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

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Addressing the suicide rate among gay and bisexual men in BC: An assessment of policy solutions

Date created: 
2018-04-19
Abstract: 

Suicide has been identified by the BC Ministry of Health as a key issue in its Mental Health and Substance Use strategies, and gender and sexual minorities have been identified as target populations in regard to this issue. Suicide among gay and bisexual men (GBM) in particular is four times higher than among the general population and as of 2007 has exceeded HIV as a leading cause of death for GBM. This capstone employs qualitative interviews grounded in intersectionality and syndemic theory to understand suicide among GBM, and to generate a multi-pronged policy approach composed of 4 key recommendations supported by specific action items. Using an adapted form of Intersectionality-Based Policy Analysis (Hankivsky et al., 2014), these recommendations are analyzed to identify how they succeed in meeting key policy objectives, while also highlighting key challenges and next steps.

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.

Governance that 'wood' work: Constructing effective rural policy for British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-10
Abstract: 

For much of the 20th century, many rural communities in British Columbia were designed as industry specific ‘company towns,’ that were created to extract natural resources from the surrounding environment as a means of economic development. However, technological advancements that have come in the modern day have exposed an underlying vulnerability in these communities. Communities that are resource-dependent face issues of out-migration, population aging, and lower levels of tertiary education. These barriers constrain the ability of rural municipalities to provide vital community planning and development services that could develop and diversify their economies away from a single industry. This study will analyze three provincial policy options that could better promote economic development in resource-dependent communities in British Columbia. This is done through comparing outcomes in BC with the experience Quebec and Finland, two other economies that rely heavily on forestry production and wood-product manufacturing for employment in rural areas. Ultimately, it is recommended that the province implement a Community Development Bank to support the diversification of rural resource-dependent communities.

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.

Sold out: Analyzing the for-profit resale market for concert tickets in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-03-29
Abstract: 

This capstone analyzes the for-profit resale market for tickets to large concerts in British Columbia and identifies policy options that address this public policy problem. Following a brief background on the subject in British Columbia, this capstone advances through a mixed-methods research methodology consisting of an academic literature review, case study analysis, qualitative analysis, and quantitative analysis. From this research base the capstone then outlines three policy options: the status quo, prohibition, and regulating the for-profit resale market. Five criteria are established against which the options are evaluated, and the option of regulating the for-profit resale market for tickets to large concerts in two phases is recommended.

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.

Destination matters: Policy options to balance the distribution of Iranian immigrants in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-03
Abstract: 

Dispersing newcomers to destinations outside Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver is a key objective of Canadian immigration policy. The concentration of immigrants in these cities has been a longstanding settlement pattern that contributes to a range of social, environmental, and economic issues. This study first develops knowledge about immigrants’ locational choice and the effectiveness of regional immigration programs. Second, it conducts a quantitative and a qualitative data analysis to obtain a broad understanding of Iranian immigrants’ locational preferences, as a highly concentrated ethnic group in the major cities. The data analysis shows the destination decision of Iranian immigrants are highly influenced by their social networks and the content of online platforms. The main locational criteria for Iranian immigrants appears to be the job prospects, educational opportunities, and climate at destination. The study then introduces three policy options and an evaluation framework to analyze those options. The policy analysis indicates the option of ‘Clustering Immigrants in Second-Tier Cities’ would have the best tradeoffs to achieve the policy’s key objectives. The recommended policy would especially be highly effective in attracting Iranian immigrants to targeted cities and establishing a long-term settlement, which can ultimately balance their distribution.

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.

For integration to work: Government assisted refugees in BC

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-03-28
Abstract: 

Briefly defined, economic integration is the "gradual process by which new residents become active participants in the economic...affairs of a new homeland” (CCR, 1998). The literature suggests this takes 12-15 years for refugees in Canada (Wilkinson & Garcia, 2017). Government assisted refugees often experience worse outcomes than other newcomers during this period. Several studies have investigated the divergence between groups to identify correlates with better outcomes, but few have evaluated practices that may rectify these differences. This paper attempts to fill this gap by evaluating policies for facilitating the integration of government assisted refugees in British Columbia. Three policy options are presented, which focus on labour market entry, income stability, independence, and skill development as foundations for long- term economic integration. As integration is complex and multifaceted, the options are designed to improve government assisted refugees’ standing within five years rather than tackle all the challenges to integration refugees face.

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.

An alternative response: Developing restorative justice for sexual violence on BC university campuses

Date created: 
2018-03-12
Abstract: 

This capstone investigates how restorative justice can be implemented into existing sexual violence policies at three BC universities – SFU, UBC, and UVIC. Universities are currently underutilizing alternative dispute resolution techniques, which can be a very beneficial process for survivor-victims. An extensive literature review and expert interviews justified the assumption of this paper that a restorative justice option should be offered to survivor-victims who seek justice through their university. Case studies and an analysis of the existing policies inform the development of four policy options for consideration. I conclude by offering a short-term recommendation that universities partner with local restorative justice centres, followed by a long-term strategy to work towards the development of a comprehensive province-wide sexual violence policy and response for post-secondary institutions.

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.

Addressing food insecurity in Nunavut: Policies to support the local harvesting and commercialization of food

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

Locally harvesting and commercializing food has the potential to reduce food insecurity levels in Nunavut. Local food harvesting and the consumption of traditional food is a fundamental component of cultural identity, cultural stability, and community solidarity in Nunavut. Nonetheless, current solutions often focus on decreasing the price of market foods through subsidies, thus making it easier for food to be shipped into the territory from southern suppliers. This research paper explores the main identified drivers of food insecurity, the impact food insecurity has on health, the existing policies already in place, and a combined policy solution consisting of four integrated programs that could reduce food insecurity levels in Nunavut. The integrated policy solution considers implementing territorial Country Food Markets (CFM), a Food Acquisition Program, a School Meals Program, and a school-based arctic greenhouse initiative program under the Nunavut Harvester Support Program (NHSP). Analysis is based on a literature review, four jurisdictional scans, and thirteen expert semi-structured interviews. This report recommends government consider implementing all four programs under the Nunavut Harvester Support Program, beginning as pilot projects in three territorial communities of divergent size (small, medium, and large) and administrative capacity following additional research undertaken in Nunavut. These policies could help address some of the barriers existent in current programs offered under the NHSP and some of the main drivers of food insecurity in the short-term. Additional long-term solutions that address the growing threats climate change has on hunting (including shorter hunting seasons, changing animal migratory routes, and declining species) are necessary.

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.

Renegotiating NAFTA: Reducing the number of Chapter 11 claims for Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-03-14
Abstract: 

This paper explores NAFTA Chapter 11 claims filed against Canada through a closer examination of claim funding. Findings indicate that where investor-state dispute settlement cases were once brought forward to protect foreign investors against state expropriation, they are now considered a viable avenue of financial speculation. Familiar speculative tools identified as portfolio investments, third party funding, and shareholder reflective loss are transforming the very rationale of investor-state dispute settlement. Amid greater calls for transparency, this paper analyzes and proposes four policy options to reduce NAFTA Chapter 11 claims against Canada. Aside from the status quo, proposed options, which are conditional on complete transparency, include full disclosure of claim funding, capping the award recovery to funders, and prohibiting all financial speculation. Analysis based on five societal and governmental criteria indicates that full disclosure of claim funding will best meet the objective of reducing the number of NAFTA claims against Canada.

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.

Getting Connected: Improving Online Distance Education for rural and remote First Nations

Date created: 
2017-12-07
Abstract: 

Geographic isolation hinders many First Nation communities’ ability to provide their students with access to K-12 educational services. Online distance education is a delivery model used in various First Nation communities to mitigate the issues of remoteness and accessibility to education services. This study examines the policy levers to support the establishment, expansion, and improvement of online education services for rural and remote First Nations. The study uses a review of academic literature on online distance education (ODE) as it relates to First Nation students, as well as expert interviews to provide a background on the policy issue. Further, an analysis of the gathered data provides various policy options. An evaluation of these options offers a recommendation on the optimal model for First Nations to use for their online distance education programming in order to provide their students access to education services.

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.

Reducing textile waste in Metro Vancouver landfills

Date created: 
2017-11-20
Abstract: 

This study examines public policy approaches to increase the recovery of residentially generated textile waste materials in Metro Vancouver Regional District. It reports findings from a survey, conducted in Greater Vancouver in summer 2017, of consumer preferences and motivations with respect to textile waste disposal. The study also reviews the literature on factors that impact household behaviour in disposing textile waste material. Policy elements are determined from an analysis of the generalized supply chain for textile waste recovery and policy features implemented in other jurisdictions. Four policy elements are considered: disposal ban, education campaign, additional collection points, and curbside collection. The policy elements are analyzed and assessed on key criteria, with discussions informed by conclusions drawn from the literature review and survey findings. I recommend the implementation of an education campaign in the short term and further consideration of increasing collection points and curbside collection in the longer term. I also conclude that a disposal ban for textile waste in MVRD, as currently configured, should not be pursued.

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.