Mount Allison, StFX researchers undertake environmental governance study in the Gulf of St. Lawrence region
Study will be the first to examine modern Gulf politics
SACKVILLE NB — Mount Allison University political science professor Dr. Mario Levesque is undertaking a large-scale research project exploring the politics around the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Working with St. Francis Xavier University political science professor Dr. Peter Clancy, the researchers have received a four-year, $224,000 grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to study environmental governance in the region. This is the first time a study of this kind will be completed on the Gulf of St. Lawrence region.
“The Gulf has traditionally been studied for its physical environment, which is important,” says Levesque. “But the region also includes five provincial governments, as well as the federal government. We are going to look at how the Gulf of St. Lawrence is governed, which has never been done in this way.”
Levesque and Clancy will examine six separate case studies looking at the behaviours and decisions of all Gulf-area governments. The studies include: the Gulf region fisheries zone; infrastructure in the Gulf (notably the Confederation Bridge); the Irving Whale barge sinking; oil resource mapping; integrated oceans management plans for the area; and shoreline development in the Gulf Region.
Levesque says similar regions that include several government jurisdictions, such as the Great Lakes, usually have a separate authority to oversee activity. There is currently no structure like this in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
As for the genesis of this project, Clancy notes that “this project has been percolating for some time and the five-year collegial relationship with Dr. Levesque facilitated and spurred by geography allows us to share resources and opportunities and build on each other’s expertise.”
Levesque and Clancy, with a small team of student research assistants from both the U4 League schools, will hold on-site interviews in communities around the Gulf, engage in field work in the region, give conference presentations and updates on their work, which will cumulate in a book project once completed.
Learn more about the projects and follow updates at www.gulfgov.ca
Photo captions: A map of the Gulf of St. Lawrence region. Mount Allison University political science professor Dr. Mario Levesque, left, and St. Francis Xavier University political science professor Dr. Peter Clancy, right, will be studying environmental governance in this region as part of a SSHRC-funded project over the next four years.