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Intergovernmental Economic & Social Policy

The Mowat Centre’s research on intergovernmental economic and social policy looks at issues that matter to Ontarians and to Canadians through the lens of our federal system. Canada’s federal character shapes the economic and social policies that are essential to Canadians’ prosperity and well-being. Our research is focused on informing strong debates and sound decision-making on public policy for our federation. This includes a strong emphasis on Ontario’s unique place in the federation and perspectives on federal policy decisions.

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Latest research

April 25, 2018

Race to the Top

Developing an Inclusive Growth Agenda for Canada

Governments around the world are coming to grips with the realization that growth needs to lead to more broadly-shared prosperity. There is a growing recognition that many of the benefits of globalization and free trade policies have not been broadly shared. More
March 28, 2018

Portraits 2017: International Trade & Globalization

Most Ontarians support international trade agreements and a majority of Ontarians support more rapid globalization. These are among the main findings in the latest report from Mowat’s Portraits 2017 survey series. More
March 6, 2018

Portraits 2017: Immigration & Diversity

Most Ontarians remain comfortable with current levels of immigration and with the province’s growing diversity, and there is increasing support for welcoming those fleeing conflicts. More
December 20, 2017

Portraits 2017

A Fresh Look at Public Opinion and Federalism

This sesquicentennial year has provided Canadians with an opportunity to celebrate their country’s achievements, to consider how it has changed and to reflect on how it needs to adapt to current and pending challenges. More
December 11, 2017

Balance of Risks

Vertical Fiscal Imbalance and Fiscal Risk in Canada

Provincial governments have responsibility for delivering most of Canada’s important social programs, whereas the federal government has the discretion to pick and choose how much it wants to spend to support them at any given time. This results in a fundamental imbalance in the amount of “fiscal risk” federal and provincial governments are exposed to. More
December 6, 2017

The Road to Paris

Navigating the intergovernmental path to our climate commitments

This paper looks at a key reason behind Canada’s persistent failure to meet its self-imposed climate change commitments, and proposes a new institution that will be important to overcoming this failure. More
June 16, 2017

How to Build a Skills Lab

A new model of institutional governance in Canada

To better align the skills of Canada’s workers with the needs its of employers, significant shortcomings with respect to labour market information need to be overcome. More
June 15, 2017

The Seventy-Five Year Decline

How government expropriated employment insurance from Canadian workers and employers and why this matters

In the latest paper from the Mowat Centre, University of Victoria's Donna Wood — one of Canada's foremost experts on EI — argues that Canada's employment insurance system has in effect been expropriated by the federal government at the expense of workers and employers. More

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A series of research papers that look at the social architecture — the  suite of social programs and policies familiar to generations of Canadians — that offer some fresh ideas on how to introduce change and renewal.

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