News Release

Charles Breton joins the IRPP as Executive Director of the new Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation

October 15, 2019 Print

Montreal – The Institute for Research on Public Policy is pleased to announce the appointment of Charles Breton as Executive Director of the IRPP’s new Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation.

Charles Breton, PhD, is the Research Director at Vox Pop Labs, where he led the design of innovative public opinion research tools such as Vote Compass – an award-winning citizen engagement platform. He has led initiatives of this kind at the federal level and in many Canadian provinces, as well as countries such as Australia and Brazil. His research interests include Canadian politics, comparative public policy and public opinion research. His work has been published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science and Comparative Political Studies.  Breton earned his PhD in political science from the University of British Columbia and did his post-doctoral studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Originally from Magog, Québec, he earned his master’s degree in political science at the Université de Montréal. Before pursuing his academic career, Breton was a researcher and journalist for many current affairs programs on Radio-Canada. He is a frequent analyst and expert commentator on Canadian politics and public policy.

As Executive Director, Breton will lead the research activities of the IRPP Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation. Its mission will be to reinforce research capacity on issues related to federalism.  Specifically, the Centre will:

  • Conduct new research on public attitudes toward federalism and the federation;
  • Examine the state of the institutions of federalism and democracy and how they might evolve in future;
  • Contribute to reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples through research and public debate on Indigenous governance and on the relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities;
  • Conduct economic analyses of issues that affect Canada’s federal arrangements, including shifts in Canada’s economic foundations, wealth redistribution and equalization;
  • Study the impact of emerging economic and social trends on federal arrangements;
  • Find and support new and more diverse research voices in these fields; and,
  • Regularly convene decision-makers and leaders from other sectors to discuss research findings and their implications for public policy and the country’s cohesion.

IRPP President Graham Fox says, “I am delighted to welcome Charles to the Institute as Executive Director of our new Centre. News headlines remind us every day of the importance of understanding the dynamics of the Canadian federation. Every important policy issue facing our national leaders today has a meaningful intergovernmental dimension, and making national decisions in the public interest is becoming increasingly difficult. For Canada to thrive, we must focus our attention once again on understanding what binds our citizens and regions together as a country and how we best address the tensions that arise. With his experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, Charles is ideally suited to lead this work and ensure the Centre remains at the cutting edge of social science research methods.”

“It is an honour to join the Institute as the Executive director of the new Centre,” added Breton. “Federalism is at the core of many of the most important political issues of our time. In this context, the Centre represents a unique opportunity to advance our understanding of Canada and have an important impact on public policy and the conduct of intergovernmental affairs.”

Charles Breton will be joining the Montreal office of the IRPP, making the move from Vancouver, where he and his family have been living for 11 years. His appointment is effective November 1, 2019.

The IRPP Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation has been created thanks to a contribution from the Government of Canada announced in 2018.


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