The Metropolitan Governance Dilemma

The Metropolitan Governance Dilemma: Bigger, Better? Or End Of The Line? Canadian Perspectives-American Comparisons

by Patrick J. Smith, Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University
for the British Columbia Political Studies Association Conference, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, May 5-6, 1995

	Several authors have raised questions recently about the increasing
dilemma of metropolitan government in Canada and the United States: posed
simply this dilemma is ÒIs bigger better? or ÒAre we at the end of the line for
current metropolitan governing structures?  At issue is the capacity and
effectiveness of existing metropolitan institutional arrangements to cope with the
broad range of issues - from service delivery and preservation of livability to
accessibility and accountability - that are the policy legacy of post WWII
metropolitan reforms.  Some critics have concluded that "the simple truth is that
urban areas in Canada, and elsewhere, have become too big to be governed
by metropolitan or regional authorities of the type introduced in Canada from
the 1950's to the 1970's.  Their time is past.... The era of traditional metropolitan
and regional reform is over." (Sancton, 1992)  Others have suggested that
senior governments will offer little in the way of solutions to the new urban
governance dilemmas, being "indifferent" (the 'feds') or "ambivalent" (the
provinces) to the challenges of public policy on metropolitan change. (Frisken,

	The Comparative North American Metropolitan Governance Study,
PERSPECTIVES, Rothblatt and Sancton, 1993) detailed at least three types of
limitations to current institutional frameworks from this earlier era of metropolitan
	i) jurisdictional limitations which confine them to advisory roles and
narrow responsibilities;
	ii) territories which cover only a portion of the metropolitan region;
	iii) enormous coordination difficulties among the numerous local (and
senior governmental) jurisdictions [perhaps best epitomized by the 1,250 local
governing units of the Chicago region.] (Rothblatt and Sancton, 1993; Fillion,

	This paper explores the nature and basis of this Ôend of metropolitan
governmentÕ argument.  It assesses it in the context of  experience in major city
regions in North America.  It assesses alternative policy options.  It concludes
with a discussion of recent proposals for managing growth and governance in
British Columbia and poses the counter argument that metropolitan governance
is a real alternative to metropolitan government as it has evolved over the past
forty years.  To respond to the current ÔimpasseÕ confronting metropolitan
circumstances more generally, however, will require greater flexibility, not least
on the part of senior provincial/state jurisdictions, and the need for city-regional
authorities to test the outer limits of their powers and capacities.

I  The End of Metropolitan Government?
	The initial post World War II attempts to reform local government were
largely driven by efficiency concerns, usually over the provision of what Bish
has called Ôengineering servicesÕ. Bish. 1991)  At the centre of early attempts to
provide reforms for these 'cracks' in the local governing system, were provincial
governments.  Initially in Ontario and then more generally, provincial authorities
imposed regional governance solutions to the major service challenges of the
1950's, 1960's and early 1970's.  In some instances, as in British Columbia, this
'imposition' was "gentle". (Tennant and Zirnhelt, 1973).  In all instances, it
centred on the physical service delivery solutions for such dilemmas as water,
sewers, and transportation.  In that, it was generally considered a success, at
least initially. The regional frameworks constructed in this 1950's-1970's era of
metropolitan reform did develop "the servicing infrastructure needed to
accommodate the growth pressures" of the time. (Sancton, 1992)
	By the late 1980's/early 1990's, however, as Sancton and others have
argued, these metropolitan institutional arrangements had simply been
outgrown.  For Sancton, the crisis was based on the fact that "the capacity of
metropolitan and regional governments to plan for and provide new urban
infrastructure has been shown to be limited."  This was certainly the case in
trying to fit and define city region boundaries, according to Sancton. (1992) He
posed "getting on with the job rather than engag(ing) in constant structural
tinkering" as the best solution here.
	The substantial lesson from recent comparative research on metropolitan
governance in North America. (Rothblatt and Sancton, 1993)  was the definition
of the current crisis of city regions as an inability to adequately deal with growth
management.  As noted by one reviewer, the comparative analyses of nine
metropolitan regions in Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver)
and the U.S. (Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Houston and the San
Francisco Bay Area) "paint a sorry picture of metropolitan governance in North
America by pointing to the incapacity of even the more successful forms of
metropolitan administration ... to tackle critical issues such as urban sprawl....
The reader is left with the impression that metropolitan institutions are too feeble
to control urban development and influence the delivery of services."
(Filion,1994, 179)
	For Sancton, three central "lessons" emerged from this 1950's-1970's
metropolitan reform experience:
		i) "Multiple two-tier systems serve no useful purpose;"
	          ii) "Municipal consolidation is not the answer;" and
	         iii)  "City-regions need a regional institution," (Sancton, 1994)
Yet in its current form, Canada has become an urban/metropolitan nation, with
61% of its 1991 (census) population living in one of the 25 Census Metropolitan
Areas (CMA) - compared with just over one-quarter (26.7%) fifty years ago - so
that problems with re-organizing service provision, livability, local/regional
governance and intergovernmental relations become increasingly obvious, as
Sancton argues, as prospects appear less than certain. (Smith, 1994)

	Part of the dilemma of developing metropolitan policy options for the
current crisis stems from the fact that the provincially-inspired reforms of the
initial era of metropolitanization largely avoided the perceived more politically
contentious issues of governance:  issues such as representation and
accountability.  Yet, as Porter has concluded, governance issues are the first
order priorities in better understanding the policy and practice of metropolitics:
The broader issue of governance concerns what form of government can best
respond to changing urban forms; and how those entities are to be both efficient
in accomplishing their objectives and responsive to a diverse citizenry....
Traditional divisions of city, county and state governments may no longer be
best suited to address these issues. (Porter, 1989, 181)

	This general omission by senior provincial authorities is crucial for, as
Godschalk and Brower contend, governance solutions are at the centre of
solutions to growth management issues in the 1990's: ÒOne of the most
troubling issues is that of governance.... Many of the other types of issues stem
from or are related to governance issues.... Research is needed on the types of
organizations and techniques that will work in (a) ... fragmented governance
system.... This issue concerns the form of governance.... It centres on the
feasibility, political and legal, of broadening authority for growth decisions
beyond the local government, and on the effectiveness of alternative forms of
governance.... There is work to be done on governance issues, ... existing
approaches, .. as well as recommendations for new approaches. (Godschalk
and Brower, 1989, 163-65)

	For Porter, this new metropolitan agenda would involve approaches for
the following: a) those areas where smaller units of government can effectively
solve	problems;
		b) conversely, identify issues that have impact beyond the
boundaries of existing local governments, and propose new ... structures to
address them; and
		c) provide models for regional and state (provincial) decision-
making (and service provision) in metropolitan areas where local 	decisions
are currently made by many fragmented governments, as in Chicago. (Porter,
1989, 181)
	Even when some of the previously ignored governance issues were
revisited subsequently by senior jurisdictions, as by Ontario in Metropolitan
Toronto or the Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton, on matters of
representation and the issue of direct election, provincial authorities have
generally remained ambivalent.  Generally, local governments have remained
the primary basis of regional governance, through systems of indirect election to
the upper metropolitan level - for example, in Greater Vancouver, Victoria's
Capital Region or in the Niagara Region in Ontario (where the Province did not
act on proposals for change to direct election as the appropriate regional
representative form. [Koscak and Siegel, 1988])  Similarly, in the most recent
(December, 1993) recommendations for governing the Montreal city-region,
direct elections were also rejected by a provincially-appointed Task Force, even
though the Task Force included proposals for a solution to the metropolitan
boundary issue through the creation of a "Greater Montreal" largely coterminous
with the current CMA. (Task Force on Greater Montreal, 1993)
	Central to finding current policy solutions to the dilemmas posed by the
challenges of growth management and metropolitan governance is resolution
of related questions - about structure and capacity, leadership and function, and
appropriate roles for both senior and local authorities.  Assessing prospective
answers will involve a rethinking of senior (particularly provincial) government
involvement, as well as appropriate roles for local governing units and even
sub-local entities. It will entail a review of current intergovernmental (including)
fiscal arrangements; here, much of either need not involve constitutional
change. (See, for example, BergaminiÕs FCM Brief)  It will necessitate a
recognition of the impact of global forces with which Canadian city-regions deal
on almost a daily basis. (Cohn and Smith, 1994)  It will also require greater
flexibility of response, for, as Frances Frisken has recently argued, existing
differences both within and among Canada's metropolitan areas have become
more rather than less pronounced.  This "internal heterogeneity and persistent
metropolitan differences can be related to the context in which metropolitan
areas have evolved." (Frisken, 1994, 15)  It also suggests that something less
than a detailed metropolitan template will be part of the answer.
	Here John Griffith's caveat is apt: in describing the intergovernmental
dimensions of central-local relations in Britain, Griffith noted that "any
generalization evokes shouts of protest.  Every example can be shown is some
way to be unrepresentative and ill-chosen"  (Griffith,1966,17) These
relationships are Òformal, informal, statutory, non-statutory, legal, extra-legal,
financial, official, personal, political, functional, tragical-comical-historical-
pastoral.Ó (Ibid.)  William Barnes, of the National League of Cities has argued
this is also the case in the United States: "there is no model of state-local
relations in the USA.  It all depends on the state."  (Barnes, cited in Gilbert and
Stevenson, 1993, 143).  If Frisken, Barnes and Griffith are correct, the result is
not that nothing can be learned from comparative analysis;  simply that no new
metropolitan paradigm is likely.  What Griffith proposed as a "way out" of such a
dilemma was the knowledge that "some aspects ... are more important and
more universal than others." (Griffith, 1966, 17)
	In this regard, it is useful to restate that the initial pressures for reform of
local governing structures in Canada's city-regions were efficiency driven.
Many of the current pressures are on the accountability side of the  efficiency-
accountability equation [Peter Self has contended that efficiency and
accountability issues represent the central dilemma in public administration.  He
has portrayed them as zero-sum related. (Self, 1977, pp.277-79) The (Lambert)
Royal Commission on Financial Management and Accountability, 1979, agreed
that these values were central;  rather than seeing them as zero sum, however,
the Commission portrayed them as inextricably linked.]  Here concerns about
representation, accessibility and accountability abound.
	In terms of prospects, however, solutions posed indicate a multiplicity of
responses.  Sancton's recent reviews have suggested that "it is time to
reconceptualize provincial governments as institutions primarily concerned with
the major issues of urban life.  Local governments would have a crucial role in
delivering services and expressing local opinion.  The role, if any, for existing
top-tier metropolitan and regional authorities is much more difficult to envisage."
(Sancton 1992; 1994)  Yet Frisken has found "little evidence that a pro-urban
value system motivates federal or provincial governments either to help cities
adjust to the disruptions associated with global economic restructuring or to
counteract the processes promoting decentralization and dispersal within
individual metropolitan areas." (Frisken, 1994, 32)
	After being pushed from more significant policy involvement in Canada's
urban life by provincial objections to federal constitutional "intrusions", (See
Oberlander and Fallick,1987) the federal government has become "generally
indifferent to the nature and needs of metropolitan Canada", according to
Frisken. (1994, 32)  Sancton shares this view: "Given the evolution of federal-
provincial relations since the demise of the Ministry of State for Urban Affairs, it
is highly improbable that, as long as Quebec is within Canada, there will be any
expanded role for the federal government as an urban policy maker." (Sancton,
	With regard to governmental responses, that only leaves provincial (or
state) possibilities or local/regional self-definition as prospective bases for
solutions to the current metropolitan dilemma.  Garber and Imbroscio have
noted that one of the defining differences between Canadian and American
cities is the close supervision exercised by provincial versus state governments
over municipal administration. (1992)  Jones, and Smith, (1988) came to a
similar conclusion.  The capacity of provinces to intervene in local/regional
matters is, at least, in direct relation to the degree of divergence of local/regional
intent from provincial policy interest.  The higher the divergence - and resulting
frustration and conflict - caused by local governments, the more likely that
senior authority will respond formally/jurisdictionally to the perceived
recalcitrance of their local authorities. (Jones, 1988, Smith, 1988)
	Thus, one might conclude that a major part of the solution would be
found in provincial response.  On this, Frisken is much less sure than Sancton:
Canada's provinces have been energetic in "protecting their constitutional
hegemony in municipal affairs" (Frisken, 1994, 20) but "provincial governments
have shown little willingness to exercise firm or consistent management of the
pace and pattern of metropolitan expansion, despite their extensive powers
both to administer municipal affairs and to regulate the use of private property....
(T)he attitude of ... provincial governments has typically been ambivalent.
Although they have initiated an impressive variety of institutional arrangements
for planning or administering metropolitan areas, they have seldom been willing
to provide the support needed to make these arrangements effective." (ibid.,22)
	For Frisken, "what tends to draw them back ... (provincial governments
have been unable to ignore issues associated with metropolitan expansion for
very long) ... are the rising costs of local and regional services (particularly
transportation and sewer and water) to which they make large financial
contributions." Yet, even here, "short term economic considerations ... tend to
crowd out concerns about long-term costs ... especially during periods of
recession, (where) pressures on provincial governments to control the pace and
pattern of ... expansion are likely to be overwhelmed by pressures to ... provide
relief to provincial revenues." (Ibid.,22-23)  Such pressures, and the attendant
financial and service off-loading by provinces might imply a reduced role for
provincial intervention rather than that suggested by Sancton.
	The financial pressures felt by provincial governments noted here should
not be underestimated, however.  Whether in the neo-conservative agenda
driven response of Alberta premier Ralph Klein to force amalgamations of
provincial school boards, halving them in the process, in the fiscally-driven
reorganization, and centralization, of various ÔlocalÕ services in John SavageÕs
Nova Scotia or in the softer-leftist action of the Harcourt-NDP government in
British Columbia in legislating province-wide negotiation of all school board-
related financial matters, provinces clearly feel compelled by the fiscal
imperatives noted by Frisken.
II:  Agenda Setting Options
	In terms of local-senior governmental relations - particularly as exercised
by provincial or state legislatures - Victor Jones has reminded us of the need to
distinguish between legal authority to act (Òthe right of a legislature to create,
modify or destroyÓ) and power (Òthe ability of the authority to act in full or in part,
to exercise unfettered choice to act at any time, any place, or to any extent it
choosesÕ) [Jones, 1988].  Jones describes the state-local relationship in the
U.S. as like that between Jiggs and his cat [from the funny papers: Jiggs Òfinally
recognized the difference between authority and power when after repeated
attempts to put the cat out for the night, followed each time by the catÕs re-
entrance through other doors and through many open windows (the multiple
cracks in the organization) he gave up and said: ÒWell, stay in then. I will be
obeyed.Ó Ó]   For Jones, local governments in the United States have
considerable capacity for intergovernmental play - like JiggsÕ cat - while state
governments Òoften behave like Jiggs.Ó (Jones, 1988)
	My own commentary on Jones analysis accepted the more cat-like
qualities, or at least circumstances, of American local governments, but argued
that Canadian local authorities were more like beavers - a rodent rather than
feline, with a stronger sense of jurisdictional danger, but one life and a clearer
aptitude for sensing the downsides of extensive intergovernmental conflict with
its senior partners. (Smith, 1988)  Many useful reminders of the exercise of
senior (particularly provincial) authority exist in Canada for local jurisdictions.
Jones did add a useful caveat to this comparative understanding, noting that
even with more institutional capacity for ÔplayÕ, U.S. local governments still
largely remain, as in Judge DillonÕs famous 1868 ruling, Òmere tenants at willÓ of
state legislatures, [City of Clinton v Cedar Rapids and Missouri River RailRoad
Co, 1868, 24 Iowa 455, 475] just as local authorities remain Òcreatures of the
provinceÓ in Canadian constitutional terms.   Thus, for Jones, the key authority
Òquestions are when, how, and where will the (senior) state governments
exercise their will against their recalcitrant or innovative children.Ó (Jones, 1988)
	It is with local innovation (if not so much with recalcitrance) that any
discussion of new metropolitan agenda setting in Canada must begin.  City-
region alternatives to ways out of the current urban crisis do exist.
Considerable current city-regional-metropolitan agenda setting does represent
a challenge to much traditional thinking and agendas on urban problem
solving.  As such, proactive policy stances by city-regional authorities would
seem a necessary component of challenges to create Ônew agendaÕ
recognition, standing and outcomes. This new agenda setting has begun and
takes several forms. Some of its aspects are global, (for example, on
environmental concerns, immigration, or monetary and trade instabilities);
others are domestic: (apart from the need to recognize and act upon alternative
global policy choices, city-regions face three fundamental ÔdomesticÕ problems,
according to James Lightbody: (a) a fiscal reality where Òhistoric sources of
revenue in no way match contemporary city expenditure responsibilities;Ó  (b)
the fact that Òthe legal boundaries of cities in the metropolis have not for
decades been coterminous with the problems to be resolved politicallyÓ and  (c)
the fact that Òin responding to the cash crisis of deficit and public debt, broader
scale governments have ... been downloading the servicing of their
responsibilities unto cities.Ó) (Lightbody, 1995, Ch.1) Increasingly, many items
on the Ônew urban agendaÕ are simply ÔintermesticÕ: Òsimultaneously, profoundly
and inseparably both domestic and international.Ó (Manning, 1977, 309)
	If such policy dilemmas for city regions persist and there is at best
uncertainty as to the role(s) of senior - particularly provincial - governments in
providing significant policy direction for a new urban agenda in Canada, how
might this agenda emerge?  Here two themes stand out: The first is what might
this new agenda look like. The second is who will define the agenda setting -
and equally importantly, its implementation. In terms of governance in our city
regions, these are clearly linked: who will do the agenda defining will determine
its content to a considerable extent.
	The shape of the new metropolitan agenda is best exemplified by the
debate between (a) public choice dominated local/metropolitan Ôgovernance by
the marketÕ; and (b) empowered city governance, with an emphasis on
democracy, redefined citizenship and urban sustainability.
	(a) For Hamel and Jalbert, Canadian municipalities, traditionally
Òconsidered as political instances with limited powers, subordinated to the
provincial and federal sectors of the stateÓ, have found Òthe balance in the
relations between the principal components of Canadian federalismÓ revised by
the recent economic crisis, with local authorities Ôcalled upon to play a more
active role in the countryÕs economic recovery.Ó (Hamel and Jalbert, 1991,
p.171). In the circumstances of a more Òfragmented and hierarchical stateÓ,
many municipalities Òhave made new relations with the private market and
adopted a more entrepreneurial attitude without waiting for the word from senior
governments.Ó  For Hamel and Jalbert, Òin opting for the virtues of neo-
corporatism, they (Canadian municipalities) have to a certain extent anticipated
the neo-liberal reforms introduced by the federal government and the
provinces.Ó (Ibid.)  Certainly, with regard to privatization initiatives, for example
on urban services, cities have often  anticipated and been full partners in the
agenda setting for more minimalist market-oriented government.  Some of this
has been a product of ideological stance, some of perceived local financial
necessity.  Hamel/Jalbert have seen it mostly as a product of Òdeclining
autonomyÓ. (Ibid., 176-182)
	In comparative terms, they concluded that Òconservative forces in
Canada have not had such a resounding success as in the United States or in
Great Britain in redirecting the management of public affairs to the advantage of
the better off.Ó (Ibid.,190)  Still, in Canada, as elsewhere, the urban crisis of the
1980Õs and 1990Õs, and the neo-corporatist policy influences of the public
choice school are not new.  As Gutstein (1975), Magnusson and Sancton
(1983), Hamel and Jalbert and others have argued, Òone should speak less of a
neo-corporatist turn than of a return to a former line of action since, at the
beginning of the century, business circles were already successful in
influencing the formulation of municipal policies.Ó (Hamel/Jalbert, 191)
	In terms of city responses to their circumstances of increasing global
interdependency, there was some tendency throughout the 1980Õs towards a
business driven approach to such municipal Ôconstituent diplomacyÕ. (Smith,
1993) In cities such as Vancouver, for example, (then) Mayor Gordon Campbell
(1987-1993) stated that Òin addition to friendship, economic and cultural
opportunities must be re-enforced ... to optimize (the) economic benefitsÓ of
municipal global activity.  Not all city administrations took as narrow a view.
	(b) As an alternative, Peter Self has recently sketched out a general
outline of a new post public choice policy agenda - a basis for creating more
responsible state entities. (Self, 1993, 262-281)  It is less a call for a return to
Keynesian states (national or local) than a proposal for a new governance and
policy paradigm.  (See Johnson, McBride and Smith, FUTURE WORK:...,
Halifax: Fernwood, 1995, forthcoming, for a more detailed assessment of
ÔresponsibleÕ states) A new metropolitan agenda would appear to reflect some
of these same policy preferences. For Self, there are five components to this
Òbetter governmentÓ agenda:
1. Resource Goals: while market techniques can contribute toward resource
goals, Òthe desirable redeployment of resources (for example, Òin educationÓ,
Òurban infrastructure and developmentÓ and Òenvironmental maintenance and
improvementÓ) requires action by governments and depends upon government
initiatives and financing....Ó  (Ibid, 267-8)
2. Full Employment: while primarily the responsibility of senior governments,
Self notes that Òa shift in resources into neglected social needs would largely
resolve the unemployment problemÓ, and more flexibility and Òshorter working
hours could then go with fuller opportunities for community service and political
participation.Ó (268)  As senior governments download more social
responsibilities, such issues become - as they often were historically - more at
the local level.  The debate between the City of Vancouver and the GVRD over
the use of unused Ôindustrial landÕ is a case in point.  The GVRD see much of
this as a basis for future housing;  Vancouver responds with a concern that such
lands provide a future for employment of its citizens. (See City of Vancouver,
ÒCity of Vancouver Industrial Lands StrategyÓ, (Vancouver: Planning
Department, July, 1994; see also re: May 13th, 1995, inter-neighbourhood
Planning Conference on Òthe flatsÓ; cited in Robert Sarti, ÒFalse CreeK: Flats
Residents Opposed To Flat-Out DevelopmentÓ, VANCOUVER SUN, March 28,
1995, p.B1)
3. Social Welfare: Òbasic social services are best provided within a
comprehensive public framework as civic entitlements.... Private provision in
such matters ... is undercutting the quality of public provision and efforts to
contain costs.Ó  As senior jurisdictions bail out of social responsibilities in the
name of deficits, local authorities see the social costs rise. ReaganÕs Ônew
federalismÕ worked for the wealthy.  It devastated cities in America in the
process.  Any new agenda for city-regions will need to take this in to account.
4. Environmental Goals: while the full extent of the environmental revolution
is still not assimilated into public policy, it is gradually receiving Òa new form of
economics or social accounting, which will analyze ... the necessary
requirements of a sustainable society.... The necessary initiatives and
standards, together with a substantial programme of public works, again
depend upon governmental initiatives.Ó (269)  On such questions as global
warming, examples such as the Urban Carbon Dioxide project, developed by
cities on three continents, demonstrate the interest and will of city regions to
contribute to local and global environmental problem solving. (See Smith, Can
J of Urban Res, 1992, for more on this.)
5. The Equity Principle:  Òthe problem of equity is that a great variety of policy
decisions, taken separately and in different forums, produces a total distribution
of costs and benefits which may be far from equitable.Ó  Issues such as land use
planning, preservation of urban agricultural lands, green space and the like are
urban issues at point here.
	Applying these in the context of a new metropolitan agenda, many of the
policy options revolve around a debate about Green vs Global cities.  Recent
discussions of the changing realities of urban life in Canada have sometimes
posed these as competing values for city-based policy makers. (For example, at
a May, 1994 Vancouver Conference on ÔGreening Our City: Sustainable Urban
Communities in the Vancouver Region.) Yet there is considerable evidence that
rather than viewing these approaches as zero-sum opposites, many city regions
are pursuing policy choices which assume the resolvability of these two
approaches.  (see Smith , ÒGreen vs Global:...Ó, Atlantic Provinces Pol. St. Assoc
paper, Oct., 1994, for more on this theme.)

	The ÔglobalÕ aspects of the new agenda for cities might better be
described as ÕglobalistÕ, with evidence of more prescriptive policy stances.  By
the end of the 1980's, the policy environment had shifted. Other policy
dilemmas were emerging which placed city strategic policy considerations in a
much broader setting.  Economic considerations remained important, but city
activities related to concerns identified by the Brundtland Report,  the Summer,
1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and local
studies on preserving livability now were becoming integral parts of city policy
action locally and in metropolitan constituent diplomacy.

III: New Metropolitan Policy Making

	In terms of who will take responsibility for this agenda setting, the picture
is slightly less clear.  There is broad agreement that, in Canada, it will not be the
federal government, even with the mid 1990Õs $6 billion urban infrastructure
initiative of the Chretien Liberal administration. [That does suggest the need to
recognize a continuing and important role for the ÔfedsÕ, however.] What remains
to be resolved are the future roles of (a) provincial, (b) local and (c)
metropolitan/regional governments.

	(a) For Sancton, provincial authorities will be the key players in
reconceptualizing metropolitan governance.  For Frisken, provincial
governments are at best ÔambivalentÕ about urban matters.  The reality is that
provinces will be more involved, less ambivalent and important-but-something-
other-than the key actor in new metropolitan agenda setting.  That appears the
case in Greater Vancouver (and throughout B.C.)
	(b) Local governments will remain important vehicles for democratic
access and input, as Sancton has envisaged them. As Oberlander and Smith
concluded, Òin some instances, local governments are the essential (though not
exclusive) decision makers.Ó (Oberlander and Smith, 1993, 367)  In some
settings what will be required will be amalgamations to create units of more
equitable size, etc. Here, the provinces will be necessary actors.  There is clear
recognition of political limits on any reforms/reorganizations with even the
appearances of ÔmoreÕ government.  In both Montreal and Vancouver (if not
Toronto and Ottawa), local governments will remain significant structures in
metropolitan planning and governance., even where provincial governments
will also play importasnt roles.  This is only partly a product of the Ôno new
governmentÕ theme;  it is also a result of positive thinking on ensuring Ôlocal buy-
inÕ on regional solutions.
	(c) Metropolitan/Regional governance forms will remain significant.  What
is at question is the form(s) it might take.  Sancton has been the most
pessimistic about metropolitan government as a vehicle to resolve the urban
crisis.  Here, more than boundary issues impact.  Not all metropolitan regions
face the dilemmas of the Greater Toronto Area or the San Francisco Bay region,
however.  In settings such as metropolitan Vancouver, Oberlander and Smith
concluded that Òit  is entirely possible to talk of regional governance as a viable
alternative to more traditional forms of regional government.Ó (Oberlander and
Smith, 1993, 367)

	Provincial responses exist and are varied.  In Ontario, there is indication -
for example, through representative and functional reforms in Metropolitan
Toronto and Ottawa Carleton (Smith, 1993) - that the province sees more
significant regional authorities as the way out.  It is not a view shared by
Sancton.  It is also not the only option.  In British Columbia, the model of
metropolitan governance rather than government has recently been re-
enforced.  In Greater Vancouver, for example, the GVRD, which since 1983 has
lacked formal planning authority, has spent almost five years (through its highly
consultative Creating Our Future process) determining 54 ÒLivability GoalsÓ.
These include plans for a doubling of the regionÕs population over three
decades and how that growth will be ÒsharedÓ by member local municipalities in
(and immediately beyond) the regional district.  While a variety of local-regional
problems remain - for example, the linking/timing of rapid transit and other
transportation improvements to particular municipalities Ôbuying inÕ to the details
of the broader growth management consensus - considerable local consensus
did emerge in the metropolitan region without formal regional authority existing.

	What remained was a way out for any issues that might become/remain
too contentious for local-regional resolution.  Here, the province have
suggested a closure solution that allows for continuing local responsibility and a
major regional role.  It has proposed a provincial Growth Management Act (by
Spring, 1995) with a Òstep-by-step mediation processÓ via provincial ÒrefereesÓ.
The intention is to ÒstrengthenÓ the regionÕs planning powers, but not to the
extent where these could override local plans as in pre-1983. Rather Municipal
Affairs Minister Darlene Marzari indicated that Òthe consensus approach needs
bolstering and assistance.Ó (Minister Marzari, at Ministry-GVRD Strategic
Planning Committee meeting, Burnaby, Wed., May 22, 1994)

	While there was overall agreement amongst the 18 municipalities and 3
electoral districts on the 54 regional action steps, two questions remainedÓ
1. ÒCan we afford the future we desire? Can we afford it all at once?Ó
2. ÒWhat regional mandates are required to enable regional actions to respond
LIVABLE REGION,1993, p.7)  Much of 1991 to 1993 was taken up with trying to
answer these two questions.  This included developing functional plans and
programs on air and water quality management, liquid and solid waste
management,land use and transportation planning, major parks and green
space planning and health care/hospital planning.  The process also included
development of a Regional Strategic Plan and Transportation Plan
(1991-1993) with green zones, growth management centres and a Transport
2021 Plan;  and a refined Creating Our Future Action Program now with 36
Policy Statements.  These were first considered in October, 1992, revised by
the Council of Councils (a unique provincial-local entity) in December, 1992
and adopted by the GVRD Board in February, 1993.  These revised policy
statements reflected (I) Ôprogress made on implementation of some of the
specific actionsÕ contained in the 54 steps; (ii) Ôto delete actions ... not supported
by the GVRD member municipalitiesÕ; (iii) Ôto recast policies in a form that is of
more general applicationÕ; and (iv) Ôto clarify the intent of some of the
statementsÕ. (Ibid) [Ed Note: the GVRD publications refer to 35 policy
statements; their publications include 36!]  The 36 policy statements were of
three types: 1. Principles: Òunderlying beliefs which are the foundation of the
GVRDÕs approach to Regional Issues.Ó 2. Strategic Policies: these Òapply to
a broad range of issues or concerns which, because they are interconnected
and interdependent, can best be addressed in a concerted way.Ó And
(iii)Operational Policies: which Òdeal with a single or limited area of

	On Maintaining A Healthy Environment, four statements cover
water quality, one solid waste, and eight on air quality - a total of fourteen; on
Conserving The Land Resource,five are on creating a Green Zone and
five on Transportation; on Serving a Changing Population, six policy
statements were agreed; on Maintaining the RegionÕs Economic Health,
three policy statements were adopted;  and on Managing the Region, four
policy statements were agreed, including the commitment to develop a Òclear,
effective and fair working relationship with the provincial governmentÓ and Òto
pursue mandate changes to meet established regional goals.Ó (Ibid., pp.9-21)

	That the GVRD achieved such policy consensus without formal planning
authority attests to the conclusion that planning regionally has become an
accepted staple of governance in the Vancouver region.  Intergovernmental
ÔdefeatsÕ - such as on planning in 1983 - for the regional district have not altered
this Ôregional accordÕ.  There have been intra-regional tensions - such as on
industrial lands between Vancouver and the GVRD or with municipalities such
as Burnaby on issues of tying regional growth sharing being tied to particular
transportation (particularly rapid transit) improvements. [See, for example, City
of Burnaby, ÒGVRDÕs Residential Growth Targets for Burnaby: WhatÕs Your
View?Ó, October, 1994)

	Over the past three years, the provincial government has been engaged
in a series of policy discussions around returning some form of regional
planning capacity to regions.  Legislation for the 1995 session of the BC
legislature was prepared as Draft Legislation in January, 1995:  entitled
PLANNING SYSTEM, the legislation was essentially posed as a Green
paper - for discussion:  Its principles reflected the theme of regional governance
(a feature argued here and one increasingly preferred by Sancton) over
regional government.  It also reflected a more activist (if limited) provincial
government role than that suggested likely by Frisken.  It also contained some
of the features for provincial government involvement suggested by Sewell for
Ontario - particularly the idea of more transparent provincial intentions for its
role(s) in city-regions.  Its major features were:
1. No New Institutions: existing structures rather than a new superstructure
or a new level of government.  Local planning would be strengthened and
2. Voluntary Participation - Most of the Time:  as in Montreal, local Ôbuy-
insÕ are the B.C. watchword;  ÒHowever, as a last resort, Cabinet should be able
to require regional strategies for regions where extreme growth rates or
community change indicate a need and the local governments are slow to react
cooperatively.Ó  At the moment, the fast growth areas include the Lower
Mainland, the Capital Region, the Okanagan and the Central Island.  In the
later, there is currently a dispute over whether the mid island Regional District
should develop a regional water system via a dam or whether the main
municipality with previous water rights should.  No agreement seems
forthcoming.  This would appear one of the types of issues where the provincial
Ôintervention;Õ would apply.
3. Compatibility - a Bias toward Agreement: local and regional plans
must be compatible; an interactive system giving equal weight to OCPÕs and
Regional Strategies will be used.
4. Dispute Resolution - as a last resort:  ÒTo be effective, the planning
process has to reach closure and that means differences must be resolved.Ó
Every opportunity for local solutions/negotiations will be afforded. ÒHowever, if
the process breaks down late in the game, there must be a mechanism that will
result in closure.  Here the province intends to institute an arbitration process.Ó
5. Broad Based Consultation - early and often: that is, early and
ongoing public participation.
6. Regional Diversity - Regional Flexibility: every region in B.C. is
different; the new planning system must be flexible to account for this economic,
geographic and other differences.
7. Provincial Direction and Support: Òthe provincial government should
put its cards on the table and make its expectations clear - through general
goals and provincial policy guidelines.Ó
8. Early Provincial Involvement: Òkey provincial ministries and agencies
should be involved early and continuously.Ó
9. Provincial Commitment: Òthe province should be guided by regional
strategiesÓ, through partnership agreements.

	The release of the draft planning legislation in January, 1995, included
consultation through six regional workshops for local politicians, a public
workshop, five regional meetings with planners, meetings with the Urban
Development Institute and the Vancouver Board of Trade, as well as with other
provincial ministries and agencies.  This produced broad agreement on Growth
Strategies, the purpose of planning, voluntary vs mandatory legislation (except
on issues in stalemate), flexibility, growth strategy plans, consultation,
interactive planning, the need to achieve agreement, and on provincial
involvement;  First Nations involvement was also agreed, as was the idea of a
new system would utilize existing governance structures. (See Draft Plan,
Appendix B)  The final package has still to be introduced but it continues the
existing metropolitan governance scheme represented by current regional
district legislation, with a more obvious provincial component.  In that it is
consistent with the governance vs government theme, and with SanctonÕs later
(1994) thinking; namely, that the province will play an extended role in
metropolitan planning and governance.


	Metropolitan policymaking and agenda setting in Canada has taken a
variety of forms.  No one template seems to fit all circumstances.  But as Griffith
concluded Òsome aspects ... are more universal than othersÓ. (Griffith, 1966, 17)
The major conclusion of this assessment is that all levels of government (and
governance) - federal, provincial, regional and local - will continue to be
important components in setting metropolitan policy agendas and in solving the
policy dilemmas of our urban regions in Canada.

	One key factor, as Sancton has noted, is a metropolitan governing
structure which is Òflexible and adaptableÓ.   SanctonÕs conclusion that the
GVRD with restored and expanded planning powers would be the appropriate
model is more than is necessary.  An enhanced regional district system as in
B.C. with provincial arbitration only when local-regional systems cannot reach
growth management policy closure would appear to suggest a more tandem

	Finally, Frisken offers a second key; namely, that Òmuch of the onus for
meeting (the) challenges (of global economic restructuring, urban growth,
decentralization and dispersal) is falling on municipal authorities;  whether they
test the outer limits of their powers or use those limits as excuses for inaction;
whether they cooperate or compete with each other; and whether they persist in
traditional land-use practices or undertake to modify them, their activities will
have a considerable influence on the future form of metropolitan areas and the
distribution of advantages and disadvantages within themÓ in Canada.  (Frisken,
1994, 32)

	As noted elsewhere (Smith in Lightbody, 1995), Frisken is uncertain
Òwhether or not Canadian local governments (will) acquire the capacity or
willingness for purposeful actionÓ; (Ibid.)  there is considerable evidence that
local and regional governments in many Canadian settings have the
willingness.  Her comment about Òtesting the outer limits of their powersÓ is the
clue to how they will find the capacity.  It will not be straight-line progress.
Senior provincial authorities will at times find such ÒtestingÓ recalcitrant; but it is
already occurring. In Greater Vancouver, it has largely been successful
because of the extensive public consultations at the normative planning level -
beginning with the LMRPB after 1948, with the Livable Region plan by the
GVRD in the late 1960Õs-70Õs and with the CHOOSING/CREATING OUR
FUTURE exercise undertaken between 1989 and 1995.  At the least, in the
Vancouver region, much of the new metropolitan agenda is being set by - and
within - the city region itself.  As long as that cpnsensus continues, the province
poses to play an important but supporting role.

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