MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Sancton, Andrew

Geographical Areas

Toronto, Saint John, New Brunswick, Montreal, Quebec, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Vancouver, British Columbia, Lloydminster, Alberta


This paper examines the idea that municipalities in Canada – with a specific focus on Toronto – can be legally empowered by a legislative charter to defend their autonomy from the actions of the provincial government. Case studies that analyze the political and legal relationships that selected charter cities – Saint John, Montreal, Halifax, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Lloydminster – have with their respective province were conducted. The findings reveal that while provinces may politically treat some municipalities differently than others, no legal differentiation exists between charter cities and other municipalities with regards to protecting local self-government.