Fraser McLeod


Leela Viswanathan


I completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with Distinction in Global Development Studies and Geography at Queen’s University in 2012. I graduated from the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Queen’s University, earning my Master of Urban and Regional Planning of Planning (M.Pl.) in 2014. As part of my planning education, I worked for the City of Calgary in the summer of 2013 as the Regional Corporate Initiatives (RCI) Planning Student for the Land Use Planning and Policy (LUPP) business unit. I am currently based out of Calgary, Alberta as a Planner with the City of Calgary.

Research with PWIP

My research with PWIP focused on critically examining provincial land use and resource management policies, plans and legislation in Ontario, and their relative capacity at recognizing and supporting First Nations. My thesis research, which was co-authored with other members of PWIP, focused on mapping out the current intersection and limits of provincial land use and resource management policies with First Nations and highlighting the opportunities to create spaces of common ground through policy shifts. This research analyzed the manifest and latent content of 337 provincial policies, plans and legislation and compared Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) (2014) with an equivalent policy statement at the regional-scale from New Zealand.

This research was significant because it examined the strategic-level provincial policies that shape the on-the-ground relations occurring at the municipal-scale both in Ontario and New Zealand. This work provided recommendations for how fundamental changes to guiding planning policies can improve the daily interactions and efforts of local municipal planners and Indigenous peoples. This research and subsequent publications not only built awareness of the limits of current provincial policies in Ontario, but it also provided the necessary evidence to support ongoing Indigenous peoples-led amendments. The research process was iterative and developed amongst PWIP team members through the type of mutual understanding and mutual learning we envision in spaces of common ground.

Other Research Interests

  • Land Use Planning
  • Indigenous Planning and Practice
  • Collaborative Planning Theory
  • Regional Planning and Policy
  • Public Engagement

Master’s Thesis

Finding Common Ground: Building Equitable Planning Futures with First Nations in Ontario, Canada -


McLeod, F., Viswanathan, L., Whitelaw, G., Macbeth, J., King, C., McCarthy, D., Alexiuk, E. (2015). “Finding Common Ground: A Critical Review of Land Use and Resource Management Policies in Ontario, Canada and their Intersection with First Nations.” International Indigenous Policy Journal, 6 (1).

McLeod, F., Viswanathan, L., King, C., Macbeth, J. & Whitelaw, G. (2014). 2014 Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) At a Glance: Changing Tides in Ontario Provincial Planning Policy with Respect to First Nation Interests. Publisher: Authors.

Viswanathan, L., McLeod, F., King, C., Macbeth, J., Alexiuk, E., (2013). “Are We There Yet? Making inroads to decolonize planning knowledge and practices in Southern Ontario.” Plan Canada, 53 (3), 20-23.