Synergy Session: Atlantic Canada Cooperation: Vision or Hallucination?

With Dr. Luke Flanagan, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Memorial University.

Friday, November 29, 2013, McCann Centre, Memorial University, St. John's, NL

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Session Description

Individually, each of the Atlantic provinces has little political clout in Ottawa, and are likely to have even less clout as Canada's economy focuses more and more on the West; their voice would be stronger if it was united. Furthermore, the four provinces -- and especially the three Maritime Provinces -- have much in common and would greatly benefit from shared governance. Yet, despite an attempt in the early 1970s and the subsequent creation of the Council of Atlantic Premiers, there is relatively little collaboration taking place among the four provinces.

What are the centrifugal forces that continue to make regional cooperation relevant, and what are the centripetal forces that stand in the way?

This presentation will provide a historical review of collaborative governance efforts in Atlantic Canada and examine the tea leaves regarding future collaborations.

Dr. Luke Flanagan is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Luke completed his PhD in 2013 at the Centre of Canadian Studies, University of Edinburgh. His thesis addressed the question of a political union of Canada's Maritime provinces (known as Maritime Union) between 1960 and 1980. Luke's broad research interests relate to interprovincial cooperation in Canada. His current research is focused on attitudes to intergovernmental cooperation in Newfoundland during the 1960s and 1970s. He is also engaged in research on links between East Sussex and Canada during the First World War.