Robert J. Williams
Robert J. Williams was an active member of the department of Political Science from 1971 until his early retirement at the end of 2006. During that time he primarily taught courses in the Canadian politics field with emphasis on parliament and parties, plus courses on provincial, Ontario and municipal government and politics.
Over the years he served in administrative positions in the Department (Chair, Graduate and Undergraduate officer and a variety of other roles), in the Faculty (Chair of Arts Faculty Council and of the Admissions and the Examinations and Standings committees) and the University (as a member of Senate and the Board of Governors, as well as the Board of the Faculty Association). He also volunteered as mediator in the University’s Conflict Intervention Programme and as a resource person for the Resolution Support Programme. From 1994 until 2003 he was Academic Director of the Ontario Legislature Internship Programme at Queen’s Park.
In retirement, Dr. Williams has been engaged as a consultant to a number of Ontario municipalities to conduct or advise on ward boundary reviews. His clients have included the Cities of Kitchener, Windsor, Brantford and Markham, the Towns of Milton, Whitchurch-Stouffville, New Tecumseth, Oakville and Ajax and the Townships of Wilmot and Georgian Bay. He also worked with Watson and Associates on ward boundary reviews in the Towns of Bradford West Gwillimbury, Gravenhurst and Pelham and the City of Barrie. He testified as an expert witness before the Ontario Municipal Board in 2009 in cases involving electoral arrangements in the Town of Kearney and the City of Vaughan.
In 2011, Dr. Williams completed two reports for the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, in relation to a Boundary Review Applications submitted by Cape Breton Regional Municipality and by Halifax Regional Municipality.
Building on his long-standing interest in municipal government and the role of the arts in Canada, Dr. Williams is currently President of Municipal Cultural Planning Inc., a not-for-profit organization created in late 2009 to advance the practice of municipal cultural planning in communities across Ontario. Municipal cultural planning is a municipal-led process that enables communities to identify, leverage, integrate and strengthen the management of their local cultural resources within municipal government planning and decision-making. He is also serving a third term as Chair of the City of Waterloo’s Advisory Committee on Culture.