Café Speakers

 Gerald Friesen teaches history at the University of Manitoba. He has written a number of books on Canadian history and was the general editor of the University of Manitoba Press’s fifteen-volume series, Manitoba Studies in Native History. He has also been active in the Canadian Historical Association and was an advisor on the CBC’s television series, Canada: A Peoples’ History.

Dan Lett
came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school. Despite the fact that he’s originally from Toronto and has a fatal attraction to the Maple Leafs, Winnipeggers let him stay. In the following years, he has worked at bureaus covering every level of government – from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa. He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed several borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him. In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could even hope for. He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations. Other awards include the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.$0 $0 Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often but no longer pines to live there.

Jared Wesley holds Adjunct Professor appointments in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta and the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba, and is Associate Director of Social Policy in Alberta’s Ministry of International and Intergovernmental Relations.  He is Principal Investigator of the Comparative Provincial Election Project, and Outreach Director for the U2011 (Understanding the Manitoba Election) Café Politique series.  His research and teaching focuses on politics and elections in the Canadian provinces, with a specialization in federalism, political parties, cultures, intergovernmental affairs, and the Prairies.  In addition to his new book, Code Politics: Campaigns and Cultures on the Canadian Prairies (UBC Press, 2011), he has published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Canadian Studies, Prairie Forum, and several recent edited volumes.

Joan Gr
ace holds a PhD in political science from McMaster University.  Joan is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics, University of Winnipeg where she teaches Canadian politics, women and politics, federalism and collective action.$0 Joan was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Standard Research Grant for her project “Coming to Grips with the State: Women’s Political Activism in Western Canada” which analyses women’s policy advocacy in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  Joan is a member of FIIN, the Feminism and Institutionalism International Network, and has presented numerous papers at Canadian and international conferences.  Research interests include women’s policy advocacy, state-society relations, and the role and influence of institutions of multi-level governance in public policy development.

Louise Carbert is Associate Professor of Political Science at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Since 1988, she has been analysing election results and speaking with rural women leaders across most of Canada with an eye to understanding the rural deficit of women in public life. Her two books are Agrarian Feminism: The Politics of Ontario Farm Women (UTP 1995) and Rural Women's Leadership in Atlantic Canada (UTP 2006).  She is particularly interested in the interface between partisanship, governance, and local economic development in rural communities and its implications for women's leadership. She has also published on what an elected Senate would mean for women.

Mary Ag
nes Welch joined the Free Press in 2002, first as a general assignment reporter and then covering city hall and the Manitoba legislature before moving to her current post as public policy reporter.  Before Winnipeg, she worked at the Windsor Star and the Odessa American, a small daily newspaper in West Texas.  Mary Agnes is a graduate of Columbia University’s journalism school, has won several Western Ontario Newspaper Awards and has been part of two teams of reporters nominated for a Michener Award. She is also the national president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.$0

Dr. Loleen Berdahl Political Science from the University of Calgary in 1998, and she is a past SSHRC graduate scholarship recipient, Fulbright Graduate Scholar, and Honorary University of Calgary Silver Anniversary Graduate Fellow. Prior to joining the University of Saskatchewan in 2008, Dr. Berdahl was the Director of Research and then Senior Researcher for the Canada West Foundation, a non-profit Calgary-based public policy research institute.  Her research interests include western Canadian regionalism, public policy attitudes, and internal trade policy.  She is the coauthor of four books, including Western Visions, Western Futures (with Dr. Roger Gibbins; University of Toronto Press) and Explorations: Conducting Empirical Research in Canadian Political Science (with Dr. Keith Archer; Oxford University Press).  Dr. Berdahl was recently awarded a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant (with Drs. Joe Garcea and Maureen Bourassa) to establish a survey research centre at the University of Saskatchewan, and is currently working on a SSHRC-funded research project examining Aboriginal political culture in Northern Saskatchewan (with Drs. Bonita Beatty and Greg Poelzer).  Dr. Berdahl and her family live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

th Gidengil is Hiram Mills Professor in the Department of Political Science at McGill University and founding director of the inter-university Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship. She was a member of the Canadian Election Study team from 1992 and 2006 and served as principal investigator for the 2008 study. Her research focuses on voting behaviour and public opinion, with a particular interest in gender. She has co-authored several books including Making Representative Democracy Work, The Challenge of Direct Democracy and Citizens, as well as numerous journal articles.

Dr. Mebs Kanj
i's SSHRC and FQRSC funded research examines value diversity between different value communities in Canada and across other advanced industrial states. His current focus of analysis centres on investigating the relationship between value diversity, social cohesion and political support.  Some of his most recent findings reveal an expanding generational value divide that may have significant implications for the welfare state and democratic governance.  Another set of findings demonstrate a link between value diversity across different Canadian communities and variations in support for electoral reform.  And preliminary results from a broader cross-national project suggest that value diversity between different EU member states may have important implications for support for further European integration. In addition, Dr. Kanji is also currently working on projects that examine: the nuances of secularization in advanced industrialized states, attitudes toward access to health care services and possible reforms, and environmental concern and action.

Henry Milner is Research Fellow at the Chair in Electoral Studies, Department of Political Science, Université de Montréal. He has been a Visiting Professor of Political Science at Umea University in Sweden since 1998. He has held the Chair in Canadian Studies at the Sorbonne, and the Canada-US Fulbright Chair, at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. He has also been a visiting professor or researcher at universities in Finland, Australia and New Zealand. His book: The Internet Generation: Engaged Citizens or Political Dropouts has recently was published in summer 2010. Recent books include Civic Literacy: How Informed Citizens Make Democracy Work (2002), Social Democracy and Rational Choice (1994), and Sweden: Social Democracy in Practice (1989). He is co-publisher of Inroads, the Canadian journal of opinion and policy.

Royce Koop is assistant professor in the School of Policy Studies at Simon Fraser University. Prior to coming to SFU he was the Skelton-Clark Postdoctoral Fellow at Queen's University (2010-11) and the University Postdoctoral Fellow at Memorial University (2009-10). He received a PhD in political science from the University of British Columbia in 2009. He is the author of Grassroots Liberals: Organizing for Local and National Politics (UBC Press, 2011). His primary research interests are public policy, representation, political parties, and federalism. His current research focuses on policy responsiveness and the quality of democracy in Canada's cities.

Brett Loe
wen is a recent graduate of the University of Manitoba and an MA candidate in Political Science at the University of Calgary. His research interests include elections and political parties in Canada with a focus on leadership selection in provincial and federal political parties. He is the lead researcher of the Electoral Boundaries Research Group, a student-led initiative funded by the Manitoba Institute of Public Research to examine the potential effects of the 2008 electoral boundary redistribution on the 2011 Manitoban provincial election.

Dr. Richa
rd Sigurdson is Professor of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba where he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2011. Prior to his return to Manitoba, Sigurdson was Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Manitoba and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Sigurdson has served on several university and community boards and committees, including the Manitoba Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission, the J.W. Dafoe Foundation Board, the University of  Manitoba Board of Governors, and the Board of Directors of the University of Manitoba Alumni Association, Inc. Sigurdson’s  areas of academic interest include contemporary political theory, Canadian government and politics, and the history of political thought. He has published on topics ranging from Jacob Burckhardt’s social and political thought to the nature of Preston Manning’s conservatism. He is a frequent political commentator on TV and radio, a contributor to the print media, and a public policy analyst.

Dr. Andrea
Rounce is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba and Chair of the Joint Master of Public Administration Program.  She teaches and researches in public administration, focusing on postsecondary education policy; government's use of public opinion and consultation; elections; public sector governance; and research methodology.  Emphasizing the need to bridge theory and practice, Andrea also works with public sector organizations on policy and governance issues while working collaboratively on community engagement and education projects around elections and voting. 

Christopher Adams is a Vice President with Probe Research, and holds Adjunct Professor appointments with the Department of Political Studies at the University of Winnipeg and the I.H. Asper School of Business.  He holds a PhD from the Carleton University and two other degrees at the University of Manitoba.  Since the mid-1990s, Dr. Adams has held senior research positions in the marketing research industry, including Goldfarb Consultants and the Angus Reid Group, where he served as its Vice President of Global Research Services. He is the author of Politics in Manitoba: Parties, Leaders and Voters and is a regular media commentator on social and political issues. He is currently writing a business history of the marketing research industry.


Wab Kinew (pron: WOB ka-NOO) is a one-of-a-kind musical talent, named by the Winnipeg Free Press as one of the top artists to watch from Manitoba. He's won an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award for his hip-hop. He is also a Television reporter for the CBC whose journalism has won an Adrienne Clarkson RTNDA Award, a Gabriel Award and been nominated for a  Gemini Award. He was nominated for a Future Leaders of Manitoba award. He has a BA in Economics and is a member of the Midewin.

 Reg Alcock, former Treasury Board president, held the position of Asper School of Business Executive in Residence from 2007 to 2009, was the School’s Associate Dean from 2008 to 2009, and rejoined the Executive in Residence program in 2010. A former Liberal Cabinet minister, Mr. Alcock came to the School via the House of Commons in Ottawa, where he represented Winnipeg South between 1993 and 2006. He has a Master’s degree in Public Administration (1992) from Harvard University and served as director of Manitoba Child and Family Services (1983-85). Mr. Alcock is a long-standing member of the Harvard Policy Group, which studies the effects of Information Technology on the public sector.

 Bonita Beatty, PhD, is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in northern Saskatchewan. She is an assistant professor in the department of Native Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. She has a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Alberta, specializing in First Nations Governance and Community development. She was a former executive director of Health and Social Development for the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians (2005-2007); A research Associate with Family Medicine, College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan from 2002-2004; and the Executive Director of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation Health Services from 1996-2002, and its Director of Community Development from 1995-1996. She was also a senior policy analyst with the provincial government, Saskatchewan Indian and Metis Affairs Secretariat, from 1991-1995.

Dr. Fiona MacDonald is an assistant professor of political studies at the University of Manitoba. Her main research interest is the relationship(s) between Indigenous peoples and the Canadian state. She has published on this topic in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, Hypatia, and the UBC volume First Nations, First Thoughts.

 Linda Trimble is a Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Her research explores media coverage of politics and women’s legislative representation. She is the co-editor, with Shannon Sampert, of Mediating Canadian Politics and is currently co-editing a book on women’s political representation across Canada. Her newest project is a SSHRC-funded study of television and newspaper coverage of Canadian national party leadership contests, 1975 - 2006. Recent articles and book chapters include: “Either Way, There’s Going to be a Man in Charge: Media Representations of New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark”; “Kim-Speak: Gendered Mediation of Kim Campbell During the 1993 Canadian National Election”; and “Belinda Stronach and the Gender Politics of Celebrity.”

Shannon Sampert is an associate professor at the University of Winnipeg.  She is particularly interested in media coverage of policy. She is currently working with a national research team examining the media coverage of relations in 4 provincial elections. As well she continues to  collaborate with Linda Trimble and Laura Way on the media articulating of elections from 2000 until 2011.

Peter Kulchyski is from Bissett, Manitoba and as a non-native attended the government run residential high school Frontier Collegiate in Cranberry Portage, Manitoba.  He studied politics at the University of Winnipeg and York University (in Toronto).  He has been teaching native studies since 1988 at the University of Saskatchewan, Trent and now the University of Manitoba, where he is a full professor. He has written or edited six books and numerous scholarly and popular articles on indigenous cultural politics, and he has won numerous awards for his writing and teaching in the field.