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

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A brighter future: solar energy in BC

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-04-18
Abstract: 

This report collects and analyzes the available information on solar energy development in BC, including existing major barriers, costs and benefits, and externalities. The objective is to assess the future viability of solar and recommend policies that can improve its viability. It is a first step in considering solar energy as a dependable energy alternative to help power BC’s future. Under current conditions, the net benefits of solar are negative due to regulatory and cost barriers. Three policy bundles designed to address these barriers are assessed using a set of criteria that include sustainability, stakeholder acceptance, administrative ease, and efficiency. I recommend a combination of regulatory reform, technology assistance, and allowing consumers the option of paying a premium for solar or other green electricity generation. The recommended policy bundle will allow solar to reach grid parity in BC at minimal cost to government and add to BC’s electricity capacity.

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.

Permitting Precariousness: Addressing Employment Standards Challenges for Temporary Foreign Workers in British Columbia

Date created: 
2016-03-24
Abstract: 

Since 2002, there has been an increase in the number of low-skill and low-wage temporary foreign workers in Canada. This study examines the employment standards challenges that these workers may encounter while in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Employment standards legislation provides the minimum requirements for workplace procedures, conditions, and transactions, such as overtime pay and hours of work. Given that the regulation of labour and employment fall under provincial jurisdiction, this study focuses on the experiences of temporary foreign workers in British Columbia and provides policy options to improve their precarious situation. This research explores a combination of provincial and federal policy changes to help mitigate temporary foreign workers’ susceptibility to employer violations, both by increasing their access to employment standards support and by reducing their dependence on employers. Policy recommendations centre on reforming the current employment standards complaint and enforcement mechanisms, increasing temporary foreign workers’ labour mobility, and separating the application process for permanent residency from employment relationships.

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.

Creating Possibilities: An Examination of University Career Support Services for International Students in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-04-01
Abstract: 

Given the projected increase in the international student population, there is a need to understand the existing state of career support services on university campuses in British Columbia (BC) and whether these services meet their needs. Currently, the limited research in this area illustrates that international students intending to stay in the host country may not be adequately prepared to navigate the Canadian labour market. This study investigates the availability of career support services at two university campuses and their effectiveness in achieving the provincial government’s labour market objectives. University expert interviews and a comparative analysis inform the analysis of potential options. This study recommends that universities integrate mandatory online English as Second Language (EAL) workshops to enhance existing career development programs. Further, it is recommended that universities and the provincial government collaborate in improving the data quality of career support services. Ultimately, enhanced data is necessary to implement evidence based policies.

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.

The Road to Safety: Licensing Policy for Older Drivers in British Columbia

Date created: 
2016-03-15
Abstract: 

As individuals age they are more likely to develop medical conditions that may affect their ability to drive safety. British Columbia’s population is aging and the increasing proportion of older drivers pose a risk to their own individual and public safety. Descriptive statistics for British Columbia illustrate the risks older drivers present. Policies instituted in three other provinces provide examples of the various policy tools available for managing this issue, and interviews with regulators and researchers supplement the information. Analysis of four policy options concludes that British Columbia should adopt an older driver licensing regime similar to Ontario’s, with in-person screening sessions for individuals at the age of 80, and every two years after.

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.

Liquid assets: The Value of North Eastern British Columbia’s Groundwater Resources in the Face of Climate Change and Competing Uses

Date created: 
2016-04-04
Abstract: 

Northeastern British Columbia will experience future groundwater scarcity as a result of climate change and competing uses of water. The Government of British Columbia (BC) now regulates groundwater for the first time in history through the Water Sustainability Act (WSA). The WSA allocates water based on a first-in-time, first-in-right system which does not promote sustainability or efficiency.This study uses lessons learned from water management in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin, Alberta’s South Saskatchewan River Basin, California’s Kern County Subbasin, and Colorado’s Denver Basin to formulate policy options for sustainable and efficient groundwater management in BC.This study recommends that the BC Government begin a water market pilot program, continue to collect data about BC’s water, begin a groundwater banking feasibility study, and increase the price of water to capture more rents.

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.

Navigating the pitfalls of the refugee dream: Understanding the integration issues faced by Somali Canadian male youth

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-12-10
Abstract: 

This capstone explores the integration challenges faced by Somali Canadian male youth in Canada as they have been experiencing issues leading to deviant and/or criminal behavior. Using literature, quantitative data analysis and qualitative semi-structured interviews analyzed via thematic analysis, this study examines how Somali Canadian male youth experience integration into Canadian society and become shaped by political, social and environmental conditions that differ from Somalia. Results from this study reveal that Somali Canadian male youth deviance and criminality is affected by 1) identity issues stemming from culture shock and intersectional discrimination (cultural, religious and racial), 2) lack of parental integration into Canadian society, and 3) post-migration socioeconomic challenges. These findings highlight the need for policy options that support the building of a healthy self-image of Somali Canadian male youth and empower Somali refugee parents to advocate for themselves and their children. This study proposes six policy options (categorized as education, healthcare, and social policy) centered on educational attainment, community and leisure engagement, and support for Somali refugee parents that may reduce deviant and/or criminal behavior in Somali Canadian male youth.

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

Waterfowl Management Technique in Delta, British Columbia: Balancing the Perspectives of Farmers and Waterfowl Advocates

Date created: 
2010-03-30
Abstract: 

In this study, I investigate methods of addressing the issue of migratory waterfowl damage to farms in Delta, BC. I examine the waterfowl management policies of British Columbia, namely the Delta Forage Compensation, Mitigation and Monitoring Project, and those of the prairie provinces. My analysis of the programs in the prairie provinces reveals that they share important characteristics related to compensation. Drawing on these findings, I propose four policy alternatives. After evaluating these alternatives, I recommend that British Columbia augment the current Delta Forage Compensation, Mitigation and Monitoring Project with enhanced mitigative schemes in the form of increased cost-shared lure and cover crop. Additionally, I recommend that BC adopts its own Canada-BC Waterfowl Damage Compensation Program modeled after Waterfowl Damage Compensation Programs in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
J. Rhys Kesselman
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences:
Thesis type: 
(Capstone) M.P.P.

Tailings Management in the Alberta Oil Sands: Mitigating the Risk of Pond Failure

Date created: 
2015-05-07
Abstract: 

Alberta has a prosperous oil industry with large reserves of oil sands. The oil sands are mined and produce substantial amounts of waste (tailings) needing to be stored in tailings ponds. With a growing number of tailings ponds across the province, the possibility of a pond failure increases. As such, there is a rising concern for the environment, surrounding communities and existing infrastructure. There is thus a need for Alberta to have strategies in place to mitigate the risk of a pond failure. Case studies analysis and a survey of academic literature identify key components and categories of successful tailings management from which three policy options are established and analyzed: dewatered tailings, risk assessment and hazard identifications, and publicly available emergency response plans. A final policy recommendation is made to implement emergency response plans, if it is only feasible to select one option. However, a second recommendation is made to implement all three policies as the most likely way of addressing the complex issue of tailings pond failures.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dominique Gross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences:
Thesis type: 
(Capstone) M.P.P.

The Bloody Truth: Exploring the cost-effectiveness of adult hemophilia in British-Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-04-17
Abstract: 

Severe forms of bleeding disorders are on the rise across the country and the ability to properly identify, monitor and manage this group is important not only for their future health outcomes, but also to contain the cost of expensive blood products and long-term care. Through policy innovation there is potential to improve the effectiveness of care in British Columbia at modest increase in cost. This study undertakes qualitative interviews, a detailed cost analysis of options and case studies. Findings from interviews suggest concerns over inadequate present human resources in the St. Paul’s hemophilia centre, inadequate interaction between patient and staff, and inadequate patient education on prophylactic care. The outcome of the analysis indicates that some increase in human resources would provide benefits at modest incremental cost, and generate some offsetting cost savings.

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

Cannabis in British Columbia: How Can We Take the High Road?

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-03-25
Abstract: 

This study examines how to reduce the harms and enhance the benefits that are produced by cannabis legislation in British Columbia. Criminalization of recreational cannabis aims to decrease demand. However, prior research reveals that this approach has little effect on usage rates. Although there are hazards associated with cannabis use, studies suggest that alcohol and tobacco consumption are more dangerous, yet it is legal to possess those drugs. Furthermore, the status quo allows criminal organizations to capture sizeable tax-free profits, which are frequently used to fund other unlawful activities. Cannabis prohibition also increases violence and elevates risks related to unsafe cultivation and storage. A cross jurisdictional analysis and expert interviews are used to identify and assess policy alternatives. The results indicate that while cannabis legalization is the most preferable option, provincial decriminalization has a greater likelihood of being accepted by government and the public.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Maureen Maloney
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences:
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.