Looking West: Regional Transformation and the Future of Canada
Although a history of protest politics has done so much to define western Canada and to place it outside the Canadian mainstream, the aspirations and frustrations that animated western discontent over the years have been replaced by a new reality: the West is in, and many of the levers of national economic and political power rest in western Canadian hands. The protest tradition has yielded a dynamic region that leads rather than reacts to national economic, social, and political change.
The westward shift of the Canadian economy and demography is likely to be an enduring structural change that reflects and is reinforced by the transformation of the continental and global economies. At the same time, western Canada faces major challenges, including finding a place for a sustainable resource economy in a rapidly changing global environment, establishing a full and modern partnership with Aboriginal peoples, and creating urban environments that will attract and retain human capital. None of these challenges are unique to the West but they all play out with great force, and great immediacy, in western Canada.
- Division: Higher Education
- World Rights
- Page Count: 192 pages
- Dimensions: 6.1in x 0.4in x 9.0in
ReviewsInstead of dwelling on headline-grabbing topics, the authors take a look at the West as a region, through the lenses of history, political science, and economics. The idea is not to engage in scaremongering directed at the Rest of Canada, but to examine what defines the West as a region, what its advantages and challenges are, and how the region’s relationships to Canada and the World are evolving.
Martin Saidla, Northern Public Affairs
From protest to powerhouse, Berdahl and Gibbins chronicle and analyse the transformation of western Canada from prairie populism, boom and bust resource development, and a sense of isolation to Canada's driver of wealth and political influence. A must read for anyone interested in a well-reasoned and provocative set of arguments covering demographics, economics, politics, and the local and global factors that contributed to the rise of the West. The intriguing question of whether the West's influence is sustainable will stimulate much discussion and debate.
Nancy Olewiler, Director, School of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University
No two authors could be better placed to outline the dramatic transformation that western Canada has experienced over the past two decades—and what this transformation might mean for Canada. The book will leave many optimistic that western Canada will play a stronger leadership role in the country—not as part of an aggrieved periphery but as part of a nation-building centre conscious of a broader national interest.
Matthew Mendelsohn, Director, Mowat Centre, School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto; Former Ontario Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Looking West examines the challenges facing the West as a result of its heavy reliance on resources, its new relationships with the Pacific Rim, burgeoning immigration, its growing Aboriginal population and its sometimes uneasy relationships with the rest of Canada. The book asks tough questions, provides incisive analysis, distills the latest information, and is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the changing West as well as how the West is likely to change Canada.
David Taras, Ralph Klein Chair in Media Studies, Mount Royal University
Author InformationLoleen Berdahl is Professor and Head of Political Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.
Roger Gibbins began 29 years with the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary in 1973. In 2012 he retired after 14 years as the President of the Canada West Foundation, and now divides his time between Vancouver and Calgary.
Table of contentsList of Figures and Tables
1. The West Outside In
2. Demography and the Future of the West in Canada
3. The West and Canada's Shifting Economic Centre of Gravity
4. Considerations on the West as a Political Region
5. Western Canada and the World
6. From Periphery to Centre
Subjects and Courses