The Rise of Balanced Budget Laws in Canada: Legislating Fiscal (IR)Responsibility

Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 681-740, 1996

60 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2010 Last revised: 9 Apr 2010

See all articles by Lisa Philipps

Lisa Philipps

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: 1996

Abstract

Fiscal restraint and deficit reduction have become virtual mantras for all levels of Canadian government in the 1990s, regardless of geographic or political affiliation. An attitude of skepticism toward government spending, borrowing, and taxing has established itself as the political norm and shows few signs of dissipating even as federal and provincial governments begin to report dramatically lower deficits and, in some cases, budget surpluses. This article examines the sudden mania for balanced budget legislation in Canada as one expression of this new found politics of fiscal austerity. In recent years most of our provincial and territorial legislatures have passed laws to prohibit budgetary deficits, or to limit other fiscal policy making powers traditionally exercised by their executive governments. Tax referendum laws, spending caps, debt repayment mandates and other legal mechanisms are springing up in increasing numbers, and may well proliferate further.

Suggested Citation

Philipps, Lisa, The Rise of Balanced Budget Laws in Canada: Legislating Fiscal (IR)Responsibility (1996). Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 681-740, 1996 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1576935

Lisa Philipps (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/faculty/Philipps_Lisa_C.html

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