Meg Morris, obtained her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Physics with minors in Mathematics and Environmental Science from Mount Allison University in 2016. She then pursued a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree at Queen’s University, and spent her last semester as an exchange student at the University of Otago at Dunedin, Aotearoa (New Zealand). Having successfully completed her graduate research, Meg will receive her MPL degree in November 2018. Her Master's research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. Meg is also the recipient of the 2018 Ontario Professional Planner's Institute Gerald Carrothers Graduate Award. Meg is currently based out of Halifax as a Development Officer with Natural Forces involved in renewable energy projects.
Research with PWIP
Her Master's research focused on a critical analysis of the 2017 Ontario Greenbelt Plan to determine the extent to which Indigenous peoples are included in the land use planning processes and if improvements are evident in this updated version. Both the process and the product of the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review were examined to identify any areas where Indigenous inclusion has been improved and where it remains insufficient. The analysis culminated in the development of clear recommendations on how to further improve this policy to enhance the acknowledgement of and engagement with Indigenous peoples in land use planning. Meg developed conclusions in collaboration with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous representatives who were involved with or impacted by the Ontario Greenbelt Plan.
In light of the direction set by the 2014 Ontario Provincial Policy Statement, the historical lack of involvement of First Nations and Métis peoples in planning decisions in Ontario is a major topic of discussion from both an Indigenous rights and environmental justice perspective. The lands governed by the Greenbelt Plan are both culturally and environmentally significant and range from rural to urban, giving the province an opportunity to set wide precedents for the planning profession with this plan. Using the review of the Greenbelt Plan through the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review as a case study, this research acts to draw a connection between the Crown efforts in relationship building and reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the role of local planning authorities. Though the body of academic work exploring this topic is growing, there remains a lack of case studies that hold government bodies accountable and that adequately incorporate the perspectives of a diversity of players, most importantly those of the affected Indigenous groups. Meg’s work aims to contribute to filling that void.
Other Research Interests
- Opportunities available through urban planning to build healthy Indigenous-municipal and Indigenous-provincial relationships
- Effective methods of meaningfully engaging with Indigenous people
- Land use and environmental planning with Indigenous People
Enhancing First Nation and Métis Involvement in Land Use Planning in Southern Ontario: The Case of Ontario’s Greenbelt Plan Review. http://hdl.handle.net/1974/24470