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

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Building up: Policy options to accelerate the construction of energy efficient buildings in B.C.

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-11
Abstract: 

Buildings are the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia and are a significant contributor to climate change. To mitigate this, energy efficient construction needs to be adopted. Current market penetration of energy efficient buildings is very limited in the province. While B.C. has a plan to regulate new construction by 2032, additional complementary policies are required to facilitate this transition. This paper determines gaps in the existing market transformation policy framework advanced by the provincial government through a comparative case study analysis of policies in France, Belgium and Germany. Following this, three policy options are analyzed for their applicability to B.C. Based off of this analysis, a mandatory labelling program and a performance-based rebate are recommended for implementation.

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.

Fostering opportunities: Improving educational outcomes for youth in care in British Columbia

Date created: 
2019-03-05
Abstract: 

Children and youth in care in British Columbia face significantly lower high school completion rates than their peers, with only half of these young people completing high school by the age of 19. This study addresses systemic barriers in the child welfare and education systems in British Columbia that contribute to poor educational outcomes for youth in care. Systemic barriers and promising practices are explored through a literature review, jurisdictional scan, case study analysis, and expert interviews. Drawing on research findings, key challenges that contribute to poor educational outcomes are identified. These findings are then used to identify and analyze policy options targeted at improving educational outcomes for youth in care in BC. In the short to medium term, the study recommends the implementation of professional development for school district staff and the creation of a new Ministry of Education designation that includes targeted funding and an Individualized Education Plan for all youth in care in BC schools. In the long term, the study recommends extending the age of care supports to 21, implementing school-based social workers in all school districts, and increasing alternative education programs within schools in districts with an identified need.

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.

Regenerating for generations: Integrating ecosystem services into BC's reforestation strategy

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-01-23
Abstract: 

Ecosystem services are the “outputs” of ecosystems that humans depend on and require for the fulfillment of life. These include goods and services such as timber, water, clean air, and mental wellness. A 2005 assessment of the world’s ecosystems found that human impact has resulted in their extensive degradation. Yet the demand for ecosystem services will continue to increase as the world’s population grows and as the effects of climate change take their toll on the planet. BC’s forests have experienced myriad catastrophic events that have led to the need to replant millions of hectares. However, the current timber-focused reforestation criteria preclude much replanting. This paper investigates best practices for integrating ecosystem services into forest policy in order to maximize the use of BC’s forests for both human and planetary health. Three policy options are evaluated and focus on: accountability through legislation and strategic direction, multi-objective management, forest health and resilience in the face of climate change, and sustainability and the role of culture.

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.

Doctor Who: Foreign credential recognition of international medical graduates

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

Although the Canadian immigration system selects economic-class immigrants on the basis of human capital, many new arrivals face difficulties in finding employment commensurate with their professional training. International medical graduates more specifically face lower employment outcomes, and have difficulty attaining work in the medical field. This can be attributed to barriers in getting foreign-earned credentials assessed and recognized. While several studies have investigated barriers related to equivalency debates, few have evaluated structural barriers in BC, in a more recent time frame. This paper attempts to fill this gap by evaluating structural barriers and investigating current policies and opportunities. Case studies, expert interviews, and a literature review help identify and assess policies. I recommend improving and expanding pre-arrival services for the credential assessment process. This should be followed by the creation of a BC initiative for international health care professionals which includes a micro-loan program, a career accelerator, and clinical trainee positions.

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.

Nigerian asylum seekers: “A long walk to freedom” or “The pursuit of happiness”

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

The pattern, trends and conditions of Nigerians migrating irregularly yearly to seek asylum around the world has been on the increase and is worrisome. It was about 48 persons per 100,000 of the Nigerian population in 2017 (UNHCR, 2018b). On the journey to Europe through North Africa, many die or are caught up in significant human rights abuse situations. In North America where the journey is arguably less dangerous, irregular migration from Nigeria has found its way into political discourses. This capstone applies panel regression techniques to pooled macro-level data to examine the origin and destination country factors driving the irregular migration of Nigerians. It considers the policy problem that: “There are too many Nigerians migrating irregularly to seek asylum in several countries”. Primarily, it recommends that the government employ coordinated and targeted information campaigns to counter incorrect narratives on migration and highlight the legal processes for migrating.

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.

The beaten track: Visitor management in BC parks and protected areas

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

Parks and protected areas are a valuable asset for the Province of BC that provide a number of economic, health, and social benefits. Demand for these areas in certain locations, however, has grown over the past number of years to the point where capacity challenges have led to negative externalities in terms of visitor utility and ecological degradation. This project investigates these capacity challenges related to overcrowding and visitor management in the area of Southwestern BC. The project includes an intercept survey of park visitors at three different sites in the study area, as well as a review of the recreation literature and interviews from experts and stakeholders. Three options are proposed that address visitor management challenges and seek to find a sustainable solution. Options are analyzed with a set of criteria to highlight their trade-offs before recommendations are provided.

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.

Don't drive inTEXTicated: Reducing incidents caused by mobile phones

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-03-12
Abstract: 

The use of mobile phones by drivers has remained prevalent in British Columbia despite the government’s best attempts to reduce distracted driving behaviours through legislation, penalties and awareness campaigns. This high-risk behaviour can cause serious or fatal injuries and has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a global problem. This study explores the problem through case studies and interviews with key stakeholders and experts. It describes the multi-pronged approach that is needed to tackle the issue, including engineering, education and enforcement, and focuses on policy options that are feasible for the BC government to implement. This study recommends implementing a sliding-scale fine, which is expected to improve the targeting of high-risk drivers, address inequities faced by low-income drivers, and act as an overall deterrent for all drivers. Additionally, this study recommends engineering roundabouts in high traffic areas as a longer-term recommendation to indirectly alter driver behaviour.

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.

Bridging the gap: policies to address the effects of temporary foreign workers on youth unemployment in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-16
Abstract: 

Temporary Foreign Workers are increasingly being used in low-skilled positions in British Columbia. At the same time, Canadian youth are facing unemployment rates more than twice the adult Canadian workforce. While studies have addressed labour market impacts of Temporary Foreign workers in specific industries and regions, none have addressed the impacts on youth. This capstone addresses investigates the adverse effects that Temporary Foreign Workers have on youth unemployment, and provides policy options that Employment and Social Development Canada can use to decrease the unemployment gap. This capstone uses case studies and interviews to formulate and assess the policy options, concluding that a youth jab placement program is the recommended option.

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.

Designed to endure: Insights into the resilience of carbon tax policies

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-08-08
Abstract: 

The following research is intended to provide insights that can help to guide government decision-makers in designing carbon tax policies for continuity or resilience. It provides an overview of carbon tax policies in the Republic of Ireland, the Province of British Columbia (Canada), and in Australia. A comparative analysis juxtaposes technical design decisions and political factors in each of the case studies presented. This analysis is used to outline key considerations to be deliberately applied by policy makers during the process of designing and maintaining a carbon tax. Conscious consideration and application of these insights have the potential to improve the continuity and resilience of carbon tax policies. Some key strategies appear to promote resilience. The research suggests that revenue neutrality and a gradual phase-in approach to the tax rate are important components of a politically resilient carbon tax. In addition, policy-makers should not aim to spread costs and benefits too thinly in their design of exemptions and in the setting of rates. Certain industries or groups will lose under a carbon tax; this is inevitable. Trying to spread the "pain" too widely will likely create a powerful coalition against the policy, and weaken the likelihood of continuity or resilience.

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

Room to grow: Building better rental stock for Vancouver families

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-03-20
Abstract: 

Finding suitable and affordable housing is increasingly a challenge for families in the City of Vancouver. The City has a limited supply of primary rental units large enough for families. Most family-sized units in Vancouver are in the secondary market, which lacks the security and stability of the primary market. This study starts with a calculation of need for family-sized rental units. It finds that the Housing Vancouver Strategy will not meet anticipated need. It then reviews several of the City's current housing policies. Three policy options are presented to address the limited supply of family-sized rental units. The policies are analysed based on how well they fulfill various criteria. The paper recommends expanding the maximum size of laneway houses to enable more 3-bedroom units and using a density bonus to ensure that secure rental projects include at least 12% 3-bedroom units and at least 30% 2-bedroom units.

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