:bdleriev5bhknlbrojtxu6s5uy