K03(b) - A Critical Perspective on Policy-Making in Canada
Date: Jun 4 | Time: 10:30am to 12:00pm | Location: SWING 110
Chair/Président/Présidente : Brandon Boyd (MacEwan University)
Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Réal Carrière (University of Manitoba)
Between the Rock and a Hard Place: A Critical Discussion on the Changes in Governance Structures of Ontario Universities from the Perspective of Administrative Law: Nergis Canefe (York University), Soren Frederiksen (York University)
Abstract: This joint paper critically examines some of the admin law issues in Canadian higher education. It provides an intervention to the Canadian legal literature in terms of re-evaluating organizational autonomy and self-governance practices of universities in Ontario since the early 21st century. Overall layout of the project: 1. Introduction 2. Academic freedom + institutional independence a. Academic independence / Academic freedom (I think these are different but related things) b. Canadian examples of attacks on academic independence c. International examples of attacks on academic independence 3. Legal Analysis: The Lens of Administrative Law a. Ontario b. Other provinces c. Constitutional protections 4. Policy Analysis a. Is this setup resistant to inappropriate political meddling? b. What changes would be appropriate? 5. Conclusion The core idea of our study is to look at how structurally independent or dependent are Ontario institutions of higher learning and the degree to which that relative autonomy is related to more fundamental concepts like academic freedom, etc. We have been co-teaching administrative law and ethics for close to a decade and we very much like to be part of the ongoing conversation at the upcoming annual conference.
Ontario Pension Policy Making and the Politics of CPP Reform, 1963-2016: Benjamin Christensen (Douglas College)
Abstract: For the first time since 1965, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) was enhanced to expand benefits for Canadian workers. Following an extended period of “policy drift” (Myles, 2013), these reforms were shaped by the structural failures of Canada’s workplace pension system, in which coverage has decreased since the 1980s. Drawing from 22 semi-structured interviews with pension experts, this presentation explores Ontario’s central role in these reforms. The deteriorating condition of corporate plans, coupled with rising retirement income insecurity across the province’s labour force fueled Ontario’s campaign for CPP reform beginning in the late 2000s. Analysis of federal policy change, therefore, begins at the provincial level, examining policy making in Ontario since the 1960s and its impact on federal pension politics. Finally, the implications of pension policy expansion in a time of neoliberalism and significant opposition from important social and partisan interests will be considered. As such, this research identifies a new period of pension politics that emerged in Canada after 2009 that led to CPP enhancement, moving Canadian pension policy beyond the characterization of “policy drift”.
Collaborative Governance Regimes and Power Asymmetry: Prescriptions for Power Sharing: Roya Rouzbehani (University of Victoria)
Abstract: Fragmentation of authority is ubiquitous and presents key challenges for policy makers. Authorities need to establish cross-sector collaboration to achieve policy objectives but they are sometimes reluctant to do so because of many challenges which can be linked to power asymmetry. Few studies have tackled this problem through power sharing but they failed to explore the key factors which affect the degree and symmetry of power sharing among stakeholders in collaboration. In this research, I identified seven factors which influence the relationship between power sharing and effectiveness in collaborative governance. These factors include system trust, antecedent conditions, resource control, type of network, nature of collaboration, communication, and trade-off analysis. These factors provide insights on how the power dynamics in collaboration can be managed to facilitate cross-sector governance regimes.