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

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Regulating peer-to-business lending in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-09
Abstract: 

Peer-to-Business Lending (P2BL) is a sub-set of the Financial Technology (Fintech) sector that allows investors to lend money to businesses through online portals run by a third party. P2BL provides a potential alternative source of financing for Canadian small businesses that are underserved by traditional financial institutions. However, Canada’s adoption of P2BL, measured in values of loans issued, significantly lags many of its peers who have developed mature online lending industries. This study focuses on Canadian securities regulation applicable to P2BL to identify issues with the current regulatory regime. A case study methodology is used to examine the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Australia to identify potential policy options to implement in Canada. These policy options are analyzed to determine responsible ways encourage innovation and growth in the Canadian P2BL sector.

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.

No ordinary women: How Canada can increase the number of women serving in UN peace operations

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-05
Abstract: 

Ever since the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, the international body has committed itself to strengthening the role of women in all aspects of conflict resolution. However, female participation in peacekeeping has stagnated, and only a small percentage of military members deployed on UN peace operations are women. This research examines women's participation in peacekeeping from a public policy perspective and presents a number of policy options that would allow Canada to increase the proportion of uniformed female personnel deployed on modern peacekeeping operations. The research found that the main factors associated with the low percentage of female peacekeepers include: the small numbers of women within the armed forces who can be deployed as peacekeepers; a culture within the military that is hostile towards women, and; the fact that Canada has not fully recommitted itself to UN peacekeeping.

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.

Connecting Canadians: Ensuring universal access to wireless services

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-10
Abstract: 

The market for wireless services in Canada is characterized by the presence of significant market power of the three national service providers: Bell, Rogers and Telus. This reduces consumer welfare through reduced access to high quality wireless services in underserved areas. I conduct an empirical analysis to find that reduced mobility of subscribers, as illustrated by the low churn rate, contributes to greater profit margins, and thus market power. Using this and information gathered from expert interviews, I identify low subscriber mobility, and unutilized spectrum owing to the existing regulatory framework as factors contributing to welfare loss. I recommend that ISED create Tier 5 service areas for spectrum licenses immediately. I also recommend that ISED create a secondary market for unused spectrum once the Tier 5 service areas are fully implemented. Together these policy recommendations will ensure universal access to wireless services for all Canadians and increase welfare.

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.

Improving access to treatment for opioid addiction in B.C.: An assessment of policy options

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-15
Abstract: 

British Columbia is currently experiencing an opioid overdose crisis. Accessibility of treatment is integral to reducing overdoses among individuals struggling with addiction and those who decide to reach out for help. However, these individuals face considerable barriers to accessing treatment. This study examines these barriers and proposes policy options to improve access to treatment for opioid addiction in B.C. Policy options are developed and analyzed through conducting a case study analysis, expert interviews, and an analysis of secondary focus group data with individuals who have lived and living experience of substance use. Policy options are evaluated using a multi-criteria analysis. Based on the analysis, this study recommends the implementation of multi-year grant funding to peer support programs and the creation an addictions unit within the existing provincial telehealth network.

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

The cost of delivery: Governing gestational surrogacy in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-13
Abstract: 

There is a lack of access to surrogacy services within Canada, restricting the reproductive freedoms of surrogates and intended parents, and pushing intended parents into international markets. This study provides a review of surrogacy issues in the Canadian context, presents case studies comparing Canada’s surrogacy policies and outcomes with those of California and the UK, and delivers original findings from twenty-four key informant interviews. Policy options to address the lack of access to surrogacy services in Canada and criteria for evaluating these options are distilled from the evidence. Analysis of the policy options finds that concerns associated with decriminalizing paid surrogacy are outweighed by the benefits such a system would deliver. It is recommended that in order to address the problem of a lack of access to surrogacy services within Canada, the federal government should move to decriminalize payments for surrogacy services.

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.

Developing a policy to address anti-Indigenous racism in health care

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-19
Abstract: 

Indigenous peoples face negative health outcomes in comparison to the rest of the Canadian population, which is a result of race-based colonial policies and legislation, such as the Indian Act, that continue to effect Indigenous peoples’ health. This capstone project draws on Anti-Racism Theory and Tribal Critical Race theory as they highlight Indigenous perspectives of history, colonization, as well as the systemic nature of anti-Indigenous racism. In examining policies, policy statements, and declarations of commitment, a critical analysis is provided of policy discourses currently in place within health authorities. Through six semi-structured interviews with health authority officials, this research locates a set of policy alternatives designed to address the oppression and harm faced by Indigenous peoples within health care systems in British Columbia. In taking an Indigenous health policy perspective, this policy analysis project lists recommendations towards implementing various initiatives in working towards a policy to address anti-Indigenous racism.

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.

Handling the heat: Examining potential climate change adaptation strategies for British Columbia’s public sector organizations

Date created: 
2019-03-26
Abstract: 

Climate change and rising global temperatures are impacting British Columbia. The province has experienced changes in temperature and precipitation patterns that are projected to continue for decades. The operations of public sector organizations (PSOs) in British Columbia, including government agencies, crown corporations, health authorities and educational institutions, will be impacted by climate change. The Government of British Columbia has expressed intent to address this issue and specifically to have PSOs lead climate change adaptation efforts in the province. Despite this commitment, adaptation in the province has been limited and inconsistent. This research attempts to address this issue by evaluating policies the provincial government can implement to facilitate PSO adaptation initiatives. Three policy options are considered, which focus on ensuring PSOs identify climate vulnerabilities and implement adaptation strategies.

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.

Reducing our foodprint: Encouraging dietary change for climate change mitigation in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-19
Abstract: 

This study assesses the role of food consumption in climate change and the potential for mitigation in encouraging dietary change in Canada. A literature review reveals the significance of dietary change in this contemporary issue to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Three case studies are analyzed (Australia, Sweden, and Denmark) in their attempts to shift dietary patterns to determine both the effectiveness and political acceptability of chosen policy instruments. Expert interviews are conducted to both confirm and supplement findings. The analysis reveals that although information-based policies can help to build vital public awareness, price incentives are the most effective interventions. Considering the sensitivity of diet intervention and the current limited public awareness about the issue, political acceptability is in the short-term a significant barrier. Building on these findings, three policy options emerge and are analyzed to curb the consumption of high GHG intensive foods – a tax on high GHG intensive foods over a carbon equivalent threshold, a combined general and low-income subsidy, and ‘traffic-light’ style GHG labels. These options are evaluated based on five criteria: effectiveness, political acceptance, administrative ease, minimized cost to government, and equity. As a result, I recommend that: (i) a low-income subsidy and ‘traffic light’ GHG labels be considered for implementation in the short term. In addition, a revision of dietary guidelines is recommended as a baseline to include the environmental impacts of specific foods; and (ii) in the long-term, a tax on high GHG intensive foods be applied to fund a general subsidy to further encourage dietary change among the Canadian public.

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.

Investing in the future: Addressing gaps in social and emotional well-being for youth in BC

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-03
Abstract: 

Social and emotional learning (SEL) initiatives have become popular in schools due to research consistently demonstrating their positive influence on student well-being. Although school districts in British Columbia (BC) have taken great steps toward improving SEL for students, some neighbourhoods continue to face lower well-being while others flourish. This study utilizes secondary data analysis and semi-structured interviews to identify neighbourhoods experiencing lower well-being and to understand key strengths and weaknesses in implementing SEL programs. In order of priority, I recommend increasing cultural knowledge and social and emotional competency for teachers by dedicating professional development days for training and workshops, integrating social and emotional learning into physical education classes, and implementing a province-wide program to promote social and emotional learning for students in BC.

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.

Thinking outside the box: Reducing administrative segregation with Indigenous prisoners

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-19
Abstract: 

This project looks at how correctional policy reforms in the near term can reduce admissions of Indigenous prisoners to administrative segregation in Canadian penitentiaries. In a given year, approximately one-third of Indigenous prisoners will spend time in segregation. While the federal government has introduced a bill to try to address the problematic aspects of the practice, Indigenous prisoners continue to suffer disproportionate impacts on correctional outcomes and rehabilitation as a result of their overrepresentation. This is supported by the BC Supreme Court ruling in BC Civil Liberties Association v. Canada (AG), Correctional Service Canada statistics, and by experts interviewed in this study. Drawing on a review of the literature, a scan of correctional systems in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, and semi-structured qualitative elite interviews, three non-mutually exclusive policy options are explored. Through analysis of these sources, criteria for success are derived and the formation of an independent review panel is recommended in the near term. A secondary option to expand eligibility for Pathways Initiatives is also discussed, as well as longer-term considerations that fall out of scope of this project.

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.