Managing Diversity: Federal-Provincial Collaboration and the Committee on Extension of Services to Northern and Remote Communities

Description

173 pages
$19.00
ISBN 0-88911-039-5

Year

1983

Contributor

Reviewed by Paul G. Thomas

Paul G. Thomas is a political science professor at the University of
Manitoba and the co-author of Canadian Public Administration:
Problematical Perspectives.

Review

The book represents a fine piece of research and report writing. It describes an important innovation in the field of communications policy where an effort was made to reconcile a desire for more constructive federal-provincial collaboration with respect for the jurisdiction of a national, semi-independent regulatory agency, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. On the basis of interviews with political and bureaucratic participants, government reports, and press clippings, Ms. Murray has written a sophisticated and detailed account of the origins, operations, and impact of the CRTC Committee on the Extension of Services to Northern and Remote Communities (more popularly known as the Therrien Committee in honour of its chairman, Real Therrien). Serious students of communications policy and federalism will be intrigued by the account, but general readers would find the book a difficult read. The study confirms the difficulty of integrating the regulatory process with the constitutional and political fights over jurisdiction in the rapidly changing field of communications. Still, the author concludes optimistically that the Committee represented “a creative blending of province and country, French and English, and two assertive orders of government.” The fight over which level of government will assume primary control over emerging communications technology continues with recent announcements that Ottawa will add the regulation of satellite dishes to the jurisdiction of the CRTC and the pending decision on whether to prosecute operators of unlicensed satellite services. Individuals interested in such issues would be well advised to consult this important case study in the regulatory process.

Citation

Murray, Catherine A., “Managing Diversity: Federal-Provincial Collaboration and the Committee on Extension of Services to Northern and Remote Communities,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/36750.