Smith leads B.C. team in $2.5 million project

April 01, 2004, vol. 29, no. 7
By Marianne Meadahl

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SFU political science professor Patrick Smith will lead a B.C. team participating in a $2.5 million study to help create better inter-governmental partnerships.

Smith, along with SFU colleagues, Kennedy Stewart and Peter Oberlander, and three other B.C. researchers, will examine how federal, provincial and municipal governments can work together, as well as with voluntary and business interests, to tackle pressing municipal issues.

Besides contending with such issues as deteriorating roads and transit systems, increased demand for affordable housing and integrating new Canadians into their communities, municipalities are also facing greater involvement in finding solutions for everything from SARS to power blackouts.

Over the next five years, a series of conferences and publications will be generated, starting with a B.C. research team meeting this spring. “Like most societies, Canada has experienced what former premier Mike Harcourt describes as an urban tsunamai - we are now an urban nation - and urban affairs is back on the policy agenda,” says Smith. “Issues of multi-level governance, and the intergovernmental relations implied, will be central to ensuring Canada contributes urban solutions to global problems.”

Researchers will study how policies are formulated in each region across Canada looking for factors in successful policy making. They'll examine the strategies various municipalities use to attract and retain knowledge workers.

Led by University of Western Ontario professor Robert Young, who holds a Canada Research Chair in multilevel governance, researchers from 15 Canadian universities, the U.S., Belgium, South Africa and Germany will take part in the study.

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