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

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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): 
Senior supervisor: 
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): 
Senior supervisor: 
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): 
Senior supervisor: 
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): 
Senior supervisor: 
Maureen Maloney
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Nutrition education programs in BC schools: Policy alternatives to improve health outcomes

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-30
Abstract: 

Canadian students are facing severe health implications stemming from increased disconnection with the food they consume and how it affects the physical body. This decade has brought recent increases in morbidity and mortality stemming primarily from modifiable factors that can be changed by choices and behaviour. Irregular eating habits and increased consumption of processed foods have contributed to an increase in Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, overweight and obesity. As a result, this generation’s children are expected to live a shorter life than their parents. Currently, BC schools are not mandated to include a nutrition education aspect to their health programs, which is one way of encouraging students to adopt healthier habits. Schools are an ideal intervention point for effective programming to reach a large percentage of the population. This study presents several policy options meant to increase student access to current, evidence-based nutritional information through school-based programs that will encourage them to develop healthier habits and relationships with food that will persist into their futures and decrease risk of morbidity and mortality.

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

The silver lining: Policies to support British Columbia’s seniors to delay frailty and age well

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-06
Abstract: 

Canada has a rapidly aging population. While life expectancy is high, healthy life expectancy is significantly lower, with 10 years of life generally spent in poor health before death. Living in poor health is generally defined as living with several co-morbidities and becoming frail. While frailty is a natural consequence of aging, research reveals that it can be delayed and even reversed. This study explores physical activity interventions that have a positive impact on delaying, minimizing, and/or reversing frailty among seniors. A critical analysis of research case studies is used to identify successful interventions and how applicable these interventions will be in the BC context. Ultimately, expansion of the existing Community Actions and Resources Empowering Seniors program in BC, along with development of holistic frailty prevention programs, are recommended.

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

Decolonizing park management: A framework for the co-management of national parks and protected areas

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

National parks in Canada have a colonial history, which in many ways is continued today through discounting traditional ecological knowledge of the land and limiting Indigenous peoples’ use and access of their traditional territories. As the Government of Canada moves forward with its commitments to reconciliation and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, it is increasingly open to new approaches to working with Indigenous groups. Co-management, a system of power sharing between multiple parties, is commonly recommended as a new approach to park management. Due to the diverse potential co-management structures, a one-size-fits-all approach is not an appropriate co-management policy. Therefore, this project employs an extensive literature review, qualitative interviews, and a case study analysis to identify factors that inform a policy framework to support the Government of Canada – specifically Parks Canada Agency and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada – in a broader implementation of co-management.

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.

Activating Canadians

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-12-19
Abstract: 

Physical inactivity pervades British Columbia. Only 16.7% of British Columbians meet the recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. Although this low rate of physical activity has numerous detrimental impacts on society, the impact that is of greatest concern to the provincial government is the cost that physical inactivity exacts on the health care system. Physical inactivity costs the government of British Columbia over a billion dollars annually. Although much of the fault and responsibility of physical inactivity lies at the feet of individuals, governments at all levels must create a social, cultural, and built environment that is conducive to physical activity. This capstone project evaluates three policies aimed at increasing the physical activity of British Columbians and recommends that the provincial government re-establish the Active Communities Grant Program and promote physical activity apps.

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

On the rocks: Addressing risky alcohol consumption among young women in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-05
Abstract: 

A growing and concerning trend happening in Canada, and internationally, is the increasing proportion of young women who are heavy drinkers. Using a review of the literature, expert interviews and survey data collected from 800 young women, ages 18 to 34, across Canada, the study reviews women’s motivations for drinking, their level of alcohol-related risk awareness, as well as issues facing existing alcohol policies and various barriers to change. After a detailed analysis of potential policy options, the study recommends a national legal framework in the form of an Alcohol Act that addresses three areas of policy: marketing and advertising restrictions; national minimum unit pricing; and comprehensive education. By providing additional powers to the federal government, the framework will deter the negative consequences of self-regulation, and improve health outcomes among young women across the country.

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.

Managing the Ksa’a’hko network: First Nations land governance practices that contribute to community wellbeing

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-12
Abstract: 

Self-determination is an important element in achieving improved wellbeing for First Nations communities. The First Nations Land Management Act (FNLMA) allows First Nations communities to self-govern land management functions through the development of community land codes, which houses a community’s land policies. Good governance is an important factor in building effective institutions and contributing to improved wellbeing. However, there is little available evidence that identifies what aspects of land codes constitute good governance and how they contribute to the community as a whole. This study utilizes a Qualitative Comparative Analysis to identify governance practices within First Nations land codes that contribute to improved socio-economic and cultural outcomes. The end result culminates into sets of recommended policies that are applicable for specific First Nations communities at different points of time along their FNLMA journey.

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.