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April 11, 2014

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Is it time to re-think how we manage federalism?

The Canada Health Accord between the federal and provincial governments expired last month. What is next? Pensions, education, income support, employment services, and social services are at risk when Ottawa pulls away from the provinces.

University of Victoria researchers at UVic’s new European Union Centre of Excellence are leading a series of workshops across the country to look at social policy reform, in particular using the European Union experience for inspiration on ways to reform and renew social programs in Canada. Social policy researchers say the basic frameworks for managing intergovernmental relations for Canada’s social safety net are outdated, absent or under-utilized.

“Having studied the European Union for more than two decades, and having witnessed Canadian politics in that same time frame, it seems that there is a lack of coordination within the Canadian Federation. Canadians should take notice of other models of cooperation—especially those that exist in the EU—a place with 28 nations and 24 official languages. If they can coordinate there, why not here?” says Dr. Amy Verdun, EU expert and UVic political scientist.

EU experts, researchers from across Canada, policy practitioners and interested citizens will participate in the workshops to be held in six cities across Canada (April 14 to May 16, 2014). More information about the workshops is available here: http://eucaworkshops.com/.

The new European Union Centre of Excellence (EUCE) announced earlier this year involves five faculties and 12 departments across the UVic campus. The EUCE will coordinate lectures, workshops, summer schools, student travel and student research grants.

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  Media Contacts:

Dr. Amy Verdun (Dept. of Political Science) at 250-721-7491 or averdun@uvic.ca (email preferred)
Anne MacLaurin (Social Sciences Communications) at 250-217-4259 or sosccomm@uvic.ca

For EUCE-related inquiries, please contact project manager Nicole Bates-Eamer at 250-721-6490 or eusproj@uvic.ca

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