On Nov. 7, the Canadian political science community and Memorial University lost one of Canada’s foremost scholars in the study of public policy and public administration.
Dr. Christopher Dunn’s career at Memorial spanned nearly three decades. He developed a reputation for meticulously researched and highly detailed scholarship. His publications about cabinets, deputy ministers, federalism and government have been widely read across Canada.
He taught many students over the years and had a significant impact on many young lives.
Dr. Dunn completed a BA(Hons.) at the University of Manitoba, and an MA and PhD at the University of Toronto.
His dissertation examined cabinet decision-making in provincial governments, an area of research that he often returned to. Like many of his generation, Dr. Dunn was captivated by the constitutional debates and NAFTA negotiations during the 1980s and 1990s.
After teaching at universities in all four of Canada’s western provinces, he accepted a position at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1987, becoming full professor in 2005.
His books include The Institutionalized Cabinet: Governing the Western Provinces (MQUP 1995), Canadian Political Debates (OUP 1995), and, with Eric Mintz and Livianna Tossutti, Canada’s Politics: Democracy, Diversity and Good Government (Pearson 2017).
He is perhaps best known for editing multiple editions of The Handbook of Canadian Public Administration (OUP) and Provinces: Canadian Provincial Politics (UTP). Together with Jacques Bourgault he co-edited Deputy Ministers in Canada: Comparative and Jurisdictional Perspectives (UTP 2014).
Voice of reason
Dr. Dunn was a frequent contributor to Policy Options and a regular reviewer for Canadian Public Administration and the Canadian Journal of Political Science. Locally, he conducted a review of caucus resources for the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly, and was a political advisor for the Review Commission on Constituency Allowances and Related Matters (2007).
Dr. Dunn regularly shared his measured insights with eager students and through media interviews. He was always a calm voice of reason.
Above all, he was a kind and caring man.
He is survived by his wife Hilda and their sons, Christopher and James.
Visitation and funeral arrangements
Visitation will be held at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Rd., on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 7-9 p.m. and Friday, Nov. 10, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.
A funeral mass will take place at St. Pius X Church, Smithfield Crescent, on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 11:30 a.m.
Private internment will follow at the Father McGettigan Cemetery in Southeast, Placentia. Flowers are gratefully accepted or donations may be made to Development and Peace, 622 Tache Ave., Winnipeg, Man., R2H 2B4.
To send a message of condolence or to sign the memorial guestbook, please visit the Carnell’s website.