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

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Sour grapes: Mitigating the risk of overtourism in British Columbia’s eno-tourism

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

The economic health of regions dependent on tourism are threatened by overtourism. Through the use of sustainable development practices, this risk can be mitigated. This study examines the sustainability of the Okanagan Valley, the dominant wine tourism destination in British Columbia. Using case studies, the Okanagan is compared with wine tourism regions around the world. This study finds that there is a relatively low amount of sustainability in the Okanagan relative to other wine regions. Following this, this study finds that the Okanagan’s high degree of seasonality, lack of training opportunities, and lack of standardized practices have the greatest potential for improvement. Three policies are proposed and analyzed to address these shortcomings: an expansion of educational programs, sustainability standards, and off-season event grants. As a result of this analysis, a policy package containing elements of all three policy proposals is recommended.

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.

Supporting young oil and gas workers in Alberta: Lessons from just transition

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-15
Abstract: 

Young oil and gas workers in Alberta were significantly affected by the 2014 crash in the price of oil and the ensuing downturn. With oil and gas employment unlikely to return to former levels, continued job losses, and high unemployment rates among young male workers in Alberta, this group faces significant labour market challenges. This study examines potential improvements to Alberta’s employment services system and its active labour market policies to better support young oil and gas workers in their adjustment. It employs a literature review and multiple case study analysis to identify and evaluate policy options, taking lessons from research on Just Transition. This study recommends a skills matching tool and training grant, to be implemented alongside economic diversification initiatives.

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.

Making the most of mandatory case reviews: An examination of serious injury and death reviews for youth receiving intervention services in Alberta

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-26
Abstract: 

Case Reviews for injuries and deaths of youth receiving protection services are supposed to increase accountability and improve circumstances for children and youth. However, the form that reviews take and the associated recommendations can contribute to a blame culture that undermines public trust and negatively impacts decisions made by protection workers. Balancing accountability with a focus on learning can increase the positive gains from case reviews and allow reviews to highlight effective case work that can provide context to perceived failures of child protection services. This paper examines the impact of increased case review requirements in Alberta, Canada and considers policy options for future development. Mandatory reviews in Alberta can increase opportunities to learn from tragedies. A searchable database of findings gained from case reviews could increase the value of Alberta’s existing focus on industry learning, by making information more accessible to case workers and clinicians.

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.

Suite dreams: Tools to expand the supply of affordable housing in northern Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-24
Abstract: 

There is a severe shortage of affordable housing, as well as a demonstrated demand for such options. Unique cultural, regional and resource-based concerns specific to the North increase the complexity of building new housing in the regions. This study examined housing supply expansion challenges in the North. A proforma analysis of a sample affordable housing project was presented to show where the bulk of construction and development costs are concentrated. Three case studies were conducted to present successful and innovative financing, partnership and design housing expansion tools. The purpose of this case study is to gain insight into other tools that might be applicable to a rural context in northern regions. Following this, three policy options are analyzed for their applicability to the North. Based on this analysis, offsite construction, including both modular and prefabricated housing, coupled with a pilot program are recommended to address the lag in supply side housing expansion in the North.

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.

Scaling up: Assessing the CleanBC 15% renewable gas target

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-25
Abstract: 

As conventional natural gas is a fossil fuel that contributes heavily towards carbon emissions, the government of British Columbia is targeting this issue by instituting a 15% requirement of renewable gases to be blended in with conventional natural gas by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions. One such renewable gas, Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), is currently available and being produced in BC and so would be the major contributor in achieving the 15% target. Current production of RNG is insufficient to meet the target. This paper assesses the challenges of scaling up RNG by conducting a comparative case study of Germany, the United Kingdom and California, and a mixed methods approach involving interviews, a literature review and a study of utility rate design. Four policy options are evaluated to address the barriers for RNG in achieving the 15% target. Based on this analysis, a policy shotgun approach is recommended.

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.

The blunt truth: Industrial safety in cannabis growing facilities

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-02
Abstract: 

Since the legalization of cannabis in Canada, there has been a steady increase in the number of licences issued by Health Canada. As the cannabis industry is in its infancy and at the start of a larger expansion, there are safety concerns that need to be addressed. Regulatory gaps that could lead to incidents of unsafe operating practices at cannabis growing facilities need to be addressed. This paper attempts to fill these gaps by evaluating policies to mitigating and reduce the risk of unsafe operating practices in Metro Vancouver, either by proactive or reactive measures. It evaluates three policy options intended to create a safer, more comprehensive regulatory system to prevent unsafe operating practices: increased inspections, continuing professional education, and the status quo.

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.

A stolen life: Ameliorating the impact of database breaches on Canadians

Date created: 
2020-03-30
Abstract: 

Database breaches on companies put at risk a large amount of personal information that can be accessed by third parties. Canadians, in general, will feel the impact of these database breaches through their identities being used in fraudulent activity. The literature suggests that database breaches are a large and growing issue, identity theft is rising, and the current victims are not given enough options to protect themselves from the identity theft that uses information obtained in database breaches. This paper attempts to fill the gaps in the Canadian regulatory environment by evaluating policies for either reducing the impact of database breaches or reducing the impact on victims of identity theft. Four policy options are presented with a focus on creating a strong regulator, enacting baseline standards, comprehensive reporting and data collection, or protection services.

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.

Risky business: Improving the mine reclamation regime in British Columbia

Date created: 
2020-03-16
Abstract: 

Mine reclamation is considered an integral part of mine closure and is imperative to the conservation of land, watersheds, and natural habitats. British Columbia was one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to adopt mine reclamation legislation and has since expanded its reclamation regime. However, the province has experienced some of the largest environmental mining disasters in Canada and continues to have insufficient safeguards to ensure sustainable mine closure. Several studies have explored financial assurance as a solution to this issue, but few have evaluated the benefits of preventative efforts adopted during the mine planning process. This study attempts to fill this gap by evaluating pollution prevention policies in other mining jurisdictions and identifying options to enhance reclamation outcomes in BC’s mining industry. Three policy options are considered: prohibiting mines with perpetual water treatment, strengthening regulations on tailings storage facilities, and introducing a funding program aimed at mining innovation.

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.

Building connections: Reducing social isolation for seniors in public housing

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-15
Abstract: 

Social isolation is a predictor of adverse physical and mental health outcomes among low-income seniors. Inadequate social support networks and physical environment are key social isolation risk factors facing this population. Municipal planners, decision-makers, health authorities, and housing providers and administrators are confronted by a gap in their understanding about policy interventions that reduce social isolation. A literature review and in-depth interviews highlight best practices for social programming, system navigation, and built environment that improve social connectedness and slow health decline. Key considerations are identified from seven in-depth interviews and seven case studies. Four highly-effective interventions are assessed based on four criteria; ability to increase seniors’ social network size and quality, cost, implementation complexity, and long-term effectiveness. This study recommends a phased approach to implementing all four alternatives in the immediate, short-term, and long-term, along with assigning roles for key stakeholders.

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.

Safe at work: Options for British Columbia to support survivors of domestic violence in the workplace

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-08
Abstract: 

As one of the last Canadian provinces to implement domestic violence leave, British Columbia lags behind pan-Canadian standards on support for survivors of domestic violence (DV) in the workplace. Studies have demonstrated that domestic violence (DV) experienced in the personal life of an employee can produce negative externalities in the workplace for survivors, co-workers, perpetrators, and employers. Using a literature review, jurisdictional scan, and expert interviews, this study helps to fill the gap in the literature by examining what changes need to occur in British Columbia to better support survivors of domestic violence in the workplace. The options evaluated include a review of the status quo, occupational health and safety regulations, and a province-wide women’s advocate program. The study concludes with the recommendation for BC to amend occupational health and safety regulations to incorporate both the psychological and physical aspects of DV as a workplace hazard.

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.