About Donna E. Wood

I am an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria. I have a Master of Public Management from the University of Alberta from 1989 and a PhD in social policy from the University of Edinburgh in 2008. In 2013 I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Victoria comparing Canada’s federal arrangements for social policy with those in the European Union.

Before embarking on a research career in 2003 I worked for over twenty-five years for the Alberta and Northwest Territories governments, providing policy advice and directing income support, social services, apprenticeship, training, and employment programs. A key success was the development of the National Child Benefit.

This practical experience plus my time in academia has given me considerable knowledge of Canadian federalism and a keen interest in seeking out ways to make intergovernmental relations work better. I have written and published articles on federalism and social policy in Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union, focusing primarily on unemployment insurance, social assistance and the public employment service and how these programs are managed across governments.

My new book Federalism in Action: The Devolution of Canada’s Public Employment Service, 1995-2015 was published by the University of Toronto Press in May 2018. It can be purchased at this link https://utorontopress.com/ca/federalism-in-action-2. Undertaking the research involved over 130 interviews in all provinces across Canada. The book compares how provinces and Aboriginal labour market organizations govern the public employment service since this responsibility was devolved from Ottawa. It also looks at the federal role post-devolution and how the Canadian arrangements compare to the United States, Australia and the European Union.