Staff Writers

Andrew Abballe, MPP Candidate 2017

Andrew Abballe is a 2017 Master of Public Policy candidate at the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy & Governance. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Ethics, Society, & Law and International Relations from the University of Toronto. His policy interests include economic, education, social policy and innovation. You can usually find him drinking an espresso in one of Toronto’s many cafes.

Shannon Brooks, MPP Candidate 2017

Shannon Brooks is spending her fall semester abroad in Paris at the Sciences Po School of International Affairs. Her policy interests include social policy, municipal policy, immigration, and international affairs. Shannon recently worked as a co-op analyst with the Regional Municipality of York, where she was able to learn more about internal Human Resources policy and municipal finance policy. 

Taylor Crane Rodrigues, MPP Candidate 2017

Taylor Crane Rodrigues is a 2017 Master of Public Policy Candidate at the School of Public Policy and Governance. He holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Certificate in Ethics with Distinction from the University of Western Ontario. His professional interests include fiscal policy, health policy, environmental policy and libertarian paternalism.

Fiona Downey, MPP Candidate 2017

Fiona Downey is originally from North Vancouver, BC and completed her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University. Although she has grudgingly come to love Toronto, Fiona is currently studying abroad in Berlin and trying to grasp the German language. When she is not harping on about issues of social justice, human rights, and women’s health policy, you can mostly likely find her trying to ignore the Canucks’ most recent loss.

Marvin JS Ferrer, MPP Candidate 2018

Marvin JS Ferrer previously completed his master’s and doctoral degree in the cell biology of reproduction and fertility at Queen’s University, where he helped many Canadians start new families. His policy interests include science and research policy, industry-government relations, and health policy.  As a politically-minded scientist, he would like to advance the use of the scientific method to improve evidence-based decision making.

Jonathan Kates, MPP Candidate 2017

Jonathan Kates holds a bilingual Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Sociology from Glendon campus at York University.  His policy areas of interests are cities, social policy, innovative approaches to governance and service delivery, and how individuals are influenced by their environments. When not perusing the internet, Jonathan is probably checking his fantasy basketball team…ok, teams. 

Jasmine CY Lam, MPP Candidate 2018

Jasmine CY Lam holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Political Science and International Development from McGill University. She has over four years of professional experience in the non-profit sector, with a passion to develop and implement effective policies and solutions that tackle social and equity challenges in Toronto and in Canada.

Ali Nasser Virji, MPP Candidate 2017

Ali Nasser Virji holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Canadian Studies from McGill University and hails from Tsawwassen, a town whose name is arguably the most difficult to spell in British Columbia. If you bump into him on the street, he is likely clutching a cup of coffee, walking unnecessarily fast, and attempting to read up on broadcast and telecommunications regulatory policy on his oversized phone.

Michael Robichaud, Juris Doctor/MPP Candidate 2017

Mike Robichaud is a graduate student at the University of Toronto (previously McGill). He grew up on Vancouver Island, but now sticks mostly to the ten square blocks surrounding his Toronto apartment. He’s worked as a policy researcher, a jug-hound, and just about everything in between. Mike’s interests include politics, post-punk, and 80s slasher flicks. He can’t believe he’s thirty-one.

Madeline Rowland, MPP Candidate 2017

Madeline Rowland holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Political Economy from the University of Guelph. Her main areas of academic interest include government transformation, social policy, urban issues, and international affairs. When she is not in the library, she can be found incessantly reading the news, watching Seinfeld reruns or eating donuts. 

Anna-Kay Russell, MPP Candidate 2018

Anna-Kay Russell completed her international bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Psychology at Glendon College, York University. Her policy interests include, but are not limited to, environmental policy, implementation, municipal affairs and public opinion. An advocate for diversity, her hobbies include travelling, learning new languages and trying new recipes. She hopes to continue exploring these interests during her policy internship this summer.

Robert St. Pierre, MPP Candidate 2017

Rob St. Pierre is originally from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, where he completed his undergraduate degree at Wilfrid Laurier University. His writing interests include social policy, indigenous issues, and political ecology. In his spare time, he is passionate about music, gardening, and documentary films.

Ian T.D. Thomson, MPP Candidate 2018

Ian T. D. Thomson is originally from Winnipeg, MB, holding both a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Manitoba. His policy interests include cultural and media policy, natural resources policy, and fisheries policy. Outside of the realm of policy, Ian writes, records and performs indie rock songs under the name “T. Nautilus”, having released two albums in 2015 and 2016 respectively.