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

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Paving the Way for Smooth Transitions: Continuity of Care from Child to Adult Mental Health Systems

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-03-24
Abstract: 

There is a significant lack of programs and supports for youth transitioning from the child to adult mental health systems in BC. At the age of 19, youth age out of the child and youth mental health system without the proper supports and resources to smoothly transition into adult services. Though there has been significant discussion about what can be done provincially to address this issue, there has been limited discussion of how to address the issue at the regional level in BC. With this in mind, a series of policy options were developed that can be implemented through the Regional Health Authorities in the Lower Mainland (Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health). Systemic level changes are identified and included in this project; however, the focus of this project is on micro-level programs and policies that can be adopted regardless of the implementation of the systemic level changes. The policy options are based on transition programs developed in other jurisdictions. Background information and evidential support for the policies were provided from the 2015 National Consensus Conference for Emerging Adults, sponsored by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and from expert interviews. This project recommends a Transition Coordinator Pilot Project, in addition to adoption of systemic changes in the long term.

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.

Enhancing Intergovernmental Cooperation on Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy: The Case of Non-Urban Lands

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-03-18
Abstract: 

Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) is a regional plan that sets out how the region will to accommodate urban growth in the next 25 years, while protecting some lands from urban development. Although the agreement has been adopted by all member municipalities in the region, some municipalities may choose not to implement certain aspects of the RGS. Furthermore, Metro Vancouver’s limited ability to enforce the regional plan presents challenges of uncoordinated planning by local municipalities, which may exacerbate the growing pains of urban sprawl, car dependence and urban encroachment of green space. This capstone study uses a literature review, interviews and case studies to analyse the challenges of regional cooperation and potential opportunities to encourage compliance on the RGS. This study identifies and evaluates a series of policy alternatives to better protect Non-urban lands from development before concluding with a final recommendation for moving forward on this policy issue.

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

Patching the Gaps: Improving the Regulatory Capacity of British Columbia's Water Dam Safety Program

Date created: 
2016-04-12
Abstract: 

Aging infrastructure, watershed development, and the emergence of a risk-informed society has led to the need to re-examine dam safety through a societal lens. The incorporation of risk tolerance criteria and systems thinking into dam safety management necessitates a knowledgeable regulator. Lack of qualified personnel, discouragement from participating in learning opportunities, and overreliance on legislation and individual dam owners leaves British Columbia’s water dam regulator falling short of achieving regulatory excellence in many areas. Regulatory frameworks in other jurisdictions are examined to identify best practices for water dam safety regulation. Policy options that aim to improve the regulator’s capacity to understand the risks associated with dams and effectively manage them are evaluated.

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.

The Role of Foreign Capital in Vancouver's Housing Market

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-03-29
Abstract: 

The city of Vancouver has seen record high home prices in recent months. The housing price inflation has led to the city becoming one of the least affordable cities in the world in terms of housing. The rapid price increase has been blamed on various supply and demand side issues. This paper argues that foreign capital is playing a significant role in driving up home prices in Vancouver and proposes a series of policy options to mitigate the impact of foreign capital. Using secondary data analysis, the paper demonstrates that factors such as income, population growth, and supply of homes have not influenced home prices at a significant level. The paper provides evidence that influx of large sums of foreign capital and investment activity of High Net Worth Individuals are the primary drivers of housing prices in the city. Keeping this in mind, the policy options in the paper have been developed through substantive background research, expert interviews, jurisdictional scan and secondary data analysis. Policy options are evaluated using a criteria and measures matrix, which reflects the societal and government management objectives of effectiveness, budget impact, and stakeholder acceptance. The paper recommends using a Progressive Property Tax in conjunction with a Speculation Tax to mitigate some of the effects of foreign capital.

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

Revitalizing wellness: Fostering healing in BC’s Residential School abuse survivors

Date created: 
2016-03-29
Abstract: 

Survivors of childhood institutional abuse can face a lifetime of physical and mental health challenges. To address the on-going health challenges of claimants during the claims process, the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement created the Resolution Health Support Program. This study identifies gaps in existing services, and provides policy recommendations for future services after the duties of the Settlement Agreement are fulfilled. Expert interviews and three case studies highlight policy options, and the key issues impacting the wellness of claimants in the Settlement Agreement. Three policy options are assessed using eight criteria based on the objectives of efficacy, equity, and stakeholder acceptability. The creation of a Wellness Fund and funding for survivor cultural revitalization are the recommended options for addressing the immediate and long-term needs of Survivors in BC. Throughout policy implementation, it is important to consider the context of other colonial policies, the diversity of responses to the wellness needs, and to target the intergenerational effects of the IRS system.

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

Embodied injustice: Policies to address self-injury among low-income women, aged 35-49, in Alberta

Date created: 
2016-04-01
Abstract: 

In Alberta, low-income women, aged 35-49, engage in self-injury at rates second only to female youth. This demographic faces the stressors of living in poverty combined with gendered and mid-age challenges and expectations. Government strategies addressing self-injury have been ineffective. A literature review and interviews with frontline professionals reveal that self-injury is a survival-based coping mechanism. Interviews with academics and policy professionals, supported by research on policy alternatives, illuminate the need for a comprehensive, intersectionality-informed approach to preventing and reducing self-injury. Three policy options are analyzed: the provision of counselling benefits for low-income individuals, greater integration of mental health care into the primary health care system and increased capacity for community mental health outreach and services. Increasing access to gender and trauma-informed mental health supports through community outreach is recommended to reduce self-injury among this population. Reforming systems of power to reduce inequity is recommended to prevent self-injury.

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.

Micro suites: Does size really matter?

Date created: 
2016-03-17
Abstract: 

Housing affordability is a major issue for the City of Vancouver. The ever-increasing cost of housing is pricing many Vancouverites out of the housing market. Millennials, with interests in homeownership, are starting to move out of Metro Vancouver to more affordable locations. Loss of this generation creates serious concern for the labour market and the growth of the economy. One proposed way to help retain millennials in Vancouver is to develop micro suites. These apartments are smaller than what is currently allowed under Vancouver zoning bylaws, which should make them more affordable. This Capstone examines the possible consequences of developing micro suites by compiling research, looking at four other jurisdictions, and conducting interviews. In the end three options are presented with the benefits and disadvantages of each. A recommendation is made to submit the options to City Council and let elected officials decide the best option for Vancouver.

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.

Promoting Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions in British Columbia’s Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Date created: 
2016-03-11
Abstract: 

Small and medium sized businesses make up over 98% of the businesses in British Columbia (BC) and are estimated to account for 28% of the Province’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These businesses have the potential to reduce their emissions and achieve positive business benefits as a result, yet many face knowledge and resource barriers that prevent them from doing so. In order to reduce these barriers, three policy options were explored: an investment tax credit, a grant, and a consolidated information provision service. These options were developed, analyzed, and evaluated using information obtained from interviews with owners and managers of SMEs and technical experts and a review of existing research and policies. The analysis highlights the trade-offs, strengths, and weaknesses of each policy option and recommends that an information service be implemented followed by a wider survey of SMEs in order to determine the appropriate financial incentive.

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.

Kids on the Outside: Policy Options for Youth with Incarcerated Parents in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-03-09
Abstract: 

The United Nations, non-profit organizations, and research communities have identified youth with incarcerated parents as a distinct and vulnerable population requiring tailored policy response. This research study examined the situation in British Columbia, and focused on how to foster resilience in this population rather than only examining damaging effects of having incarcerated parents. The study drew on academic and grey literature and key expert interviews to identify policy options. Importantly, the study also presents insights into advancing research in the field, specifically what is required when working with youth in the future. As a result of preliminary research, four policy options are presented: an integrated approach, education-centred supports, corrections-centred supports, and a justice-centred option. The policy options recommended are intended to support the resilience, life outcomes, and well-being of youth with incarcerated parents, and feature youth engagement in decision-making, and integrating data collection and sharing to inform evidence-based service provision.

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

Paying Up for Paying Out: Tracking Trends in Patient Satisfaction at Mid-Main Community Health Centre

Date created: 
2016-04-13
Abstract: 

The purpose of this report is twofold. The first purpose is to assess whether there has been an appreciable change in patient satisfaction at Vancouver’s Mid-Main Community Health Centre in response to a transition in remuneration methods from salary to fee-for-service. This was accomplished through the administration of a patient satisfaction survey capturing both quantitative and qualitative data. Based on the 179 received responses it was determined that patient satisfaction did not differ significantly after the transition. However, the survey results, combined with expert interviews with individuals involved in primary care, and an examination of the literature on the topic, suggests that fee-for-service is not the optimal primary healthcare remuneration method. The second purpose of this report is to assess the trade-offs between four remuneration methods: enhanced fee-for-service, capitation, salary, and a blended model of capitation and enhanced fee-for-service. Ultimately, this report finds that the medium-term policy goal for Mid-Main, and clinics like it that want to engage in interdisciplinary models of care, is to attempt to transition to the blended model of capitation and enhanced fee-for-service.

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