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

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The cost of care: A new framework for financing long-term care in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-03-03
Abstract: 

As the Canadian population ages, the demand for adequate long-term care (LTC) increases and with it, higher long-term care costs. The distribution of increased costs between Canadian seniors, their families, and Canadian governments is an important issue to resolve. This study examines existing LTC policies in order to systematically identify areas for reform, then develops and assesses policy options to guarantee that adequate LTC will be available, at a reasonable cost and appropriate efficacy, to every Canadian who requires it.

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.

Pathway to accountability: A strategic framework for evaluating climate adaptation interventions

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-03-29
Abstract: 

A key factor contributing to the success of climate adaptation interventions is the use of government-wide strategic evaluation processes that analyze the impacts of the various adaptation interventions used across government departments. There are currently no overarching strategic policies or frameworks for the cross-governmental evaluation of adaptation interventions in Canada. To find a potential solution to this problem, this study analyzes best practices in evaluation design for climate adaptation and government accountability assessments using a mixed-methodology approach. These methodologies are a literature review, theory-based approach, bowtie methodology, and understanding of jurisdictional issues. The findings are used to develop a scalable and replicable Climate Adaptation Accountability Framework that establishes a process governments’ can use to evaluate whether they are meeting their adaptation commitments. To contextualize this issue in a pragmatic context, the study is centered on the provincial climate adaptation approaches employed by British Columbia in the transportation infrastructure sector.

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.

Together on their own: Examining the lack of coordination between governing bodies on Salt Spring Island

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-03-11
Abstract: 

The Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia are unincorporated communities. Instead of a Mayor and group of counsellors, they are governed by a patchwork of organizations which include the Province of British Columbia, the Capital Regional District (CRD), the Islands Trust, and Improvement Districts for water and fire protection services. The reality of this approach is that these organizations are able to act unilaterally without consulting one another, and this results in disagreements and complications which can then halt policy developments in the other organizations. This research focuses on the lack of coordination between these governmental organizations, specifically on Salt Spring Island. After a detailed analysis of potential policy options, the study recommends an independent oversight body which will work to facilitate regular meetings between the governing organisations, establish strategic plans and improve the accessibility for the general public.

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

Diversification policies to enhance the Fraser Valley's economic resilience

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-03-12
Abstract: 

The Fraser Valley Region has a specialized economy in agriculture. Empirical studies in economic geography literature find that specialized regional economies are less resilient and hence, more susceptible to economic shocks. Thus, this capstone project highlights the need for the region to implement diversification policies to enhance its economy’s resilience to economic shocks. This capstone project conducted a panel study of 157 Canadian regional economies in 2006 and 2011 to determine if diversified regional economies were more economically resilient. Supporting the findings in economic geography literature, this study found that Canadian regional economies that were more diverse were more resilient. Base on economic geography literature, expert interviews, a jurisdictional scan, and policy analysis, this capstone project identified and recommended that the Fraser Valley Regional District implement several diversification policies.

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

Electing a diverse-city: Improving visible-minority representation in local governments in Metro Vancouver

Date created: 
2021-04-09
Abstract: 

Visible minorities make up roughly half of the population in Metro Vancouver. Despite this, their representation in municipal governments is very low, in partial contrast to provincial and federal levels of government, where representation is higher, although still not proportionate. This study documents this underrepresentation at the municipal level, investigates the sources of that underrepresentation and examines policy options to address it. In five case studies, the research looks at the impact of at-large versus ward electoral systems, varying rates of voter turnout, and the influence of incumbency on electoral chances of visible minority candidates. Drawing on these case studies and six subject matter interviews, the study then evaluates four policy options in the Metro Vancouver context: changing to a ward system for elections, education campaigns, civic engagement opportunities and the status quo.

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

Traffick stop: Addressing labour exploitation of migrant workers in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2021-03-09
Abstract: 

Policy efforts to reduce human trafficking in Canada have heavily focused on sex trafficking relative to labour trafficking. Partly as a result, victims of labour trafficking often lack effective protection from exploitation and coercion. This study looks at one important avenue through which labour trafficking can occur in Canada – the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Many migrant workers in the program lack the legal standing and resources to escape exploitative and dangerous situations. This problem is compounded by inconsistent definitions and interpretations of labour trafficking, a lack of reliable data, and weak protective mechanisms in legislation. Through an analysis of the policy problem in Canada, this study proposes and evaluates four policy options to enhance the security and protection of victims and survivors of labour trafficking. The recommendations aim to improve migrant worker mobility in the labour market such as granting migrant workers the ability to change employers, and address data collection issues that have bedeviled existing efforts. A strategy for implementing these options is also considered to illustrate some of the trade-offs and challenges that exist.

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.

Beyond city limits: Strategies for preventing overdose deaths in rural British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-30
Abstract: 

Four years into the provincial overdose crisis, rural B.C. municipalities increasingly report overdose rates that meet, and often exceed, that of urban centres. In rural communities, where populations are dispersed and healthcare services limited, the overdose prevention strategies that have succeeded in urban centres may not apply. This report examines the geographical variations of British Columbia’s overdose crisis through an analysis of overdose rates across urban and rural municipalities. Socioeconomic factors are assessed for a subset of rural communities that, year-over-year, report the highest overdose rates in the province. This section of the report is supplemented by interviews with public health, addiction, harm reduction, and drug policy experts on the challenges to delivering overdose prevention services in rural settings. Findings from the research component of this report are used to develop a framework of analysis and recommendations for intervention. Due to the demographic complexities and urgent nature of the overdose crisis, this report recommends a short and long term strategy for increasing access to addiction treatment in rural settings. First, by streamlining the requirements for becoming a methadone prescriber, and second, through targeted opioid substitution programs designed for rural settings.

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

The price is not right: Reducing mobile telecommunications bills in Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-21
Abstract: 

Over the past decade, the Canadian mobile telecommunications service market has grown at an exceptional rate, ultimately overtaking landlines as the dominant form of telecommunication. Mobile telecommunications has therefore become an essential service in the lives of most Canadians. However Canadian consumers continue to face some of the highest mobile service prices in the developed world. This study seeks to identify the principal causes of continued high mobile telecommunications prices in Canada, and to suggest potential policy solutions to lower service costs for consumers. This study involves a combination of expert interviews, secondary research, and case study analysis of the Australian, U.S. and Saskatchewan mobile markets. This study identifies high levels of market concentration as a principal cause, and recommends that mandated MVNO access be implemented to address high prices in the Canadian mobile service market.

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.

Building labour force resilience in British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-16
Abstract: 

With the rapid growth of automation and technological advancement, the skills and competencies required across British Columbia’s economic development regions are evolving. As the province shifts towards a more digital, knowledge-based economy, it is important to consider the development of BC’s labour force. While there are a number of initiatives targeting the next generation of workers, few supports sufficiently address the needs of mid-career workers in medium-skill occupations, who are more likely to experience challenges in adapting to changing job requirements. The purpose of this study is to determine the role the provincial government can play in building labour market resilience among this group. Using a case-study analysis as the primary research methodology, this study evaluates public employment supports in Ontario, Québec and Australia to identify policy options that may aid in streamlining job-transitions in BC.

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.

Under Fire: Improving Wildfire Prevention in BC’s Wildland-Urban Interface

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-11
Abstract: 

The province of BC has experienced a rapid increase in wildfires, causing forest ecosystems to lose resiliency and requiring human intervention to restore affected landscapes. One area that is particularly prone to the destructive effects of wildfires in BC is the wildland-urban interface (WUI), which is the transition zone between wildland and human development. In the WUI, many communities are exposed to excessive wildfire risks and are underprepared for the threat of increasing wildfires. To understand the approach to wildfire prevention taken in WUI communities in BC, this paper uses a survey research methodology that collects opinions and perspectives on the barriers to taking preventative action. Following this, three policy options are identified that address the improvement of wildfire prevention and mitigation initiatives at the community level. Policy options are then analyzed using a set of evaluation criteria that propose a policy package as the recommended course of action.

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