Photo of M. Wesley Petite

M. Wesley Petite

PhD candidate

M. Wesley Petite (BA Hons Political Science, University of King’s College; MA Political Economy, Institute of Political Economy, Carleton University) hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

After completing his MA thesis, entitled “Participation and Praxis: A Study of How Participatory Budgeting Deepens Democracy by Institutionalizing Critical Consciousness”, Wesley’s growing interest in participatory urban (re)development compelled him to continue his studies. Wesley continues to research participatory budgeting and theories of democratic urban development, paying specific attention to such initiatives within Canadian municipalities. Wesley also continues this research under the diligent and supportive supervision of Dr. Randall Germain. A recent initiative by the City of Toronto to hold participatory budgeting forums in three wards (Wards 11, 33, and 35), which has been approved to continue for the next two years, will be the case study for Wesley’s dissertation. Wesley’s dissertation research will investigate whether and how marginalized perspectives are able to broaden debates around urban development through these forums. To this end, Wesley will utilize his training and experience in interviewing, and will develop skills in surveying and participant observation.

Benefiting from the variety of approaches and outlooks among the department faculty and contract instructors, Wesley has enjoyed many of the courses offered in the Department including those associated with the Canadian Studies and Public Policy Studies comprehensive exams.

Outside of the classroom, Wesley is an active community member and engages in community organizing and educational programs both within and beyond our campus. Wesley works as a Teaching-Assistant and is an executive member of the local part-time educational staff union CUPE 4600. Wesley is also on the Board of Directors of the Carleton Food Collective and the Garden Spot, helping to raise awareness about how local food systems can be made more healthy, sustainable and community driven.

Beyond campus, Wesley specializes in the design and facilitation of participatory re-development of public infrastructure, using his research and experience to serve as a consultant for open-minded city Councillors and staff.