School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

Thomas Plunkett Lecture Series 2017:  Peter Wallace, October 13, 2017 [image]

October 13, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Robert Sutherland Hall, Room 202, 138 Union Street, Kingston, ON 

Abstract: Toronto City Manager Peter Wallace asserts that the current system of policy integration across orders of government is broken. This breakage prevents the achievement of public policy goals that would better serve residents and communities. Many federal and provincial priorities depend on execution in urban communities. But the dependencies for positive outcomes are not articulated or coordinated. The time is now for aligned consensus-building and prioritization to better serve our communities.

* Light Lunch is available beginning at 11:30 AM.  All are welcome,


Biography of Peter Wallace
City Manager, City of Toronto

Peter Wallace is currently the City Manager for the City of Toronto, with the overall responsibility for over 53,000 staff, an Operating budget of about $12 Billion and a 2015-24 Capital Plan of $32 billion.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and the 6th largest government in the country.

Peter’s career in the public service spans over more than 30 years. Peter became Secretary of the Cabinet, head of the Ontario Public Service and Clerk of the Executive Council on December 17, 2011. Before his appointment as Secretary of the Cabinet, Peter was Deputy Minister of Finance for three years. Peter also served as Deputy Minister of Energy. Earlier, he was Deputy Minister and Associate Secretary of the Cabinet with responsibility for Policy in Cabinet Office.

Peter began his public service career in 1981 after completing a BA (Honours) in Political Economy and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Toronto.


Thomas Plunkett Lecture Series

This Lecture Series honours Tom Plunkett, who served as Director of the School of Public Administration at Queen’s University from 1977 to 1984 and 1990 to 1992.

Born in Northern Ireland in 1921, Tom grew up in Montreal.  Following service with the Air Force during World War II, he completed high school, an undergraduate degree from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia) and a Master’s degree from McGill University.  

With an interest in public administration inspired by his studies, Tom embarked on a sterling career in local government, sharing his expertise with municipalities all across Canada, Singapore, Guyana and even China, and serving as principal advisor to the Royal Commission on Metropolitan Toronto in the mid-1960s and chief advisor on the unification of Winnipeg and surrounding municipalities in the early 1970s.  His growing reputation in city administration brought him to Queen’s University as director of the Institute of Local Government in 1972.  He became director of the School of Public Administration in 1977, where he nurtured two young graduate programs--the full-time MPA program founded in 1970 and the new part-time Professional MPA program established in 1976--to national prominence, and returned as acting director for two years in 1989, prior to the merger of the Schools of Public Administration and Policy Studies.

As a practitioner, Tom shared his experience of local government administration with his students; as a scholar, he shared his research with professional administrators as well as students and academic colleagues. He was the author (or co-author) of more than six books on urban government in Canada and numerous articles, reports and case studies that may still be found on university reading lists today.  He was awarded the Vanier Medal, by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada in 1983 as  a mark of distinction and exceptional achievement to a person who has shown distinctive leadership in public administration and public service in Canada, or who, by his/her writings or other endeavours, has made a significant contribution in the field of public administration or public service in Canada.

The Thomas Plunkett Lecture Series is supported by the Thomas Plunkett Executive-in-Residence Endowment Fund.  Established by family and friends, with support from his students, the Endowment Fund supports the participation of distinguished senior practitioners in municipal government or the broader public sector, in the School’s scholarly activities.

2013: Karen Stintz

Bringing Common Sense to City Building

November 22, 2013

Karen Stintz
Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission

Karen Stintz | November 2013Karen Stintz is the Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission and a member of the City of Toronto's Planning and Growth Management Committee. She has led the City’s efforts to put in place a plan for expanding Toronto’s transit network; working with fellow councillors and representatives from the provincial and federal levels of government. She is involved in many infrastructure and land use planning decisions worth billions of dollars.

Councillor Stintz will discuss how to bring together a variety of public and private interests in developing policies and plans that can meet the needs of a dynamic and growing city.