Episode 6: Federalism, Party Politics and Environment


The environmental policy process in Canada is complicated. With its division of powers between provinces and the federal government, Canada's federalist structure has tended to serve as a barrier to achieving consistent nation-wide environmental policy change. In this episode, Dr. Kathryn Harrison and Dr. Andrea Olive walk us through the various factors and players influencing policy development and implementation in Canada. Using carbon pricing as an example, they go into detail regarding how the federal system influences environmental policy in Canada.


Dr. Kathryn Harrison
Professor of Political Science, University of British Columbia

Guest Bio


Dr. Andrea Olive
Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science, University of Toronto Mississauga

Guest Bio


Ryan M. Katz-Rosene
Assistant Professor, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa

Episode Audio & Video

Listen to the podcast on:

Additional Pedagogical Resources

Guest Bios

Dr. Kathryn Harrison

Kathryn Harrison is a Professor of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Harrison received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering before completing her PhD in Political Science. Before entering academia, Harrison worked as a chemical engineer in the oil industry, and as a policy analyst for both Environment Canada and the United States Congress. She also has served as Senior Associate Dean and Acting Dean in the UBC Faculty of Arts. Professor Harrison is the author or editor of several volumes, including Global Commons, Domestic Decisions: The Comparative Politics of Climate Change, and has published widely on Canadian and US climate and environmental policy. She is currently working on a book on the comparative politics of carbon taxes in Canada, Australia, France, and Ireland. She is a frequent media commentator on climate policy, via op-eds, interviews, and twitter (@khar1958).

The Evolution of Carbon Pricing in the Provinces

Dr. Andrea Olive

Andrea Olive was born and raised in Saskatchewan. She has a PhD in political science from Purdue University in Indiana, USA. She is now an associate professor in the departments of political science and geography at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She has a summer home in the Aspen Parklands near the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border where she lives May to August. She is the author of two books: The Canadian Environment in Political Context and Land, Legitimacy, and Stewardship: Endangered Species Policy in Canada and the United States. Her main areas of research interest are wildlife conservation and environmental policy.