'A Justifiable Obsession' traces the evolution of Ontario's relationship with the federal government in the years following the Second World War. Through extensive archival research in both national and provincial sources, P.E. Bryden demonstrates that the province's successive Conservative governments played a crucial role in framing the national agenda - although this central relationship has received little attention compared to those that have been more volatile. As such, Bryden's study sheds light on an important but largely ignored chapter in Canadian political history. Bryden focuses on the politicians and strategists who guided the province through the negotiation of intergovernmental economic, social, and constitutional issues, including tax policies, the design of the new social welfare net, and efforts to patriate the constitution. Written in a lucid, engaging style that captures the spirit of the politics of postwar Canada, 'A Justifiable Obsession' is a significant contribution to our understanding of Ontario's politics and political culture.
P.E. Bryden is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Victoria.
Acknowledgments Introduction Ch. 1: "The keystone province": George Drew's Ontario, 1943-1946 Ch. 2: "As long as we define the terms": George Drew's Canada, 1946-1948 Ch. 3: "Know and understand the problems": Leslie Frost Makes His Mark, 1948-1952 Ch. 4: "Ontario's earnest desire for national unity": New Policies, New Approaches, 1952-1960 Ch. 5: "A lasting effect on Confederation itself": Robarts and the Realignment of Intergovernmental Relations, 1961-1964 Ch. 6: "Profound changes in the character of Canadian federalism": Ontario Charts a New Course, 1964-1966 Ch. 7: "See if we can't amend the marriage contract": The Confederation of Tomorrow Conference and Beyond, 1967-71 Ch. 8: "Disentanglement" and the Origins of Mega-Intergovernmental Politics in Ontario, 1971-1978 Ch. 9: "The hot gospel of Confederation": Securing a New Constitution Epilogue Bibliography