Tom Gunton

Resource & Environmental Management


  • BA, University of Waterloo
  • MA, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Waterloo
  • PhD, Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia
  • MCIP, Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners and RPP, Registered Professional Planner


Dr. Gunton is currently Professor of the Resource and Environmental Planning Program at Simon Fraser University, which is recognized as one of the leading international schools providing advanced interdisciplinary training for resource professionals. Dr. Gunton has had extensive professional experience including holding the positions of Deputy Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Policy Secretariat and Deputy Minister of Finance (Treasury Board) for the Government of British Columbia. He has also held senior positions with the Government of Manitoba, including Assistant Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines where he was in charge of major natural resource project development, Senior Economic Analyst in the Ministry of Economic Development and was visiting professor in resource and environmental economics at the University of Manitoba. 

Dr. Gunton regularly provides advice to private sector and public sector clients. His work includes evaluation of resource development projects, regional development strategies and negotiation and collaborative models for resolving resource and environmental conflicts. While working for the BC government he was managed a number of major initiatives including: a new Environmental Assessment Act, a new Forest Practices Code, a forest sector strategy, a new regional land use planning process, a major expansion of the provincial parks system, a redesign of the regulatory and royalty system for oil and gas development and new air pollution regulations. He was also the chief negotiator for the province on a number of major resource development projects including Kemano completion. Dr. Gunton has been an expert witness for various regulatory agencies including the National Energy Board, the Ontario Energy Board, and the Manitoba Public Utilities Commission. He has also been an expert witness before the BC Arbitration Panel providing evidence on natural resource markets and pricing.

Dr. Gunton’s works on management issues in a number of resource sectors including forestry, land use, energy, mining and fisheries. He is Chair of the Sustainable Planning Research Group and heads a research team providing advice to First Nations on impacts of oil and gas development and pipeline proposals including the Enbridge Gateway project and Kinder Morgan projects. Dr. Gunton also recently prepared a draft of the national Sustainable Development Act for the Suzuki Foundation that was passed unanimously by the Parliament of Canada in 2008. Dr. Gunton has published over 80 refereed articles in scientific journals and over 100 technical reports for private and public sector clients on resource and environmental issues and project development.

Dr. Gunton teaches Advance Planning Workshop (REM 602), Regional Planning I(REM 642), Environmental Conflict and Dispute Resolution (REM 643), and Public Policy Analysis and Administration (REM 644).

Publications and Reports available at the MRM Planning site.