The political economy of provincial economic development policy : a case study of Manitoba

Thumbnail Image
Chorney, Harold
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The existence of marked regional economic disparities in Canada has made provincial governments very conscious of their potential role in stimulating provincial economic growth. Where provincial develop- ment policy is committed to growth as a primary goal, it is likely to promote growth at a considerable cost - both opportunity and direct costs to itself. These costs will be increased to the extent that the provincial government is enamoured with economic growth as a societal goal above all other goals (for example improving the welfare of its citizens, eliminating poverty or redistributing income); to the extent that the provincial government is committed to competing with other regions in promoting growth through offering locational incentives to industry; and the lower the province's position on the growth scale to begin with. Given the structure and concentration of ownership in Canada, provinces which attempt to promote their rate of growth under the above conditions will tend to provide risk capital and other major concessions to foreign corporations. Thus provincial development policy is a positive influence in accelerating the rate of location of foreign owned industry in Canada. The Province of Manitoba from 1958 to 1969 adopted this growth policy under these conditions. A study of this period in Manitoba reveals that the consequences outlined above did in fact follow from this policy.