Funeral today for York Professor Emeritus Charles Plourde

York Professor Emeritus Charles Plourde, internationally recognized for his work, died last Friday, April 4, of cancer. He was 69.

Funeral services will take place at 3pm today at Erb and Good Funeral Home, 171 King St. South, Waterloo, with burial and reception to follow. Visitation with the family will begin an hour before the service.

Prof. Plourde first taught at the University of Western Ontario before coming to York in 1976 where he taught in the Faculty of Arts’ Department of Economics and at the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal  & Professional Studies until he retired in 2004. Prof. Plourde received international recognition for his groundbreaking research in natural resource and environmental economics.

Right: Charles Plourde

Prof. Plourde played an integral part in the Graduate Program in Economics, working tirelessly to obtain the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS) accreditation for the doctoral program. He served as the Graduate Program director from 1986 to 1989 and from 1992 to 1997.

"Generations of graduate students appreciate the important contributions Charles made to their graduate studies and to the direction and success of their careers," said Debby Groves, administrative assistant to the Chair in the Department of Economics. The department received a flurry of e-mails from former and current students saying what a wonderful person Prof. Plourde was.

The Department of Economics named its committee room the Charles Plourde Seminar Room in his honour on April 2. The department will also establish a memorial scholarship.

Prof. Plourde is survived by his daughter Carolyn and her husband Henry Ensley and grandchildren Jonathan and James Ensley.

A celebration of Prof. Plourde’s life will be held at the end of term. All of Prof. Plourde’s friends and colleagues in the York community are invited to attend. For details about the celebration, contact York economics Professor Barry Smith by e-mail at

For more information about contributing to the memorial scholarship, contact Debby Groves by e-mail at

To contact the Erb and Good Funeral Home, call 519-745-8445.