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

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Building stability into BC First Nations economies: the role of governance and community

Date created: 
2015-04-14
Abstract: 

First Nations economic development is widely understood to be a means to achieving self-sufficiency and self-determination. However, existing literature does not adequately address unique challenges and opportunities of remote First Nations in British Columbia. The study focuses on governance policy at the First Nation level to foster strategic alignment of institutions and community engagement. Findings suggest that governance institutions such as the band council and economic development corporation must be strategically aligned to best capitalize on development projects within their respective territory. More importantly, sustainable economic development hinges on community support for development projects. This study argues that community support is best achieved through rigorous reporting and performance measures by the economic development corporation.

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

Examining Factors of Success for Aboriginal Students in K-12 Educational Systems in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Yukon

Date created: 
2015-04-20
Abstract: 

Aboriginal education is a complex system of governance compromises, overlapping jurisdictions and multi-party agreements. The future of Aboriginal education is a dim one at present. Evidence from research has shown educational systems, for the most part, are failing Aboriginal students and creating education disparities between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. To narrow these disparities, the following goals need to be a top priority: increasing academic performance, meeting cultural goals, and improving the management of reserve schools. A review of the literature on Aboriginal education, expert interviews with practitioners working with Aboriginal students in B.C., Saskatchewan and Yukon, were undertaken for this research. The research examines successful innovations, and barriers identified in the literature and noted by interview participants. From this, two policy approaches were identified that could be adopted to mitigate disparities—tripartite agreements and a voluntary incentive-based approach pursued by the federal Aboriginal Affairs ministry where tripartite agreements are inappropriate.

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

No Roads to Riches: Meeting Future Travel Demand in Alberta

Date created: 
2015-04-08
Abstract: 

Within Canada, Alberta is projected to be one fastest growing provinces, both in demographics and size of its economy. If current trends continue, its transportation network will need to grow significantly to facilitate the future movement of goods and people. This study looks specifically at the transportation corridor between Alberta’s two largest cities of Edmonton and Calgary. This study’s projections and highway capacity analysis predict that the main highway between the two cities will not be able to meet future demand; as a result, commercial traffic movements will halt and will severely hinder the Albertan Economy. This study looks at three different infrastructure investments to accommodate future traffic growth, including addition lane upgrades, bypass routes, and a high speed rail line. The results of multi criteria analysis finds that construction of additional lanes upgrades will maintain traffic flow within the Edmonton Calgary transportation corridor.

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

Flipping the Switch: Policy that Supports Alternative Electricity Production in Alberta

Date created: 
2015-03-11
Abstract: 

Alberta’s electricity sector has traditionally relied on coal and natural gas thermal plants to produce electricity. Alberta’s dependence on fossil fuel technology has meant that its electricity sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all other provinces in Canada combined. A shift toward clean electricity substitutes is limited by the competitive market structure of electricity in Alberta, which favours low-cost fossil fuels rather than alternatives. Government policy intervention is required if Alberta wishes to increase its clean electricity uptake in the next 10 years. Three case studies from Ontario, California, and British Columbia are undertaken to evaluate their polices to enhance clean energy investment. Expert interviews are conducted to assess the potential applicability of similar policies in the context of Alberta’s electricity sector. A Clean Electricity Standard that mandates a minimum proportion of clean electricity production is found to be the best of three policy options.

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

Determining Policy Options for Sustainable Honey Bee Populations: The Case in Ontario

Date created: 
2015-04-14
Abstract: 

This study examines approaches to improving the sustainability of honey bees in Ontario. The use of pesticides, specifically neonicotinoids, by crop producers is associated with increased honey bee deaths and represents a threat to the health of honey bees. Three case studies, as well as nine interviews with experts, are used to identify policy options for Ontario. The analysis reveals that policies should seek to limit the expansion of neonicotinoids in the environment, mitigate their environmental consequences, encourage evidence development, and target other factors affecting honey bee health. Based on these findings, policy options are proposed and analysed according to seven criteria. I recommend implementing an adaptive management strategy targeting beekeepers and crop producers, and restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids by crop producers. A combination of these policies would meet the short-term objectives to improve honey bee colony health, develop strategies to reduce honey bee losses, and measure results.

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

Canada's Best Shot: Policies to Improve Childhood Immunization Coverage

Date created: 
2015-03-20
Abstract: 

Despite high coverage overall, routine childhood immunization coverage rates vary across Canada, and are in decline in some regions. Numerous systematic and social factors affect vaccine uptake, including access to healthcare services, vaccine hesitancy, and misinformation. Interviews with public health stakeholders, a review of international best practices in selected countries, and case studies of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario identify relative successes and limitations to inform potential policy interventions. This study assesses four policies: mobile immunization clinics, school reporting structures, provider incentives, and extended recall-reminder programs. While jurisdictions have improved accessibility of immunization services, further steps are needed to prompt behavioural change among hesitant parents of under-immunized children. To promote widespread immunization coverage, facilitate data collection, and enhance outbreak management, mobile outreach and immunization clinics are recommended, along with province-wide immunization requirements for school entry. Developing electronic immunization registries remains a foundational priority to target policies for under-vaccinated populations.

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

Encouraging aging parents of an adult child with a developmental disability to plan for the future

Date created: 
2015-04-01
Abstract: 

A future plan is key to directing and continuing supports for a person with a developmental disability. Despite its importance, many aging parents of an adult with a developmental disability do not have a future plan ready for the time when they will be unable to provide supports. This study explores why some parents in British Columbia do not have a future plan and proposes government actions to encourage future planning. Semi-structured interviews with parents, non-profit and government employees reveal barriers that hinder future planning in the areas of financial, housing, and service processes. Case studies of different jurisdictions examine the current supports for people with disabilities and present possible solutions to facilitate future planning. Four policy options mitigating the barriers are evaluated: an information campaign, increasing housing choices, utilizing a navigator role, and increasing respite. All options are superior to the status quo.

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

Rethinking Shelter-Cost-to-Income Ratios in Housing Allowances

Date created: 
2015-03-24
Abstract: 

The Canadian definition of housing affordability depends on a ratio, which states that housing is affordable if it costs less than 30% of gross household income. This ratio is used to determine both eligibility and benefit levels in many Canadian affordable housing programs, including social housing and housing allowances. However, this ratio is not a methodologically sound or equitable way to define housing affordability. The result is that affordable housing programs underserve large families living in high-rent urban regions. This study searches for an alternative method to define eligibility and allocate benefits within provincial housing allowances. British Columbia’s Rental Assistance Program is used to illustrate the application of concepts and measures. Four eligibility and two benefit allocation methods are evaluated. It is recommended that provincial housing authorities adopt Housing Income Limits and the Transfer method to determine eligibility and allocate benefits respectively in housing allowances targeted at families.

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

Patching the Leaks: Reforming British Columbia’s Approach to Property-level Flood Resilience

Date created: 
2015-03-16
Abstract: 

British Columbia’s existing flood risk will be intensified due to climate change. One approach to adapt to this increased risk is to encourage the floodproofing of properties in flood prone areas. This study examines the gaps in BC’s current flood policy framework that are inhibiting the uptake of floodproofing. A literature review and interviews identify the institutional context, a lack of resources and information, and low public awareness as key barriers. A jurisdictional scan examines different options to overcome these barriers, which include the private sector response of creating an overland flood insurance market. This study recommends a provincial floodplain-mapping scheme as a necessary precondition for further actions. In addition, a program offering floodproofing grants to vulnerable households should be piloted.

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

Swimming against the current: valuation of white sturgeon in renewal of the columbia river treaty

Date created: 
2015-03-19
Abstract: 

The Columbia River Treaty (CRT) between Canada and the United States was implemented in 1964 to cooperatively manage water-related issues. Treaty terms were based on concerns of flood control and economic growth with no consideration for ecosystem health and the benefits therein. In turn, basin management has become fragmented and deleterious to the River’s vast and complex watershed ecosystems. To ensure the Columbia River Basin (CRB) is able to absorb increasing demands while protecting environmental quality, provisions for the management of ecosystem services must be improved in the modernization of the Treaty. This study uses the white sturgeon as an example of how undervalued ecosystem goods and services can be integrated into the CRT. While the CRB once supported a productive population of white sturgeon, basin management has rendered them an endangered and threatened species. This study’s analysis yields recommendations for a portfolio of policies to entities of the CRT.

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