Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Alfred Hecht

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Regional economic disparities have always been a topic of concern for the geographer as has the alleviation of this problem. In examining government efforts in this area, one must be aware of the parameters placed on such action by the established system of government.

Federalism, in the same way as other major forms of government, is supported by a voluminous amount of theoretical material. This literature discusses the foundations of this system of government but also delves into some of its inherent problems. Such problems have led many political scientists to advocate co-operative federalism, a more contemporary form of this government, and to abandon, to a certain degree, the older dualistic notion characterized by its strict hierarchical division of powers.

The dualistic character of the Canadian British North America Act of 1867 has created a situation of unclear jurisdiction over regional development within the Canadian system of government. With arguments and motives for both senior levels of Canadian government to become involved, Ontario has witnessed, over the past decades, a significant effort to battle regional disparities within its borders. The result has been a large number of both provincial and federal programs with ultimately similar goals and yet with varying emphasis and varying efforts for intergovernmental co-operation. The appearance of the General Development Agreement between Canada and Ontario signalled the revitalized intention of the two governments to continue in their efforts to work together.

However, with equal vigor, the two bodies also continue to conduct unilateral regional industrial development programs. Each pours large sums of money into portions of the province. Although they are both working within the same geographic region of the country, the two programs vary as do their actions. The elimination of any costly administrative duplication in the field of regional economic development is hampered by the political system of the country.

Convocation Year