How Ottawa Spends 2004–2005: Mandate Change in the Paul Martin Era


403 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography
ISBN 0-7735-2713-X
DDC 354.710072'2




Edited by G. Bruce Doern
Reviewed by Graeme S. Mount

Graeme S. Mount is a professor of history at Laurentian University. He
is the author of Canada’s Enemies: Spies and Spying in the Peaceable
Kingdom, Chile and the Nazis, and The Diplomacy of War: The Case of


This is the 25th edition of How Ottawa Spends, a commentary on the
activities of the federal government. Most of the contributors are
professors or Ph.D. students at Canadian universities.

There is a wide range of topics. Editor Bruce Doern, a professor at the
School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University, notes
the challenges facing Paul Martin since he became prime minister (the
merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives, the
sponsorship scandal, the fact that Martin and associates spent such
effort attaining power that they did not have time to plan for using
it); and Doern wonders whether Martin—or any one person—can handle
the workload that the prime minister has set for himself. Michael Hart
and Brian Tomlin review Canada–U.S. relations

in the aftermath of September 11: the challenges of keeping the border
open; whether further integration of the economies would be
advantageous; Canadians’ dislike of George W. Bush; and doubts about
the war in Iraq. Douglas Macdonald, Debora VanNijnatten, and Andrew
Bjorn doubt the Martin government’s commitment to the Kyoto Accord,
and Michael Wenig discusses Ottawa–Alberta relations in connection
with energy. There are articles on the federal government’s finances,
social policies, fisheries management, and the ethics commissioner.
Unlike most collections of this type, this one has no article on
relations between Ottawa and Quebec City.

Judging the merits of these articles is difficult, because it is too
soon to tell. The articles are scholarly—well written and well
documented—deal with important subjects, and summarize what pundits
say elsewhere. All that is very convenient. However, whether Paul Martin
will be able to manage his workload, what Canada will do in fulfilment
of the Kyoto Accord, and whether the border will remain relatively open
remains to be seen. This is hardly the fault of the editor. When the
book went to press, Paul Martin was in the early stages of his mandate,
and it was uncertain whether Russia would ratify the Kyoto Accord and
the Accord would become law. Stay tuned for the 26th edition.


“How Ottawa Spends 2004–2005: Mandate Change in the Paul Martin Era,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,