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Mario Levesque

Mario Levesque
BA, MA Western, PhD McMaster

"The best journeys are not always in straight lines."


I am currently an Associate Professor of Canadian politics and public policy with the Department of Politics and International Relations at Mount Allison University.

Previously, I was Co-Director of the Environmental Policy Institute (2010-2012) at the Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland and lectured at King's University College in London, Ontario after fulfilling a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Western Ontario.  My fellowship was funded through the MCRI Research Project on Multilevel Governance and Public Policy in Canadian Municipalities led by Dr. Robert Young.

My doctoral work (2004-2008) in political science was undertaken at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. Mark Sproule-Jones.  My Major Field was Comparative Public Policy (theories and approaches, public administration) with my Teaching Field being Canadian Politics.  My doctoral thesis entitled "Unravelling Nested Institutional Arrangements" examined the effects of nested institutional arrangements on groundwater policy changes under different conditions of uncertainty.  It was a comparative case study of the Great Lakes basin (Ontario, New York) and the High Plains aquifer (Nebraska) in the U.S. Midwest.

Research wise, I am interested in the relationship between nongovernmental organizations and governments. Using institutional analysis, I examine factors that help or hinder public policy making including federalism, multilevel governance, horizontal management, intergovernmental relations, citizen engagement, community-based governance, ideology and actor resources among others.  My goal is to illuminate how these factors combine in different situational settings leading to changes in the frequency, type and magnitude of changes in public policy.  My work is also qualitatively oriented to give voice to people directly affected by the policies.

I focus on two areas of public policy:

  1. Disability policy:  disability leadership, political participation, accessible transportation, labour market training
  2. Environmental policy:  governance issues related to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, common pool resources (e.g., groundwater, fisheries), sustainability, tire-derived fuel

My work is also supported by external funding including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), various government agencies and communities.  Previously, I held a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship (2006-2008) and a Water Policy Fellowship (2006-2007) from the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation.

My previous education includes a BA (Hons) and MA from The University of Western Ontario which focused on Canadian Politics and Public Policy.  I also hold a Diploma in Agricultural Business Management from Centralia College of Agricultural Technology.  Before returning to pursue doctoral studies and having earlier trained with the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture, I co-owned a landscape construction business and wholesale nursery, with my partner Marilyn, for several years while pursuing my academic credentials.  It is here that my interest in politics was cultivated through voluntary service with the Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association where I held various positions including President of the London Chapter.


  • (forthcoming) Levesque, Mario. "Characteristics of Disability Leaders: An Atlantic Canada Profile." Canadian Journal of Disability Studies.

  • 2019. Levesque, Mario. "The Constitutional Day After: Government Formation after a Minority Government Result." Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law.

  • 2019. Levesque, Mario and Matthew Klohn*. "The Politics of Lyme Disease in Canada's Maritime Provinces." International Journal of Environmental and Public Health 16, no. 9 (2019): 1531-1554. Special Issue on Ticks and Lyme Disease.

  • 2019. Klain, Andrew* and Mario Levesque. "Revisiting the Labrador boundary decision to include Indigenous interpretations of the region." Journal of Canadian Studies 53, no. 1 (2019): 123-151.

  • 2017. Clancy, Peter and Mario Levesque. "Exploring Environmental Governance in the Gulf of St. Lawrence: Contested Political Relations in a Canadian Inland Sea." In Building Community Resilience: From Black Horses to White Steeds, edited by Laurie Brinklow and Ryan Gibson, pp. 218-240. Charlottetown: Island Studies Press.

  • 2017. Levesque, Mario. "Politically (dis)abled: Persons with disabilities in NL." In Renewing Democracy in Newfoundland & Labrador, edited by Alex Marland and Lisa Moore, 222-225. St. John's: ISER Books.

  • 2017. Langford, Brynne* and Mario Levesque. "Symbolic and Substantive Relevance of Politicians with Disabilities: A British Columbia Case Study." Canadian Parliamentary Review. 40, no. 2 (Summer 2017): 8-17.

  • 2017. Levesque, Mario. “Vulnerable Populations and the permanent campaign: Disability organizations as policy entrepreneurs." In The Permanent Campaign in Canada, eds. Alex Marland, Thierry Giasson and Anna Esselment, pp. 278-297. Vancouver: UBC Press.  

  • 2016. Levesque, Mario. "Experiencing disability in three small New Brunswick Acadian communities." Canadian Political Science Review 10(1): 109-149.

  • 2016. Levesque, Mario and Brynne Langford*. “The role of disability groups in the development and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 5(4): 63-102. 

  • 2016. Levesque, Mario. City of Dieppe Accessible Transit Study - II Governance Options. Final Report. 47pp.

  • 2016. Levesque, Mario. "Of Learning Outcomes and Skills Development." In MTA Teaches, eds. Louise Wasylkiw and Jennifer Tomes, pp. 3-16. Victoria, BC: Friesen Press.

  • 2016. Levesque, Mario. “Searching for persons with disabilities in Canadian provincial office.” Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 5(1): 73-106.

  • 2016. Levesque, Mario."New Brunswick." In Big Worlds: Politics and Elections in the Canadian Provinces and Territories, ed. Jared Wesley, pp. 59-81. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

  • 2015. Fletcher, Steven, Jennifer Howard, Mario Levesque, Kevin Murphy and David Onley. "Disability in Parliamentary Politics." Canadian Parliamentary Review 38(1): 6-13.

  • 2015. Levesque, Mario. “Missing in Action: Disability Policy and Persons with Disabilities.” In Canadian Election Analysis 2015: Communication, Strategy, and Canadian Democracy, eds. Alex Marland and Thierry Giasson. Samara/UBC Press.

  • 2015. Levesque, Mario. Dieppe Accessible Transit Study. 96pp + Addendums. 

  • 2014. Levesque, Mario. “Fishing for Change: Fisheries Policy in Newfoundland & Labrador.” In First Among Unequals: Politics and Public Policy in Newfoundland and Labrador in the Danny Williams Era, eds. Alex Marland and Matthew Kerby, pp. 194-212. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.

  • 2014. Levesque, Mario, Dave Thomas and James Devine. "Lesson learned from the use of simulations as an assessment tool." Association of Atlantic Universities Teaching & Learning Showcase Proceedings.

  • 2013. Levesque, Mario and Peter Graefe. “‘Not Good Enough’: Canada’s Stalled Disability Policy.” In How Ottawa Spends, 2013-14, eds. Bruce Doern and Chris Stoney, 172-183. Ottawa: Carleton University Press.

  • 2013. Graefe, Peter and Mario Levesque. “Accountability in Labour Market Policies for Persons with Disabilities.” In Overpromising and Underperforming?  Understanding and Evaluating New Intergovernmental Accountability Regimes, eds. Peter Graefe, Julie Simmons and Linda White, 127-143. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

  • 2013. Levesque, Mario. Bringing Patients In: Patient Engagement Options for New Brunswick Health Care. 83pp. Technical Report for Voices in Harmony Project.  

  • 2012. Levesque, Mario. “Mapping a way forward: Interest group selection and roles performed in engagement processes.” Canadian Public Administration 55(4): 531-552.

  • 2012. Levesque, Mario. “Assessing the Ability of Disability Organizations: An Interprovincial Comparative Perspective.” Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research 3(2): 82-103.

  • 2011. Levesque, Mario. “Build it...if you can!”: Discretion, Building Inspectors and Part 8 of the Ontario’s 2006 Building Code.” Canadian Journal of Urban Research 20(1): 103-30.

  • 2011. El Dessouky, Naglaa and Mario Levesque. “Stories from the North to the South: Why some sustainable cities initiatives gain significance and become existing public policies?” Interdisciplinary Themes Journal 3(1): 69-83.

  • 2010. Graefe, Peter and Mario Levesque. “Impediments to Innovation in the Canadian Social Union: The Case of the Labour Market Agreements for People with Disabilities.” Canadian Public Policy 36(1): 45-62.

  • 2010. Levesque, Mario, Erin Kelly, Nick Novakowski, Osman Parpia, Kim Hancock, Shoshannah Ganz, Tom Philpott, Gerard Curtis and Susan Pottle. Response to Corner Brook  Pulp & Paper Tire Derived Fuel (TDF) Co-Firing Trial Project Proponent: Corner Brook Pulp & Paper Ltd. (Reg. 1539). Submission to the Department of Environment and Conservation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. 29 November. 40pp.

  • 2010. Levesque, Mario, Angela Carter, Wade Bowers, Ilka Bauer, Gabriela Sabeau, Susan Pottle and Sara Carson. “Response to Newfoundland & Labrador Public Discussion Document “Climate Change: Responding to Climate Change in Newfoundland & Labrador”.” 31 July. 21 pp.

  • 2008. Levesque, Mario. Unravelling Nested Institutional Arrangements. PhD Dissertation. Department of Political Science, McMaster University. Hamilton, Ontario.

  • 2007. Levesque, Mario. Avenues of Change in Groundwater Governance in Hamilton, On.  Technical Report for Environment Hamilton. 138pp.

  • 2006 (Automne). Graefe, Peter and Mario Levesque. “La nouvelle gouvernance fédérale et les politiques sociales au Canada : Leçons des ententes en matière de l’intégration en emploi des personnes ayant des handicaps.” Lien Social et Politiques  56, 73-86.

I was born in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, moved to the Greater Toronto Area as a youngster, was educated and worked in southern Ontario, returned to the east coast to work in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and currently reside in Sackville, New Brunswick. I enjoy travelling across Canada and hope to add the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut to my repertoire over the coming years.

My partner, Marilyn, and I spend many hours hiking the trails in Atlantic Canada along with our canine companions, Oliver and Matilda.  Feel free to explore some pictures of our travels under the tab “Photo Album” above.  I play recreational hockey, curl and love working in our large vegetable garden.

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