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Towards a New Intergovernmental Agreement on Early Pandemic Management

Towards a New Intergovernmental Agreement on Early Pandemic Management
Towards a New Intergovernmental Agreement on Early Pandemic Management
The Canadian response to COVID-19 produced several problems that are at least partially attributable to a lack of coordination between the federal and provincial governments. The federal government has not taken on a strong coordinating role. Many provinces have ‘gone their own way’ even where uniform standards are necessary to minimize public health threats. While some believe the federal government should use its existing powers to coordinate a response, the federal government alone cannot address all possible concerns and there are strong political incentives for federal government not to unilaterally take a stronger role in pandemic management. This article accordingly motivates an intergovernmental agreement on pandemic preparedness and early pandemic responsiveness (viz., early pandemic management). An intergovernmental agreement is a more promising tool for securing the coordination necessary for good pandemic management than unilateral federal action or the status quo. A detailed agreement that clearly sets out who will do what when a pandemic is imminent/when a pandemic begins will clarify expectations in early pandemic management and incentivize compliance therewith, helping to secure much-needed coordination. Developing it in non-pandemic conditions should also ensure a more rational approach to pandemic management that improves health outcomes and better fulfills Canada’s moral and international legal obligations.
COVID-19, Health Law, Federalism, Intergovernmental Relations, Intergovernmental Agreements, Pandemic Management, Pandemic Planning
76-103
Da Silva, Michael
05ad649f-8409-4012-8edc-88709b1a3182
St-Hilaire, Maxime
9daa561b-9b82-45c6-91c3-f3f6b8226f81
Da Silva, Michael
05ad649f-8409-4012-8edc-88709b1a3182
St-Hilaire, Maxime
9daa561b-9b82-45c6-91c3-f3f6b8226f81

Da Silva, Michael and St-Hilaire, Maxime (2021) Towards a New Intergovernmental Agreement on Early Pandemic Management. National Journal of Constitutional Law, 41, 76-103.

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Canadian response to COVID-19 produced several problems that are at least partially attributable to a lack of coordination between the federal and provincial governments. The federal government has not taken on a strong coordinating role. Many provinces have ‘gone their own way’ even where uniform standards are necessary to minimize public health threats. While some believe the federal government should use its existing powers to coordinate a response, the federal government alone cannot address all possible concerns and there are strong political incentives for federal government not to unilaterally take a stronger role in pandemic management. This article accordingly motivates an intergovernmental agreement on pandemic preparedness and early pandemic responsiveness (viz., early pandemic management). An intergovernmental agreement is a more promising tool for securing the coordination necessary for good pandemic management than unilateral federal action or the status quo. A detailed agreement that clearly sets out who will do what when a pandemic is imminent/when a pandemic begins will clarify expectations in early pandemic management and incentivize compliance therewith, helping to secure much-needed coordination. Developing it in non-pandemic conditions should also ensure a more rational approach to pandemic management that improves health outcomes and better fulfills Canada’s moral and international legal obligations.

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Da Silva and MSH AM - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 10 December 2020
Published date: 25 May 2021
Keywords: COVID-19, Health Law, Federalism, Intergovernmental Relations, Intergovernmental Agreements, Pandemic Management, Pandemic Planning

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 457419
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/457419
PURE UUID: 07a9b8e8-f475-4fff-8d00-91a33677c524

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Jun 2022 16:53
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 00:24

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Contributors

Author: Michael Da Silva
Author: Maxime St-Hilaire

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