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

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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): 
Supervisor(s): 
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): 
Supervisor(s): 
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): 
Supervisor(s): 
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): 
Supervisor(s): 
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): 
Supervisor(s): 
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): 
Supervisor(s): 
Doug McArthur
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Independently-managed education: Creating a robust education market by understanding school choice families

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-06-12
Abstract: 

BC independent school enrolment has steadily increased over four decades. This study is the first in a generation to survey parents to understand why this is, who chooses independent schools, and evaluate what to do about it. The overwhelming majority of independent school parents are very satisfied with their independent school. Of the many reasons given, nearly all parents agree their independent school offers a supportive and nurturing environment that is motivating for and instills confidence in students, thanks to outstanding teachers and excellent administration. BC’s independent schools serve diverse families and communities, and meet demand for pedagogical variations and emphases unmet by public schools. This paper presents evidence and policy options for expanding educational choice in BC through Scholarship Tax Credits (STCs), Autonomous Public Schools (APS), and recommends a voucher-like Education Savings Account (ESA) that reroutes education funds to parents (for students), allowing for a fully tailored education experience.

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.

Ticket to ride: Reducing social isolation for seniors through better access to public transportation

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-18
Abstract: 

Social isolation is one of the top issues facing seniors in Canada. Most seniors get around by personal vehicle and may experience social isolation when they lose the ability to drive due to the loss of access to services and opportunities to socialize. With the region’s aging population, the transportation needs of this demographic will become increasingly important over the coming decade. This study examines one role that TransLink, the regional transportation authority, can take in reducing social isolation for seniors in Metro Vancouver by providing or facilitating travel training. A literature review, jurisdictional scan, focus group, and expert interviews help identify and evaluate policies that can increase seniors’ access to public transit within TransLink’s existing network, budget, and jurisdiction. I recommend a one-on-one travel training program be implemented with a train-the-trainer approach to complement the general travel training program currently being piloted in the region.

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.

Countering radicalization to violence in Canada: Policy and intervention

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-23
Abstract: 

The development of non-kinetic and non-coercive policy tools in counter-terror, roughly called countering violent extremism (CVE), has been controversial but important. However, an expanded evidence base and “good practices” have begun to enable more effective and nuanced CVE policy, including the development of early intervention programs. To ensure that CVE policies for early intervention in Canada are aligned with Canadian principles, supported by research, and proportionate to the Canadian threat environment, this research provides an overview of the theory, history, and current practice in Canada, and makes recommendations for future developments in the field. Canada’s early intervention policies are well-designed but could be improved by developing safeguards for current programs and supporting parents’ associations and family counseling.

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.

An end to inaction: Addressing female genital mutilation in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-14
Abstract: 

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a human rights and health issue affecting women and girls across the world. As Canada is lagging behind other countries in tackling FGM, this study addresses this gap. The research includes interviews with nine experts in Canada and Europe, and a case study analysis examining the legislative and policy frameworks in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and France. Drawing on the research findings, the study recommends creating a multi-sector policy framework on FGM with a lead ministry and a national action plan. Key action plan items include an FGM prevalence study, a multi-agency guide, and training formats for relevant professionals. These policies are assessed based on effectiveness and feasibility criteria, and recommended for short-, medium-, or long-term implementation. For Canada, it is time to end inaction and Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence provides now an important policy window for addressing FGM.

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