Provinces: Canadian Provincial Politics


532 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 1-55111-090-3
DDC 320.971






Reviewed by Paul G. Thomas

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


This fine collection of 19 essays covers four broad dimensions of
Canadian provincial politics: social and economic differences, political
structures, the administrative machinery, and public policy in several
fields. Written by political scientists, the essays are intended to
serve students in university and college courses in provincial politics,
public policy, and public administration, but not all the contributors
succeed in explaining complex theories and avoiding dense jargon. Still,
the book is very much overdue, given the fact that other available works
either are outdated or focus on a narrow aspect like provincial party

For many decades, provincial governments have been more than the “bit
players” who are brought onto the Canadian political stage for brief
cameo appearances in the main textbooks on Canadian politics. Political
culture, party systems, pressure groups, and Quebec’s distinctive
political community provide the focus for Part 1. Part 2 examines
provincial constitutions, cabinet systems, legislatures, courts, and
provincial– municipal relations. Public service reform, governance of
Crown corporations, budgeting, collective bargaining, and the tangled
mess of federal-provincial fiscal relations are the focuses of Part 3. A
comparative examination of pro-vincial public policy in a number of
fields is featured in Part 4. Each of the essays is based on extensive
scholarship and careful conceptualization. All contributors are
recognized authorities on their particular topics. For the faculty and
students involved with courses in provincial politics, this book will
prove to be a source of valuable insights.


Provinces.., “Provinces: Canadian Provincial Politics,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 15, 2024,