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Winfield, Mark S

Winfield, Mark S

 Winfield_Mark S

Winfield, Mark S


MES/JD Coordinator

Senate Member, York University

Co-Chair, Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI)

PhD Political Science , University of Toronto
MA Political Science , University of Toronto
BA (Honours) Science & Technology Studies , University of Toronto

Sustainable energy; Climate change; Environmental policy; Environmental law.

I am a professor at the new Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) at York University, co-chair of the Faculty's Sustainable Energy Initiative, and a member of the York University Senate.  I have published articles, book chapters and reports on a wide range of climate change, environment and energy law and policy topics. I have acted as an advisor to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario and federal Commissioner for Environment and Development. I am also a member of the Conseil d'administration (board of directors) of Transitions energetique Quebec, a Crown corporation established in 2017 to implement a low-carbon energy transition strategy for Quebec.


Current Major Projects 

A Blueprint for Energy Efficiency and Conservation in a Low Carbon Sustainable Energy Transition in Canada.  Principal Investigator 2018-2020. Project explores governance models for energy efficiency in context of populist challenges to climate change policy. Outputs included a technical report for governmental and institutional sponsors, a public report, paper presented at the June 2019 International Sustainability Transitions conference (Gaede, Haley, Harbinson, Love, Winfield 2019) and a formal paper in the Energy Research and Social Science (Haley, Gaede, Love and Winfield 2020).

Community Energy Knowledge and Action Partnership ( – Co-Investigator 2017-2020) CEKAP is an SSHRC-funded partnership that has been established to facilitate collaboration between researchers, practitioners and community groups across Canada in the area of community energy planning (CEP). Core partners have included five universities and seven municipalities across three Canadian provinces, QUEST Canada, a number of governmental, non-government and community partners. Major research outputs include several research reports, and a forthcoming special edition of the Canadian Planning and Policy Journal featuring papers contributions from CEKAP researchers, including Prof. Winfield and FES students affiliated with the project.  Prof Winfield has also led development and delivery of a professional development course on CEP for planners in conjunction with QUEST Canada.

NSERC Energy Storage Technology Network (NESTNet)  Co-Investigator 2015-2020) NEST collaboratively explores many different types of energy storage, including flywheels, lithium-ion batteries and compressed air, while determining how best to integrate these technologies into electricity grids. In addition, researchers consider the implications arising from the increasing adoption of energy storage and how consumers will perceive, adopt and interact with these technologies. Research outputs have included two formal articles (Winfield, Shokrzadeh and Jones 2018; Winfield and Gelfant 2020), along with five technical working papers (for example Gross 2019), one policy white paper (Winfield 2020) with two more formal papers in development. One BES (Jones 2015) and five MES theses/major papers have also been completed through the project (Zeeman 2016, Gelfant 2017, Hurtado 2019, Lev 2019, Sooch 2020).

Joint Climate Change Transportation Research Partnership (JCCTRP) Co-Investigator 2017-2020)   The JCCTRP is a coordinated, integrative research effort that explores the various technical, economic and political dimensions of efforts to reduce emissions in the transport sector, in Quebec, California, Ontario and Vermont. The ultimate goal of the JCCTRP is to identify technical, economic and political factors shaping the potential for effective, cost-efficient, and politically viable low-carbon transport and climate policy in each jurisdiction, and understand their implications for emissions trading. The project has led to the completion of an FES Ph.D. dissertation (Kaiser 2020), and working papers on transportation and climate change issues in Ontario.

Prof. Winfield has also undertaken research related to Ontario-Quebec energy and climate change policy linkages (Gaede 2016), and smart grids (Winfield and Weiler 2018) as well as a variety of related articles and book chapters dealing with energy and climate change policy (Winfield; 2015; Winfield 2016; Winfield 2019; MacWhirter and Winfield 2019; Winfield and Macdonald 2020), principally in Ontario and at the national level. 


  • York-Massey Visitor, Massey College, University of Toronto
  • FES Dean's Award
  • George Cedric Metcalf Foundation Leaders in the Field Award

Selected Publications


Winfield, M., Blue-Green Province: The Environment and the Political Economy of Ontario (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2012).

Chapters in books – Peer Reviewed; Major University Presses

MacWhirter, R., and M.Winfield, “The Search for Sustainability in Ontario Electricity Policy.” in G.Albo and R.MacDermid eds., Divided Province: Ontario Politics in the Age of Neoliberalism (Kingston/Montreal: Queens-McGill University Press 2019) 

Winfield, M., “Environmental Policy: Greening the Province from the Dynasty to Wynne” in J.Malloy and C.Collier eds., Government and Politics of Ontario 6th Ed.  (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016).

Winfield, M., “Electricity Planning and Sustainability Assessment: The Ontario Experience,” for R.B. Gibson, ed., Sustainability Assessment: Applications, (London: Earthscan, 2016)

Winfield, M., Implementing Environmental Policy in Canada” for D. VanNijnatten, ed., Canadian Environmental Policy and Politics (4rd Edition) (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2016)

Winfield, M., “Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act as an Industrial Development Strategy” for S.McBride and C. Carla Lipsig-Mummé eds., Work and the Challenge of Climate Change: Canadian and International Perspectives (Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2015).

Winfield, M., “The Environment, ‘Responsible Resource Development’ and Evidence Based Policy-Making in Canada”, for Shaun Young ed., Evidence Based Policy-Making in Canada (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Winfield, M., “Thoughts from the Green Side: The Environmental Policy Experience,” in R. McRae and E. Abergel, eds., Health and sustainability in the Canadian food system: Advocacy and opportunity for civil society (Vancouver: UBC Press 2012).

Winfield, M., and D.Macdonald, “Federalism and Canadian Climate Change Policy” for G.Skogstad and H.Bakvis, eds., Canadian Federalism: Performance, Effectiveness and Legitimacy 3rd edition, (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2012). 

Winfield, M., “Policy Instruments in Canadian Environmental Policy,” in R. Boardman and D. VanNijnatten, eds., Canadian Environmental Policy and Politics (3rd Edition) (Oxford University Press, 2009).

Winfield, M., “Polls, Politics and Sustainability,” in G. Toner and J. Meadowcroft, eds., Charting Sustainable Development in Canada 1987–2007 (Kingston and Montreal: McGill–Queens University Press, 2009).

Winfield M., Demerse, C., and Whitmore, J., “Climate Change and Canadian Energy Policy,” in S. Bernstein, J. Brunnee, D. Duff and A. Green, eds., A Globally Integrated Climate Policy for Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008).

Winfield, M., and Macdonald, D., “The Harmonization Accord and Climate Change Policy: Two Case Studies in Federal-Provincial Environmental Policy” in H. Bakvis and G. Skogstad, eds., Canadian Federalism: Performance, Effectiveness and Legitimacy (2nd Edition) (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2007) 266–288.

Work in press

M.Winfield and V.Scanga, “International Climate Change Policy in the Harper Era,” in P.McKenna, ed., Canadian Foreign Policy in the Harper Era (Toronto: University of Toronto Press) In Press.

D.Macdonald and M.Winfield “Federalism and Canadian Climate Change Policy” for G.Skogstad and H.Bakvis, eds., Canadian Federalism (4th ed) (Toronto: Oxford University Press) In press.

Work in progress

Winfield, M., and Kaiser, K., “Ontario and Climate Change,” for J. Onusko and D. Anastakis, eds., Ontario Since Confederation: A Reader (Toronto: University of Toronto Press).

Winfield, M., and Saherwala, A., “The Ontario Coal Phase-Out “ for M.Howlett, E. Lindquist, G.Skogstad, G.Tellier and P.‘t Hart  Successful Public Policy: Lessons from Canada (Toronto: Oxford, Publication 2021). 

Articles in refereed journals

Winfield, M., Harbinson, S., Morrissey Wyse S. and Kaiser, C. "Enabling community energy planning? Polycentricity, governance frameworks, and community energy planning in Canada," Canadian Planning and Policy Journal, Volume 2021, DOI:

Winfield, M., and Gelfant G., “Distributed Energy Resource Development in Ontario: A socio-technical transition in progress?” Energy Regulation Quarterly, January 2020 - Volume 7, Issue 4, 2019.

B.Haley, Gaede, J., Love., P. and Winfield M., “From utility demand side management to low-carbon transitions: Opportunities and challenges for energy efficiency governance in a new era,” Energy Research and Social Science, Volume 59, January 2020, 101312.

Winfield, M., “Justice Denied: Why was there no public inquiry into the Lac-Mégantic Disaster?” Ottawa Law Review (2018) 48 R.G.D. 131-154

Winfield, M.,  Shokrzadeh, S., and Jones, A., “Energy Policy Regime Change and Advanced Energy Storage: A Comparative Analysis,” Energy Policy, Volume 115, April 2018, Pages 572-583.

Winfield, M., and Weiler, S., “Institutional diversity, policy niches, and smart grids: A review of the evolution of Smart Grid policy and practice in Ontario, Canada,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews vol. 82(P2), pages 1931-1938. (2018).

Winfield, M., “The Lac- Mégantic Disaster and Transport Canada’s Safety Management System (SMS) Model: Implications for Reflexive Regulatory Regimes,” Journal of Environmental Law and Practice, 28.3 (August 2016).

Winfield, M., “Public Safety in Private Hands Re-Examined: The Case of Ontario’s Technical Safety and Standards Authority,” Canadian Public Administration Vol.58, No.3 (September 2015).

Winfield, M., and Dolter, B., "Energy, Economic and Environmental Discourses and their Policy Impact: The Case of Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act." Energy Policy 68 (2014) 423-435.

Winfield, M., Mulvihill, P., and Etcheverry, J., "Strategic Environmental Assessment and Advanced Renewable Energy in Ontario: Moving Forward or Blowing in the Wind?" Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, Vol.15, No.2, June 2013, 1-19.

Winfield, M., "’Dirty Oil,’ ‘Responsible Resource Development’ and Prospects for a National Conversation about Energy Sustainability in Canada," Journal of Environmental Law and Practice, 25 J.E.L.P. 2012.

Winfield, M., “The Role of Parliamentary and Legislative Committees in Canadian Environmental Policy Development and Evaluation: The Case of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development 1994-2004,” Journal of Environmental Law and Practice  [22 J.E.L.P. 59-76] October 2010.

Winfield, M., Gibson, R., Markvart, T., Gaudreau, K. and Taylor, J., “Implications of Sustainability Assessment for Electricity System Design: The case of the Ontario Power Authority’s Integrated Power System Plan,” Energy Policy, 38 (2010) 4115-4126.

Winfield, M., “Alternative Service Delivery in the Natural Resources Sector: An Examination of Ontario’s Forestry Compliance Self-inspection System,” Canadian Public Administration Vol. 48, No. 4, Winter 2005, 552–574.

Work Submitted

M.Purdon, Giuliano, G., Witcover, J., Murphy, C., Ziaja, S., Kaiser, C., Winfield, M., Seguin, C., Papy, J., Kim, S., Coderre, L-C., Goulet, M., Fulton, L., “Climate and Transportation Policy Sequencing in California and Quebec: Coordinating Policy Pathways for Emissions Trading and Low-Carbon Transportation Policy,” Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment Submitted October 2019 – in revision following peer review.

Winfield, M., Wyse, Susan M., and Harbinson, S., “Enabling community energy planning? Polycentricity, governance frameworks, and community energy planning in Canada,” submitted to Canadian Planning and Policy Journal January 2020.

Work in Progress

J. Gaede, Harbinson, S., Haley, B., Love., P. and Winfield, M., “Political resiliency and institutional design: A case study of energy efficiency governance in six North America cases”

Winfield, M., and Gross, A., “Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and Energy Storage in Capacity Markets: Experience from the US and other jurisdictions

Papers in refereed conference proceedings

Winfield, M., “Decision-Making, Governance and Sustainability: Beyond the Age of “Responsible Resource Development,’” Journal of Environmental Law and Practice, Conference Issue, August 2016.

Research reports and monographs

Winfield, M., Love, P., Gaede, J., and Harbinson, S., Unpacking the Climate Potential of Energy Efficiency: Effective and Resilient Governance for Energy Efficiency in Low-Carbon Sustainable Energy Transitions (Toronto: Sustainable Energy Initiative, York University, 2020) .

Winfield, M.,  Gaede, J., Harbinson, S.; Haley, B., Love, P., Building Resilient Governance for Energy Efficiency: A Blueprint for Energy Efficiency and Conservation in a Low-Carbon Sustainable Energy Transition for Canada (Toronto: Sustainable Energy Initiative, 2019) for Ontario IESO, Efficiency Alberta and Efficiency One (Nova Scotia).

Winfield, M., A New Era of Environmental Governance in Canada: Better Decisions Regarding Infrastructure and Resource Development Projects (Toronto: George Cedric Metcalf Foundation, 2016)

Winfield, M., Rehman, N., Eret, M., Strifler, D., and Cockburn, P., Understanding the Economic Impact of Renewable Energy Initiatives: Assessing Ontario’s Experience in a Comparative Context (Toronto: Sustainable Energy Initiative, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, 2013).

Winfield, M., and Koveshnikova, T., The Impact of the Ontario Energy Board’s Total Resource Cost Test on Local Distribution Company Electricity Conservation and Demand Management Initiatives. (Toronto: Faculty of Environmental Studies, July 2009) for the Electricity Distributors’ Association.

Winfield, M., Gibson, R.B., Markvart, T., Gaudreau  K., Taylor, J., An Analysis of the Ontario Power Authority’s Consideration of Environmental Sustainability in Electricity System Planning (Toronto and Waterloo: Faculties of Environmental Studies, York University and University of Waterloo, August 2008) for the Green Energy Coalition.

Cobb, P., Peters, R., and Winfield, M., Renewable is Doable: A Smarter Energy Plan for Ontario, Report No. 1: Analysis of Resource Potential and Scenario Assumptions (Drayton Valley: Pembina Institute, August 2007).

Conference papers (recent)

J. Gaede, Harbinson, S., Haley, B., Love., P. and Winfield, M., “Political resiliency and institutional design: A case study of energy efficiency governance in six North America cases”  International Sustainability Transitions Conference, Ottawa, June 26, 2019.

Love, P., and Winfield, M., “New Institutional Models for Energy Efficiency: Energy Efficiency Alberta and Transitions Energetique Quebec,” Ontario Network for Sustainable Energy Policy Workshop, April 26, 2019

Shokrzadeh, S., Winfield, M., Afshin Rezaei-Zare. York. “The Role of Charging Infrastructure to Support Market Adoption of Electric Vehicles: A Study of Technical Challenges and Policy Options,” Ontario Network for Sustainable Energy Policy Workshop, April 24, 2018.

Non-refereed articles (recent)

Winfield, M., “Will the Ford era lead to a political realignment in Ontario?” Policy Options, June 4, 2019

Winfield, M., “Will Doug Ford’s promises exacerbate Ontario’s problems,” Policy Options, June 18, 2018.

Winfield, M., “Ontario’s hydro: Some unwelcome truths,” Policy Options, May 23, 2018.

Winfield, M., “No good can come from panicking over Trans-Mountain,” Policy Options, April 18, 2018.

Winfield., M., “The pitfalls of short-circuited project reviews,” Policy Options, January 10, 2018.

Opinion-Editorials (Recent)

Winfield, M., “Energy conservation needs to take centre stage in Ontario,” The Conversation, Cleantech Canada, February 24, 2020; The Hamilton Spectator, February 29, 2020.

Winfield, M., “Re-branded Ford government continues crusade against the environment,” The Conversation December 10, 2019; The Hamilton Spectator, December 26, 2019; The Toronto Star, December 28, 2019; The St.Catherines Standard, January 8, 2020.

Winfield, M., “Federal election frustrations for the Greens highlight electoral system flaws — again,” The Conversation, National Newswatch, The Narwal, Winnipeg Free Press, October 23, 2019

Winfield, M., “‘Mr. Delay, Mr. Deny’ and Canada’s precarious climate change future” The Conversation, October 10, 2019

Winfield, M., “Liberals make it hard for green voters to love them,” The Conversation, September 8, 2019; Winnipeg Free Press, September 15, 2019.

Winfield, M., “Doug Ford: Continuing to turn his back on the people despite new faces,” The Conversation, August 12, 2019.

Winfield, M., “Liberal environmental contradictions could pave way for Conservative win,” The Conversation, The National Post, May 22, 2019.

Winfield, M., “The Doug Ford doctrine: Short-term gain for long-term pain” The Conversation, The National Post, April 28, 2019.

Winfield, M., Curran, D., and Olszynski, M., “Cooling the rhetoric on Canada’s environmental assessment efforts,” The Conversation, The National Post, The Calgary Herald, March 17, 2019.

Winfield, M., and Campbell, B., “With more oil to be shipped by rail, train derailments show enduring safety gaps,” The Conversation, The National Post, and Winnipeg Free Press, February 28, 2019.

Winfield, M., “Doug Ford’s Ontario: Who’s winning, and what it means for the province’s future,” The Conversation, The National Post, The Huffpost Canada, February 24, 2019.

Winfield M., Colla, S., and Moola, F., “Scrapping environmental watchdog is like shooting the messenger,” The Conversation, The National Post, November 22, 2018.

Winfield, M., Curran, D., and Olszynski, M., “How post-truth politics is sinking debate on environmental assessment reform,” The Conversation, The National Post, October 11, 2018.

Winfield, M., “Doug Ford’s energy shake-up could cost Ontario,” The Conversation, July 26, 2018. Also published in the Hamilton Spectator, July 27, 2018;  National Post, July 27, 2018; McLeans, July 27, 2018; Alternatives Journal, July 29, 2018.

Winfield, M., “Environmental positions show divisions among Ontario Parties,” The Hamilton Spectator, June 4, 2018.


Current and Upcoming Courses

ENVS 2400 – Foundations of Environmental Management

ENVS 3130 – Energy and the Environment in Canada

ENVS 5178 – Environmental Policy: Ideas, Interests and Institutions

ENVS 6178 – Environmental Policy Implementation and Evaluation