MPA student Connor Williams appointed to Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council


Congratulations to MPA student Connor Williamson for being selected to be part of the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council. Connor is a farmer, food system researcher, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. As a fifth-generation farmer, Connor was born into a passion for agriculture and later, a drive to understand and provide solutions to Canada’s food system. Connor has researched topics that range from food security in transnational settings, to how supply management can promote localized food systems.

Currently, Connor is a contributing researcher to the SSHRC funded project, 'Four Stories about Food Sovereignty: Transnational crises and local action'. The project seeks to create an enduring community-engaged research network of grassroots food producers, researchers and local producer organizations from four continents. The four settings range from South Africa, Indigenous Colombia and Canada, and refugee camps in Jordan. The overall question of this work is: How are communities to feed themselves? This question has led Connor to focus his research on the LGBTQ+ community, and how this underrepresented population operates in agriculture, what are the barriers they experience, and opportunities for growth.

A budding area of research for Connor is the cannabis industry in Canada. Connor’s interest in this field began when the crop was first legalized and later classified as a farm-use on agricultural land reserve land in BC. Connor now examines how communities respond to this crop’s introduction into their jurisdiction, how agricultural organizations navigate the recent legalization, and what role cannabis could play for a farm's business diversification.

Connor hopes to bring his passion for a range of topics to this council and to act as an ally and voice to marginalized communities across Canada.