Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off: The Role of Coalition Building and Risk Perception in Ontario’s Provincial Climate Policy 1998-2018: Eve Bourgeois (University of Toronto), Heather Millar (University of Toronto) Abstract: Subnational governance has become a dominant feature of climate policy over the last decade, involving a myriad of government, private, and non-profit actors. In this context, a challenge for environmental politics scholars is to theorize the various pathways through which different climate interventions might lead to deep decarbonization or serve to lock-in carbon dependence. Under what conditions do particular subnational climate policy interventions foster self-sustaining coalitions that provide ongoing support for both the initial policy and additional decarbonization initiatives, increasing policy durability? This research bridges three literatures – political science, policy studies, and political communication - to explore the dynamics of subnational coalition building over time. We focus on climate policy making in Ontario from 1998-2018. Although the Ontario coal phase out remains one of the single largest climate policy victories in the world, the province has been unable to translate this success into other policy areas, as initial support for renewable portfolio standards and emissions trading systems has faltered in the face of public opposition. One of the more confounding dimensions of the Ontario case has been contradictory role of risk perception in driving coalition dynamics. Although concerns around air pollution were a driving force in support of the coal phase out, concerns regarding health risks formed the basis for anti-wind turbine organizing in the province. Using theory building process tracing, this study focuses on the interaction of coalition building and interpretive feedback effects, with close attention to the sequencing of risk frames, cost/benefit perceptions, and coalition composition.
Uneasy Neighbours: Quebec-Newfoundland and Labrador's Relationship: Valérie Vézina (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) Abstract: Newfoundland and Labrador only has one direct physical contact with another province: Quebec. The harsh and often unwelcoming territory of Labrador has been the centre of the animosity between the two provinces. In the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding Churchill Falls, the Court, in a 7-1 decision, ruled that Quebec had no obligation to renegotiate the contract. Despite the reassuring words of the Newfoundland and Labrador Premier, Dwight Ball, that the two provinces have much more to gain collaborating and that he would do so with Quebec Premier, François Legault, the general comments in both provinces by citizens does not tend towards collaboration and friendship. Why is that so? What are the factors that have contributed in the past to so much tensions among the two neighbours? What contributes today to such feelings among the public despite the willingness of political actors to move on, to develop partnerships? This paper will explore these questions. It will be revealed that 'historical' collective memory as well as cultural products (songs, humour, slogans) have helped perpetuating an uneasy relationship among Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.