For 40 years, the IRPP’s mission has been to present new ideas and analysis to help Canadians and their governments make effective public policy choices based on informed debate. Since its founding, the Institute has contributed to that debate through rigorous, relevant and reliable research.

Active Research Programs
Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Growth Stephen Tapp, Tyler Meredith Diversity, Immigration and Integration F. Leslie Seidle Faces of Aging Nicole F. Bernier, Tyler Meredith
Other Research Programs
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The Canadian Priorities Agenda (CPA) initiated a broad-based and informed public debate on policy priorities for Canada over the medium term. The project's central theme was scarcity of public resources and the need for governments to make sound policy choices for the future. It brought together 45 of the best policy minds in the country to examine and deliberate on choices and priorities in the context of the following eight broad policy challenges identified by the CPA agenda setters: human capital, climate change, natural capital, population aging, economic security, health outcomes, productivity, and trade and globalization. The final results were published in a volume of essays, A Canadian Priorities Agenda: Policy Choices to Improve Economic and Social Well-Being, edited by Jeremy Leonard, Christopher Ragan and France St-Hilaire. The table of contents, introduction and conclusion to the volume are online.

Below are two chapters from the volume and policy briefs for each chapter. The process and substance of the project generated widespread interest and led to high-level meetings at the Bank of Canada and the Department of Finance, among others. In addition, the project is the basis of graduate-level seminars at several leading Canadian public policy schools. Every year since 2009 the the IRPP has posted on its Web site the best student essay or essays, as selected by the instructor of the course, from one such seminar in the masters of public policy program in the University of Toronto's School of Public Policy and Governance. 

To order A Canadian Priorities Agenda: Policy Choices to Improve Economic and Social Well-Beingvisit our Bookstore.

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Launched in 2001, The Art of the State is a biennial conference series whose goal is to comprehensively examine emerging policy challenges of long-term significance for Canada. To date, four conferences have been held, and their proceedings have been published as edited volumes:

Volume I: Governance in a World without Frontiers (2003)

Volume II: Thinking North America (2004-05)

Volume III: Belonging? Diversity, Recognition and Shared Citizenship in Canada (2007)

Volume IV: Northern Exposure: Peoples, Powers and Prospects in Canada's North (2007-09)

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This research program explores policies that will sustain economic growth and  social progress in light of important domestic demographic trends and a more competitive global environment. Research themes include:

  • Canada’s social policy toolkit
  • the policy implications of an aging population
  • human capital: linkages and challenges
  • economic opportunity and social well-being
  • competitiveness and productivity
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One of the main objectives of the IRPP’s Aboriginal Qualify of Life research program, launched in 2006, is to document
and analyze innovative approaches to improving the living conditions and community life of Canada’s indigenous peoples. Each of the studies focuses on a particular policy field, and the authors have been asked to assess the impact of the innovations they examine and present lessons for policy-makers and other researchers.

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The Family Policy research program focuses on federal and provincial policies that are geared toward families and children, including work-life balance issues. Our objective is to provide in-depth empirical and analytical evidence of the strengths and weaknesses of current policies related to income support, daycare, early childhood education and parental leave, and consider alternative policy approaches or strategies. The IRPP's research in this area raises important questions about the choices and priorities of our governments in recent years, particularly with regard to gender equity, equity among families and human capital development.

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The Strengthening Canadian Democracy research program explores some of the democratic lacunae in Canada's political system, and ways in which the legitimacy of our system of government can be strengthened. Our studies cover most major aspects of Canada's democratic institutions and its electoral and party systems.

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The IRPP is a recognized authority on the complex and thorny issues that mark the evolution of the Canadian federation going back to the 1970s. Since 2000, the Institute has contributed to the ongoing federalism debate through its research and activities on the social union framework agreement, the Council of the Federation, health care reform, fiscal federalism (reform of equalization and social transfers) and, more recently, the proposed changes to the federal spending power.

" ["post_title"]=> string(19) "Canadian Federalism" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(19) "canadian-federalism" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2013-04-30 12:28:02" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-04-30 16:28:02" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(53) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://irpp.org/?page_id=1466" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "page" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [12]=> object(WP_Post)#339 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(1419) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-04-12 20:11:06" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-04-13 00:11:06" ["post_content"]=> string(569) "In an effort to better shape modern anti-terrorism policy, the Security and Democracy research program explores the complex challenges confronting Canada as a result of threats posed by global and transnational terrorism. It looks at the role played by institutions and legislation in enabling governments to pursue and reconcile the potentially conflicting goals of security and democracy. Our studies focus on the governance and accountability issues related to national security and anti-terrorism legislation, foreign intelligence, and civil and military relations." ["post_title"]=> string(22) "Security and Democracy" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(22) "security-and-democracy" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2014-08-06 11:19:57" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-08-06 15:19:57" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(53) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://irpp.org/?page_id=1419" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "page" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#314 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2068) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-10-04 13:17:56" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-10-04 17:17:56" ["post_content"]=> string(0) "" ["post_title"]=> string(34) " Canadian Options in North America" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(20) "new-research-program" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2013-10-04 13:18:15" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-10-04 17:18:15" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(53) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://irpp.org/?page_id=2068" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "page" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } }
Canadian Options in North America National Security and Interoperability Health and Public Policy International Democratic Development Defence, Diplomacy and Development Canadian Priorities Agenda The Art of the State Economic Policy and Growth Aboriginal Quality of Life Family Policy Strengthening Canadian Democracy Canadian Federalism Security and Democracy