Journal of Public Management & Social Policy


Three recent Canadian public health crises present an illustration of both the opportunities for reform and the challenges that may impede progress and public health renewal in federalist nations. While the three crises examined exposed serious flaws in emergency preparedness and fuelled demands for vital public health reform, evidence indicates that fundamental challenges have not been addressed and may have even heightened over the last decade given a move to “open federalism” and the significant fiscal impacts of ongoing austerity measures. With future pandemics inevitable, we identify the missed opportunities to optimize Canada’s emergency response capacity and procedures and examine the seemingly intractable barriers of federalism and path dependency thinking that continue to impede learning and reform and ultimately undermine effective disaster management



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