British Journal of Canadian Studies

Transitions in regional development policy implementation in Canada: the cases of New Brunswick and Manitoba

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2013), 26, (1), 105–128.

Abstract

Research on policy implementation in Canada and around the world is seeking to address the nexus of the mandates, resources, and cultures of public agencies and their wider institutional and socio-political context. This article examines the implications of the transition in the framing of policy implementation processes from ‘administration’ to ‘governance’ by looking at regional economic development policy implementation in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Manitoba since the mid-1980s. These two provinces are part of geographically determined regions classified under Canada's official regional development policy as socioeconomically disadvantaged in relation to the rest of the country. Regional development policy itself has undergone a noticeable shift in policy discourse among public managers over the past decade towards an emphasis on ‘promoting innovation’ as the rationale for policy intervention. The implications of these transitions suggest that policy implementation or program delivery tasks in complex intergovernmental systems are best viewed as strategic, and not merely operational.

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Conteh, Charles