Cheque-book Federalism

The power of the purse in federal hands can shape national policies across the country. The phrase “cheque book federalism” reflects the fiscal realities and political tensions baked into expenditures of tax revenues.

Supporters of an aggressive “cheque book” approach say it fosters national unity and national program standards from coast to coast to coast. Opponents, though, believe such spending risks undermining provincial jurisdiction.

The Team Canada approach to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic – which tore huge holes in government budgets across the country – miraculously muted most concerns over cheque book federalism, at least temporarily. 

Image source: iPolitics

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