Provincial Government Banks: A Case Study of Regional Response to National Institutions

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Can national financial institutions, such as banks, function in a country as regionally diverse as Canada without seeming to discriminate between the regions? Were the complaints of the four Western Premiers at the Western Economic Opportunities Conference in Calgary in 1973 justified? If there is discrimination, would the proposed provincial government B.C. Savings and Trust super bank provide relief from it? What would be the cost of such relief?

This book considers a very real and specific aspect of the sharing of regulatory power within Confederation. The results of the study indicate that national policies, pursued either by governments or by private sector firms, may well produce different results in different regions. This regional diversity is often interpreted as discrimination and because of it provincial governments are sometimes let to take countervailing action. The concept of a provincial government bank is one such response.

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