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

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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.

Energy shift: Reducing diesel reliance in remote communities in BC

Date created: 
2017-12-08
Abstract: 

This paper explores the challenges and proposes potential solutions for renewable energy and energy efficiency development in diesel-dependent remote First Nations communities in British Columbia. Through 22 qualitative interviews, (with remote First Nations communities, private and public sector, and non-profit) participants identified the following barriers and challenges to implementing energy projects: small remote communities have limited human capacity to develop large-scale energy projects; current provincial and federal government programs are uncoordinated and difficult to navigate; remote communities pay higher rates for energy, and this under-subsidization creates energy poverty and indebtedness; and the rates and requirements for electricity purchase agreements challenge the economic viability of energy projects. Four policies to mitigate these challenges were considered for this analysis: (1) increasing electricity purchase prices for remote community energy; (2) streamlining grant funding applications; (3) implementing on-bill financing for energy efficiency; and (4) implementing a community-based training program.

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

Addressing the suicide rate among gay and bisexual men in BC: An assessment of policy solutions

Date created: 
2018-04-19
Abstract: 

Suicide has been identified by the BC Ministry of Health as a key issue in its Mental Health and Substance Use strategies, and gender and sexual minorities have been identified as target populations in regard to this issue. Suicide among gay and bisexual men (GBM) in particular is four times higher than among the general population and as of 2007 has exceeded HIV as a leading cause of death for GBM. This capstone employs qualitative interviews grounded in intersectionality and syndemic theory to understand suicide among GBM, and to generate a multi-pronged policy approach composed of 4 key recommendations supported by specific action items. Using an adapted form of Intersectionality-Based Policy Analysis (Hankivsky et al., 2014), these recommendations are analyzed to identify how they succeed in meeting key policy objectives, while also highlighting key challenges and next steps.

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.

Governance that 'wood' work: Constructing effective rural policy for British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-10
Abstract: 

For much of the 20th century, many rural communities in British Columbia were designed as industry specific ‘company towns,’ that were created to extract natural resources from the surrounding environment as a means of economic development. However, technological advancements that have come in the modern day have exposed an underlying vulnerability in these communities. Communities that are resource-dependent face issues of out-migration, population aging, and lower levels of tertiary education. These barriers constrain the ability of rural municipalities to provide vital community planning and development services that could develop and diversify their economies away from a single industry. This study will analyze three provincial policy options that could better promote economic development in resource-dependent communities in British Columbia. This is done through comparing outcomes in BC with the experience Quebec and Finland, two other economies that rely heavily on forestry production and wood-product manufacturing for employment in rural areas. Ultimately, it is recommended that the province implement a Community Development Bank to support the diversification of rural resource-dependent communities.

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.

Sold out: Analyzing the for-profit resale market for concert tickets in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-03-29
Abstract: 

This capstone analyzes the for-profit resale market for tickets to large concerts in British Columbia and identifies policy options that address this public policy problem. Following a brief background on the subject in British Columbia, this capstone advances through a mixed-methods research methodology consisting of an academic literature review, case study analysis, qualitative analysis, and quantitative analysis. From this research base the capstone then outlines three policy options: the status quo, prohibition, and regulating the for-profit resale market. Five criteria are established against which the options are evaluated, and the option of regulating the for-profit resale market for tickets to large concerts in two phases is recommended.

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.

Destination matters: Policy options to balance the distribution of Iranian immigrants in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-03
Abstract: 

Dispersing newcomers to destinations outside Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver is a key objective of Canadian immigration policy. The concentration of immigrants in these cities has been a longstanding settlement pattern that contributes to a range of social, environmental, and economic issues. This study first develops knowledge about immigrants’ locational choice and the effectiveness of regional immigration programs. Second, it conducts a quantitative and a qualitative data analysis to obtain a broad understanding of Iranian immigrants’ locational preferences, as a highly concentrated ethnic group in the major cities. The data analysis shows the destination decision of Iranian immigrants are highly influenced by their social networks and the content of online platforms. The main locational criteria for Iranian immigrants appears to be the job prospects, educational opportunities, and climate at destination. The study then introduces three policy options and an evaluation framework to analyze those options. The policy analysis indicates the option of ‘Clustering Immigrants in Second-Tier Cities’ would have the best tradeoffs to achieve the policy’s key objectives. The recommended policy would especially be highly effective in attracting Iranian immigrants to targeted cities and establishing a long-term settlement, which can ultimately balance their distribution.

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.

For integration to work: Government assisted refugees in BC

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-03-28
Abstract: 

Briefly defined, economic integration is the "gradual process by which new residents become active participants in the economic...affairs of a new homeland” (CCR, 1998). The literature suggests this takes 12-15 years for refugees in Canada (Wilkinson & Garcia, 2017). Government assisted refugees often experience worse outcomes than other newcomers during this period. Several studies have investigated the divergence between groups to identify correlates with better outcomes, but few have evaluated practices that may rectify these differences. This paper attempts to fill this gap by evaluating policies for facilitating the integration of government assisted refugees in British Columbia. Three policy options are presented, which focus on labour market entry, income stability, independence, and skill development as foundations for long- term economic integration. As integration is complex and multifaceted, the options are designed to improve government assisted refugees’ standing within five years rather than tackle all the challenges to integration refugees face.

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.

An alternative response: Developing restorative justice for sexual violence on BC university campuses

Date created: 
2018-03-12
Abstract: 

This capstone investigates how restorative justice can be implemented into existing sexual violence policies at three BC universities – SFU, UBC, and UVIC. Universities are currently underutilizing alternative dispute resolution techniques, which can be a very beneficial process for survivor-victims. An extensive literature review and expert interviews justified the assumption of this paper that a restorative justice option should be offered to survivor-victims who seek justice through their university. Case studies and an analysis of the existing policies inform the development of four policy options for consideration. I conclude by offering a short-term recommendation that universities partner with local restorative justice centres, followed by a long-term strategy to work towards the development of a comprehensive province-wide sexual violence policy and response for post-secondary institutions.

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

Addressing food insecurity in Nunavut: Policies to support the local harvesting and commercialization of food

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-16
Abstract: 

Locally harvesting and commercializing food has the potential to reduce food insecurity levels in Nunavut. Local food harvesting and the consumption of traditional food is a fundamental component of cultural identity, cultural stability, and community solidarity in Nunavut. Nonetheless, current solutions often focus on decreasing the price of market foods through subsidies, thus making it easier for food to be shipped into the territory from southern suppliers. This research paper explores the main identified drivers of food insecurity, the impact food insecurity has on health, the existing policies already in place, and a combined policy solution consisting of four integrated programs that could reduce food insecurity levels in Nunavut. The integrated policy solution considers implementing territorial Country Food Markets (CFM), a Food Acquisition Program, a School Meals Program, and a school-based arctic greenhouse initiative program under the Nunavut Harvester Support Program (NHSP). Analysis is based on a literature review, four jurisdictional scans, and thirteen expert semi-structured interviews. This report recommends government consider implementing all four programs under the Nunavut Harvester Support Program, beginning as pilot projects in three territorial communities of divergent size (small, medium, and large) and administrative capacity following additional research undertaken in Nunavut. These policies could help address some of the barriers existent in current programs offered under the NHSP and some of the main drivers of food insecurity in the short-term. Additional long-term solutions that address the growing threats climate change has on hunting (including shorter hunting seasons, changing animal migratory routes, and declining species) are necessary.

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.