Public Policy - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Room to grow: Building better rental stock for Vancouver families

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-03-20
Abstract: 

Finding suitable and affordable housing is increasingly a challenge for families in the City of Vancouver. The City has a limited supply of primary rental units large enough for families. Most family-sized units in Vancouver are in the secondary market, which lacks the security and stability of the primary market. This study starts with a calculation of need for family-sized rental units. It finds that the Housing Vancouver Strategy will not meet anticipated need. It then reviews several of the City's current housing policies. Three policy options are presented to address the limited supply of family-sized rental units. The policies are analysed based on how well they fulfill various criteria. The paper recommends expanding the maximum size of laneway houses to enable more 3-bedroom units and using a density bonus to ensure that secure rental projects include at least 12% 3-bedroom units and at least 30% 2-bedroom units.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Joshua Gordon
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Turning barriers into bridges: Improving accessibility to small businesses in Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-04
Abstract: 

This study examines public policy approaches to improving accessibility to small businesses in Vancouver for people with mobility disabilities. It reviews the literature on aspects of accessibility to help determine what barriers there are. It also includes a jurisdictional scan of federal, provincial, and municipal initiatives to try to improve access to businesses. The study primarily relies on interview data since this is an emerging research topic. Based on these items, the study determines three policy options: a grant and certification program, a small business tax credit, and an education campaign. The policies are analyzed using key criteria based on the literature review and findings. I recommend starting with an education campaign in the short term to help change business attitudes about accessibility. However, all three policies can eventually be implemented.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Olena Hankivsky
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Developing effective and culturally appropriate speech-language services for First Nations children living on-reserve

Date created: 
2018-03-19
Abstract: 

Research conducted by the First Nations Information Governance Centre and Aboriginal Child Survey have found speech and language delays to be the most common developmental challenge facing First Nations children. Despite the prevalence of these challenges, many First Nations children in B.C. are unable to receive adequate speech and language services due to barriers such as geographic location, service coordination, and the lack of culturally appropriate services. This capstone employs a literature, jurisdictional scan, and expert interviews investigate these barriers and to propose three policy options to address them. The proposed options are then evaluated using a multi-criteria analysis. Through this analysis, this capstone makes a series of short and long-term recommendations to promote language development and improve the ability of First Nations children in B.C. to access culturally appropriate speech-language services.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Olena Hankivsky
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Sharing the burden: Increasing the uptake of parental leave among fathers in Canada

Date created: 
2018-04-04
Abstract: 

This study evaluates policy options to increase the uptake of parental leave among fathers in Canada. Approximately 12% of fathers in Canada outside Quebec claim parental leave, while the majority of mothers claim leave. This imbalance in uptake leads to mothers taking on a larger share of work interruptions, which has negative impacts on their position in the workforce. A comprehensive case study analysis of Quebec, Norway, and Iceland is used to identify best practices and develop policy options. Three policy options are evaluated on five criteria. Results from the policy analysis indicate that a program similar to QPIP in Quebec should be implemented federally. This model includes a daddy-quota, higher compensation, lower eligibility criteria and increased flexibility. For the long-term I recommend dividing parental leave in three equal parts: one part for each parent, and one part that can be shared as they wish.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dominique Gross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Yes oui can: Addressing British Columbia's shortage of French immersion teachers

Date created: 
2018-03-19
Abstract: 

French immersion offers students in British Columbia the opportunity to learn French as a second language, but since the program’s inception in the 1970s the province has faced a shortage of qualified teachers, with worrying consequences for both the quality of the program and the availability of spaces for students. This study explores this multi- faceted problem through a survey of school district and interviews with key stakeholders and experts. It describes several interrelated causes of the shortage and uses its findings to identify and analyze policy options to increase the supply of French immersion teachers in the province. The study recommends the implementation of professional development funding to help teachers transition to French, an informational campaign for French speaking students, and a student loan forgiveness program as solutions.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Marina Adshade
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Non-standard work and access to unemployment benefits in Canada: Assessing policy options

Date created: 
2018-03-16
Abstract: 

Fewer than half of unemployed workers in Canada receive unemployment benefits. One of the reasons for this is that many workers in non-standard employment relationships, who represent a growing segment of the labour market, are excluded based on Employment Insurance (EI) eligibility criteria. EI was designed at time when standard employment relationships were far more prevalent and the system has not adapted to reflect the growth of part-time, temporary and self-employed work. Lack of access to unemployment benefits contributes to economic insecurity among non-standard workers, most of whom are women, low income and non-unionized. This study fills a gap in the literature by providing a comparative analysis of policy options for unemployment benefit reform with a focus on increasing access among workers in non-standard employment.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Joshua Gordon
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Planting the seed: Connecting Vancouver children with nature

Date created: 
2018-04-11
Abstract: 

Concern over the disconnection between children and nature has been growing in the last decade. Childhood outdoor play is declining, especially in urban areas. The disconnection puts both children and nature at risk. Experiencing natural environments through play and organized activities benefits children’s physical health, mental health, well-being, cognitive performance, and pro-environmental attitudes. Children engaging with nature have a strong sense of place, and greater sense of neighbourhood cohesion than those who do not, and tend to develop life-long environmental ethics and willingness to protect nature. This study explores the opportunities children across the City of Vancouver have to connect with nature; opportunities that vary geographically and face decline due to densification and development pressures. While all children in the city could benefit from more access to nature and nature programming in their schools, mapping shows that some of Vancouver’s lower income areas have significantly fewer natural areas in public parks. This study investigates current opportunities and potential public sector policies to promote a more equitable nature connection in elementary school-aged Vancouver children. Nature mapping, case study analyses of Austin, Texas and San Francisco, California, expert interviews, and an analysis of a Vancouver Park Board survey help identify and assess policies to address the gaps. I recommend that local officials undertake a collective impact approach to strengthen policy effectiveness through greater reach, capacity, and funding as a core first step. This should be followed by the development of co-managed green schoolyards by the Vancouver School Board and the Vancouver Park Board and as greater support to educators in pilot projects in high-priority schools.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nancy Olewiler
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Feeding our future: Options for expanding school meal programs in BC

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-12
Abstract: 

This study investigates the potential for expanding school meal programs to improve the diets of children in British Columbia (BC). A jurisdictional scan reveals a patchwork of existing programs across the province, but the majority are supplemented by charitable donations and volunteers, and many children do not have access to healthy foods during school hours. Case studies of 3 large-scale meal programs (England, Sweden, and Alberta) are analyzed using Comprehensive School Health as a lens to determine characteristics of successful programs and assess their applicability to the BC context. Expert interviews complement and verify the findings. Drawing on these findings, policy options are developed and evaluated on their performance on six criteria: effectiveness, equity, child development, cost, administrative complexity, and stakeholder acceptance. Based on this analysis, this study recommends funding a single non-profit partner to distribute funding to school districts and provide centralized support.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Marina Adshade
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Embedding Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility as a culture of practice in health research institutions

Date created: 
2018-04-10
Abstract: 

Health inequities between Indigenous people and other Canadians are rooted in colonization and perpetuated by racist and discriminatory health systems and practices. The lack of cultural safety in health care settings is known to block Indigenous people from critical health care and supports. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (2015a) Calls to Action #23 and #24 reflect the importance of advancing Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility in health care systems including research institutions. Through adopting an Indigenous public health perspective centred on an Indigenous historical perspective of health, this capstone project examines the issue of Indigenous cultural safety and humility in a health research institution in British Columbia. Drawing on existing literature and six qualitative interviews, nine strategies to increase Indigenous cultural safety and cultural humility are analyzed against seven evaluative criteria. With the lens that advancing Indigenous self-determination over health and wellbeing including within the health research process is a necessary step for reconciliation and addressing health inequities, recommendations for individual health research institutions are provided along with considerations for policy implementation and next steps.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Kora DeBeck
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

School's out for the summer: Slowing the growth of summer educational achievement gaps in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-03-02
Abstract: 

The summer reading setback is a major driver of educational inequality across British Columbia. This capstone research project examines educational inequality in the province and analyzes policy options to reduce the growth of summer educational achievement gaps. The analysis focuses on three international case studies, with a literature review and interviews that confirm the results. The policy options considered include targeted summer programs in low-achieving schools, targeted summer programs across the province, and the expansion of existing summer reading programs in libraries.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dominique Gross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.