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Jacob Wilson

Housing, effective political action and the State, worker rights and labour policy, cooperatives and unions, and finance capital


Before beginning your studies at the Institute of Political Economy where did you study and what program(s) were you enrolled in?

Before attending Carleton, I studied Political Science at York University, graduating in 2017.

What is it specifically that attracted you to study Political Economy at Carleton?

I was attracted to Carleton because of its attention to the complicated realities which shape our contemporary political economy, and its orientation towards learning how to change them.

My areas of research interest include…

Housing, effective political action and the State, worker rights and labour policy, cooperatives and unions, and finance capital.

I hope to study the intersection of pension fund investment into housing REITs, how that capitalisation impacts housing costs, what alternatives for housing justice may exist in the face of the contradictions of so-called ‘pension fund capitalism’ and what ways workers may use to build a more just system for housing themselves and their neighbours.

What activities have you been involved in lately? (work placement, work experience, Undergraduate research, research positions, volunteer work, awards, travel, favourite books)

Between my studies, I have worked as a long-time tradesman, working as a glazier in Halifax, Nova Scotia, before becoming a casual homeless shelter worker and then a union organiser with the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

I have been very active in my home city of Halifax, I was a founding member of the Fight for $15 & Fairness (now Justice for Workers NS), a former member of Solidarity Kjipuktuk-Halifax, member of the Social Justice Committee of the Society of Saint Vincent dePaul, many community theatre groups and choirs. In 2020 and 2021, I was deeply involved with forming the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth’s Emergency Tiny Shelter project, which continues to provide shelter and care for dozens of unhoused Nova Scotians.

I am also a two-time candidate for the New Democratic Party, having run federally in 2019, and provincially in 2021.

What advice would you give to a prospective Political Economy graduate student?

The point of studying the world is more than to merely understand it, the point must be to change it.

Keep your goals beyond the programme in your mind: your political projects, your aspirations for a better world, and your relationships with your comrades (both in the programme and in your community). It makes it a lot easier to get through the workload of graduate studies if you’re building solidarity with your cohort, and working towards something better beyond the walls of Dunton Tower.