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

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Fractured Foundations: Distrust and democratic decline in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-09
Abstract: 

This paper investigates the declining levels of trust in government and its impact on Canada’s democracy. Trust is foundational for the rule of law, economic growth, government stability and the development of political capacity in citizens. The extent of the trust deficit in Canada is determined by analyzing data recently collected by the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue’s national survey on democratic culture. The primary causes and consequences of distrust are identified using the survey data and interviews with academic experts. The research results suggest increasing citizens’ opportunities to meaningfully participate in government is the strongest approach to improving trust in government. Citizens’ reference panels, participatory budgeting and reforming to a proportional representation system are the specific options evaluated using standardized criteria and measures. The policy analysis demonstrates that implementing national participatory budgeting and citizens’ reference panels would both be effective steps towards rebuilding trust and increasing citizens’ capacities.

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

Paving the Pathway – Expanding youth initiatives to improve high school graduation rates of at-risk students in Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-16
Abstract: 

High school graduation is an important milestone for future employment and opportunities, income potential and overall well-being. However, too many students in low-income neighbourhoods fail to complete high school. In Canada, youth from low-income families are three times more likely to drop out of high school than youth from middle-income families. Negative peer effects in school and weak neighbourhood dynamics impact socio-emotional development and educational outcomes of youth. Investments in education can help overcome barriers associated with poverty. This capstone assesses how comprehensive youth initiatives can be expanded to improve high school graduation rates of at-risk students in Vancouver, British Columbia. Five criteria were used to assess policy options and their ability to increase high school graduation outcomes. Through literature reviews, interviews and case studies, a recommendation is made for the Ministry of Education to establish an After-School Grant Program and to request written proposals from interested schools and organizations.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
John Richards
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Material Matters: Using Regulation to Improve the Canadian Mining Industry’s Human Rights Record

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-04
Abstract: 

Canada has the most incorporated mining entities in the world. The Canadian mining industry has an international reputation as a mining power, but also one for human rights violations. The literature indicates that insufficient domestic accountability mechanisms, such as non-financial reporting, are one of the reasons why human rights violations persist in this industry. This study addresses the regulatory gap within Canadian securities regulations and identifies policy options aimed at improving the lack of accountability within the Canadian mining industry. Three policy options are evaluated, including: incorporating the term “salient human rights impacts” into the existing regulations; adjusting the definition of materiality to include human rights violations; and direct reporting to the federal government. Based off this analysis, a two-pronged approach including mandatory reporting on salient human rights impacts, alongside federal submissions and audits, is recommended as a possible solution to human rights violations occurring within the Canadian mining industry.

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

Policy Alternatives: Improving sex worker occupational health and safety through legislative reform

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-11
Abstract: 

This project examines potential policies to improve sex worker occupational health and safety in Canada. Purposive sampling was used to identify relevant case studies (i.e., Netherlands, Queensland, and Nevada) and expert interview participants (e.g., academics, sex worker support organizations, legal experts). Incorporating potential legal reforms in the area of criminal law, I explore the viability of current advertising provisions and their effects regarding off-street sex workers in the Canadian setting. I then provide answers to the following research questions: (1) how do support organizations, academics, and legal experts in Canada view current sex work advertising laws; and (2) are there alternatives to decriminalization, in the shorter term, that would garner stakeholder support? Findings highlight a deep-rooted resistance to the government’s use of the law in trying to control the prevalence of sex work and stress the need for greater sex worker involvement in the creation of policies governing their work.

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

Economic reintegration of Canadian Armed Forces Veterans

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-02-27
Abstract: 

The Canadian Armed Forces Veteran population is growing by roughly 4,500 people each year. Labour market outcomes for the population are currently hindered by systemic barriers that include: stigma, private sector motivation, skills recognition, and access to credentials and/or qualifications. This group is non-homogeneous, with ages ranging from 20-67, and a dispersion of rank, length of service, health, disability, or socioeconomic status. This paper aims to identify how to economically reintegrate this group after service as satisfying work is a crucial determinate for a successful transition from service member to Veteran. A literature review and comparative case study analysis are conducted, along with an impact analysis of findings. Following, 3 policy options are assessed for applicability to the systemic barriers faced by Veterans in Canada. Based on the results, I propose a federally led employment program, connecting the private sector to Veterans, while simultaneously raising awareness, be implemented in Canada.

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

Active-ating parents on school travel: Reducing car dependency for youth in Metro Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-02
Abstract: 

As the number of children being driven to and from school continues to increase, transportation-related emissions are among the fastest growing greenhouse gas emissions in both Canada and Metro Vancouver while childhood obesity is reaching epidemic levels. In Metro Vancouver, upwards of 40% of morning congestion is due to parents driving children to school – a habit that influences future behaviours and instils a perception of car dependency. While 60% of parents are interested in finding alternatives to driving their children to school, many are concerned for their child’s safety. Metro Vancouver’s governance structure between school communities, school districts, municipal governments, regional transit authorities and the provincial government does not give jurisdiction over school transportation to any one body, creating an opportunity to better support modal shift to active modes of transportation. The capstone recommends parent concerns be addressed through a transportation certification program similar in scale and scope to the Babysitting Course, training youth how to safely navigate walking, biking and public transportation to and from school.

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

Health care access for temporary migrant farmworkers Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-14
Abstract: 

Temporary migrant farmworkers have been coming to Canada through the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP) since 1966. Since then, the program has greatly expanded and has become a cornerstone of Canadian agricultural production, as migrant workers fill job needs Canadian workers do not. An identified issue, however, is that some temporary migrant workers experience barriers to accessing health care during their work terms in Canada. This capstone employs two central methodologies: a literature review, which includes a jurisdictional scan, and a set of interviews. The aim of this capstone is to contribute to the body of knowledge on healthcare access for SAWP participants and suggest policy options to reduce the barriers temporary migrant farmworkers experience when attempting to access health care in Canada.

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

Canadian’t: Policy options to address birthright citizenship for tourists

Date created: 
2020-03-23
Abstract: 

There has been growing concern about the phenomenon of “birth tourism” in Canada. Birth tourism refers to foreign non-residents arriving in Canada on tourist visas with the intention of giving birth, so that their children benefit from birthright citizenship. Although this practice has occurred for decades throughout the world, many countries have adjusted their birthright citizenship laws to prevent it. Consequently, Canada is now one of only two developed countries to still have birthright citizenship. Although the long-term outcomes of birth tourism are not well understood, the practice represents a challenge to the integrity of the immigration system. This capstone research explores the issue with the aim of evaluating possible policy responses. It conducts a literature review, examines case studies, and draws on expert interviews. Four policy options are presented and evaluated. The capstone recommends making eligibility for birthright citizenship conditional on the possession of a Social Insurance Number.

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

Enhancing consumer choice and competition in American beer markets: An analysis of vertical restraints on craft brewer entry and growth

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-01
Abstract: 

Craft breweries have never been more prominent in the American beer industry. Nevertheless, major distribution networks remain dominated by large brewing conglomerates, and many consumers do not have access to a wide variety of craft beers. This situation is largely the product of “three-tier” distribution systems, which were designed in the post-Prohibition era to prevent vertical integration between brewers and retailers. This paper identifies three primary vertical restraints on market entry and growth for craft brewers: large brewing conglomerates’ anti-competitive practices in influencing wholesalers’ brand portfolios, franchise laws restricting a small brewer’s ability to alter or terminate their contract with a wholesaler and unprecedented consolidation in the corporate brewing sector. It conducts an evaluation of potential policies to mitigate such restraints and thereby expand choice and competition in American beer markets. It recommends that brewers comprising a small proportion of a distributor’s business be exempted from state franchise laws.

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

Inequitable fertilization: Improving access to assisted reproductive technologies in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-02
Abstract: 

Advances in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and growing rates of medical and circumstantial infertility have led to increased demand for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The financial, geographic and social barriers associated with IVF raise significant and sometimes prohibitive challenges for those pursuing treatment in BC. The procedure is also associated with an elevated multiple births rate, which poses health risks for individuals, as well as high healthcare costs for governments. This capstone examines access to IVF across the Province and assesses multiple options to address the inequities faced by those experiencing different forms of infertility. Methodologies include an original survey of British Columbians experiencing infertility, literature review, jurisdictional scan, and interviews with subject matter experts. Three policy aspects are assessed using criteria and measures to identify strengths, weaknesses, and trade-offs. The recommendation includes options for eligibility constraints, embryo transfer policies, and funding models.

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