Still Living Together: Recent Trends and Future Directions in Canadian Regional Development


459 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-88645-047-0
DDC 338




Edited by William J. Coffey and Mario Polese
Reviewed by Andris E. Roze

Andris E. Roze was an urban planner and designer in Toronto.


This volume is a compendium of 15 papers prepared by 17 authors on the very complex subject of regional economic development. All but one of these papers were originally presented at a national conference held at Dalhousie University in October 1985.

Since the early 1960s Canada has been regarded as one of the world’s leading practitioners of governmental policies that are aimed at reducing regional economic disparities. In 1977 the Economic Council of Canada produced a critical evaluation of these policies entitled Living Together: A Study of Regional Disparities. Still Living Together can be viewed as a re-examination of the issues raised by that earlier study in the light of the two intervening decades.

The first four papers or chapters form Part One of the volume and together they examine the statistics and trends of regional growth in Canada. The examination encompasses a wide range of economic and demographic factors starting with basic population and income analysis but also including such items as value added, sectoral share changes in employment categories, location quotients, and federal transfer payments.

Parts Two and Three, containing chapters 5 to 11, take a look at some familiar and some new factors that are shaping the regional dimensions of the Canadian economy. Multi-national firms, corporate decision-making, urban dominance, energy policy, offshore oil development, changes in technology, and investment in universities are the seemingly disparate factors that are examined and found to create important regional differences.

The final three chapters of the volume form Part Four, which establishes a framework for appraisal of current and future policies on regional development. This includes an examination of the efficiency of transfer payments and the trade-offs between efficiency and need to equalize development opportunities in Canada.

This publication is a state-of-the-nation review of all the pertinent statistics, policies, and issues of regional economic development in 1985. As such it is a very valuable resource for professionals and academics in this field. It will probably become a benchmark as did its predecessor. It is not, however, easy reading for those with a casual interest in regional development.


“Still Living Together: Recent Trends and Future Directions in Canadian Regional Development,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 12, 2024,