Labour Studies Index

The Institutional Specificity of Quebec in the Context of Globalization

Document type Article
Author Trudeau, Gilles
Author Bélanger, Jacques
Journal Canadian Labour & Employment Law Journal
Volume 15
Date 2009-2010
Pages 49-76

Abstract

This article explores te extent to which Quebec can, in the face of global- ization, create its own distinct policies on labour and employment. The authors argue that although global economic restructuring poses serious challenges to local governance, national institutions will continue to play a key role in regulat- ing the employment relationship. In the case of Quebec, such institutions embody what the authors describe as a "hybrid" regime - i.e. a legal system that blends French-based civil law and the North American model of collective labour rela- tions, and an economic system that has elements of both the liberal market and the coordinated market types. The authors disagree with the suggestion that legal systems based on the civil law are less economically efficient than those based on the common law, and they see no reason why the hybrid nature of Quebec ' regu- latoryframework should be a disadvantage in a globalizing economy. They point out, however that globalization has accentuated the disjunction between eco- nomic activity, which is now continentally and internationally inregrated, and governance institutions that date Jrom the post-war period. 1/u.is problem is par- ticularly acute in Quebec and Canada because of their integ.ration into an eco- nomic region dominated by the U.S., and because the constitutional division of powers between the federal government and the provinces makes it difficult to achieve coherence between social and economic policies.