an research initiative

About the Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation

The Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation is a permanent research body within the Institute for Research on Public Policy. Its mission is to build a deeper understanding of Canada as a federal community.

The Centre is uniquely positioned to provide insights into key public policy challenges facing the Canadian federation, from post-pandemic provincial policies to fiscal relations, Indigenous governance to public opinion on federalism. Under the leadership of Executive Director Charles Breton, the Centre builds on the IRPP’s status as a recognized authority on the complex issues surrounding the Canadian federation. Its priority is to bring relevant data and knowledge to the fingertips of policy-makers, politicians, and academics when debates on federal arrangements occur.

The Centre’s sustained commitment to studying the fundamentals of our federal arrangements will provide the research base required to inform the work and decisions of our governments. The Centre’s activities include:

  • Investigating public attitudes toward federalism and the federation;
  • Examining how federalism and democracy might evolve in future;
  • Engaging in public debate on Indigenous governance and on the relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities;
  • Conducting economic analyses of issues that affect Canada’s federal arrangements;
  • Studying the impact of emerging economic and social trends on federal arrangements;
  • Finding and supporting new and more diverse research voices in these fields; and,
  • Regularly convening decision-makers and leaders from other sectors to discuss research findings and their implications for public policy and the country’s cohesion

Our team

Avatar of COE staff member
Charles Breton
Executive Director
Avatar of COE staff member
Ji Yoon Han
Research Associate

This new research initiative was made possible by a major contribution from the Government of Canada, which in 2018 committed $10 million to the IRPP to create the Centre.

COE Background

About the Centre

COVID-19 provincial policies, fiscal relations, Indigenous governance, public opinion on federalism: the Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation is the IRPP's new permanent research initiative providing key insights on the Canadian federation.

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