The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant economic fallout have been a tipping point for society-wide reckonings with institutional misogyny, racism, and colonialism, and have thrust considerations of identity and systemic oppression to the fore of public policy discourse. This shift within public policy has aligned well with our research mission statement which is to harness the strengths of transdisciplinary scholarship to contribute policy-oriented research aimed at reshaping discourse and advancing inclusive growth. Ultimately, we aim to ignite an intersectional shift in public policy research and training, with the goal of creating a lasting forum for discussion, partnership, research, and knowledge mobilization across academia, policy, and community.
Integral to this work has been the development of a modernized approach to public policy that is better suited to both addressing longstanding failures within the discipline, as well as supporting the realization of a vision of a more just society. Specifically, we aim to incorporate, across our research and at all stages, the framework of intersectionality. We do this by taking seriously not only the relevance of identity to questions of policy, but also the idea that identities, policies, and institutions are indivisible from systems of power. Likewise, we are adamant that public policy voices must reflect the diversity of identities that we find in Canadian society.
As a truly transdisciplinary research team, we bring together different ontologies, epistemologies, philosophical perspectives, and methodologies to define and analyze Canadian public policy issues. We also prioritize knowledge co-creation with communities. Please contact us if your organization has research questions and is interested in working with this transdisciplinary research team.
Dr. Gillian Petit
Gillian Petit is a senior Research Associate in the Department of Economics, University of Calgary. She holds a PhD in economics from the University of Calgary. Her research focuses on income and social supports, as well as tax policy, for low-income and marginalized persons. As a senior Research Associate, Gillian has acted as a primary analyst, researcher, author, and co-author on various research projects, including the British Columbia Basic Income Expert Panel, where she contributed extensively to data visualization, spatial analysis, and simulations, including tax filer modelling using the SPSD/M. Her past research includes applied economics research in the economics of legal institutions and on the gendered impacts of taxation. She also holds a Master of Economics and a Juris Doctorate from Queen’s University.
Anna Cameron is a Research Associate at the Department of Economics, University of Calgary. Her current research is focused on using gender and intersectional analysis (including GBA+) to understand and develop solutions to social and economic policy questions, particularly those concerned with poverty reduction and social provision. In the policy realm, this research has recently contributed to broader efforts of the BC Basic Income Expert Panel, the National Action Plan on Violence Against Women and Gender-Based Violence, and various other government-contracted studies. Anna has nearly 10 years of research, policy analysis, government relations, and communications experience spanning a range of contexts (e.g., non-profit, advocacy, think tanks, government) and policy areas (e.g., community economic development, poverty reduction, and environmental policy). She holds a Master of Arts from the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Alexa Atherly is the Project Coordinator for the reserach team. Alexa is responsible for coordinating and supporting multiple projects and initiatives. As part of her role, Alexa undertakes qualitative and quantitative analysis of a range of policy issues in the areas of social, economic, and fiscal policy under the supervision of Dr. Lindsay Tedds. In addition, she has gained experience in evaluating the policy implications of the results and developing recommendations for practical and effective policy responses. Prior to joining the research team, Alexa gained additional policy and data experience through her work with Aspen Family and Community Network Society, where she prepared programs for accreditation. She has also worked as a Teaching Assistant at the UBC Department of Sociology.
Wenshuang Yu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of Calgary. Her research interests are in international trade and public economics, with a focus on firm innovation, immigration, transit and applied econometrics.
Cohen Perratt is a research assistant for the research team. Cohen is currently completing an undergraduate degree in economics at the University of Calgary and will be starting an MA degree in the Fall.
Guaranteed Basic Income for Nunavut (with Dr. Jim Dunn, McMaster University, and Blue Print ADE). Partner: Department of Community and Government Services, Government of Nunavut.
Assessing the Eligibility for Legal Aid Services. Partner: Westcoast Leaf and Ethos Law Group LLP
Development of an Equity Data and Information Collection Framework for the National Housing Strategy. Partner: Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative
Basic Income as a Response to Gender-based Violence. Partner: Women and Gender Equality Canada
Scoping Calgary’s Short Term Rental Economy: Building the Evidence Base to Shape Innovative Regulatory Frameworks in the Digital City. Partner: City of Calgary
COVID-19 and the Financial Crisis in the City of Calgary: What have Been the Impacts on the City’s User Levies and Property Tax Revenues and What Lessons Can Be Learned. Partner: City of Calgary
Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Statement
While our commitment to EDI principles within our research practice is unwavering, our statement is constantly evolving as we further our understanding of the nuances of different experiences. As we reorient the focus of our research towards catalyzing an intersectional shift in public policy, we aim to bring together a team that is both diverse and transdisciplinary
It is the case that most public policy experts tend to be from the economics discipline, which itself suffers from a significant diversity problem. This current context requires that we prioritize the intentional inclusion of all members of equity-deserving communities—persons with disabilities; LGBTQQ2SIA+ persons; Black, Indigenous, and racialized persons; and others—including those who exist at the intersections of such communities. This includes ensuring job postings align with EDI-wise practices, including rethinking qualifications to focus on competencies and skills rather than narrow definitions of experience, updating phrasing with inclusive language, and preventing unnecessary barriers by embracing the principles of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). Beyond job postings, recruitment and team building must be active and accommodative of difference rather than passive and inflexible: postings must be circulated widely, diverse candidates must be approached directly and be encouraged to apply, and it must be clearly articulated that flexible work arrangements will be considered. Remuneration must be competitive.
As a standalone approach, diversity is inefficient: focusing on diversity alone can result in feelings of exclusion and alienation among underrepresented groups and can ultimately lead to poor retention. Thus, we must complement our commitment to diversity with equal efforts to ensure an inclusive workplace. Inclusion is about the establishment of practices that enable all members of a workplace to feel valued, supported, and respected. Key components of this include active, day-to-day management, providing paid access to training and development opportunities, seeking out opportunities that advance the research and career interests of all members, creating a safe space for people to have conversations, and fostering a respectful environment.