2015 Edition of the Policy Review Section
The 2015 edition of The Manitoba Law Journal: Underneath the Golden Boy is now available online and for purchase. The Policy Review Section includes:

Zachary T. Courtemanche looks at the new Restorative Justice Act and the effect the Act could have in Manitoba in “The Restorative Justice Act: An Enhancement to Justice in Manitoba?”  The paper gives a detailed chronology of the legislative process and considers possible outcomes from the Act’s enactment. Courtemanche uses a comparative approach to examine restorative justice frameworks in Nova Scotia in order to argue that the legislation establishes a limited enabling process rather than charting a clear course for the progression of a restorative justice model in Manitoba.

In “Will the Reform Act, 2014, Alter the Canadian Phenomenon of Party Discipline?” Dr. Paul Geisler explores the ways in which the Reform Act of 2014 can be expected to reduce the powers of party leaders and party cohesion. In particular, the paper examines several potential causes of party cohesion and the ways in which the Reform Act, 2014, may impact party discipline such as strengthening caucus and weakening the party leader within circumstances of power imbalances.

Sharyne Hamm assess Bill 26 and whether or not the legislation will be effective in removing barriers to accessibility in “All Talk with Very Little Action: Bill 26, The Accessibility for Manitobans Act. The paper includes a comparative analysis to a similar legislation in Ontario and includes a discussion of the significant shortcomings of Bill 26.  

In "Bill 2: The Highway Traffic Amendment Act (Safety of Workers in Highway Construction Zones)" Andrew Hnatiuk examines the development, political dealings, debate and committee hearings related to the Bill. The paper analyzes whether the provincial government should have expected this leggislation to meet its stated objectives.

Joshua Morry examines Bill 202, The Participation of Manitoba in the New West Partnership Act, in “The New West: Bill 202 and Manitoba’s Future in the New West Partnership”.  The paper focuses on the arguments presented in favour of and against the Bill and the legislative process in its introduction. The paper provides a brief history of the new West Partnership, the government’s response to the Bill and an evaluation of the opposition’s strategy.

In “On we go to Manitoba’s next provincial election: Whither the NDP?” Dr. Karine Levasseur provides an overview of key political and economic developments in 2015 beginning with an analysis of the 2014 mayoral election in the City of Winnipeg in order to provide context for Greg Selinger’s leadership crisis. In providing this context, the paper then examines the events leading up to the Leadership Convention of March 2015 and its impact on the state of governing in Manitoba.

Dr. William Ashton, Wayne Kelly and Dr. Ray Bollman discuss rural municipality amalgamation in “Municipalities Amalgamate in Manitoba: Moving towards Rural Regions”. A chronology of the Manitoba amalgamation is assembled to understand the sequence of interactions between the government and municipalities, which in turn provides context for the restructuring process. The paper compares potential rural municipalities with on-the-ground results of the 2014 amalgamation and concludes by reviewing the new rural municipal make-up in Manitoba and the resulting opportunities and challenges.

Brendan Boyd examines climate change policy in “Climate Change Policy in Manitoba: A Small Province Looking to ‘Punch above its Weight’”. The paper asks three key questions: a) what motivated the province to engage in collaboration and pursue policies that were spreading across North America, b) what role did collaboration and cross-jurisdictional learning play in provincial policy development and c) how was the selection of policies in Manitoba influenced by initiatives developed in other jurisdiction in addition to local factors?

Dr. Lars Hallstrom, William Ashton, Dr. Ray Bollman, Dr. Ryan Gibson and Thomas Johnson examine rural policy design in “Policy Design in Rural Manitoba: Alternative and Opportunities in the Midst of Change”. This paper examines the role of local governments in delivering “Rural Policy” in light of increased attention to regional perspectives for policy, investment and development in rural Manitoba. Building on the content of the Rural Works! think tank held in Brandon in November 2014, the paper takes a policy design approach to rural policy for Manitoba, and concludes with key recommendations for rural policy action in the province.

In “Flooding of First Nations and Environmental Justice in Manitoba: Case Studies of the Impacts of the 2011 Flood and Hydro Development in Manitoba” Dr. Shirley Thompson discusses environmental justice in order to analyze the risk for flooding across First Nations and settler societies and to see how inequities occur. This paper examines treaties and provincial policies as well as the division of water rights and legal authority in Manitoba by studying the 2011 flood diversion to Lake St Martin, hydroelectric development in the north and water regulation of Lake Winnipeg. The discussion examines how these policies and developments result in negative outcomes for First Nations and how the policies that facilitated them can be turned around towards environmental justice for Indigenous peoples.

Dr. Sarah Whiteford examines policy design in “Beyond Instrument Choice: Micro-Level Policy Design in Manitoba’s Child Care System”. The paper argues that there are limitations to the assumption that policy design is ultimately a process of instrument selection and explores the opportunity for micro-level policy design, governance arrangements and (meso-level) implementation styles. Through an analysis of three recent examples of child care regulation in Manitoba, the discussion concludes that despite an absence of instrument choice, there exists evidence of micro-level policy design as demonstrated by the variability of the regulations themselves.