Browsing Graduate Capstones by Department "School of Public Policy"
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- ItemOpen AccessA look at policy surrounding long-term neurorehabilitation for people with acquired brain injury in Alberta(2018-09-11) Ryan, Shrianne; Zwicker, JenniferIn Alberta, there is an inadequate amount of community and outpatient neurorehabilitation services available to support the growing number of individuals who suffer from acquired brain injury (ABI). ABI is an injury to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. Many individuals with ABI become dependent on costly health and social services, resulting in high-expenses for Alberta. Even though ABI is a growing concern for Alberta, no provincial policy strategy has been put in place to ensure Albertan’s get timely access to community and outpatient rehabilitation programs after being discharged from acute care and inpatient rehabilitation. Instead, many individuals either wait a long time before being admitted to important rehabilitation programs or they never receive treatment at all. A reason for a lack of policy can be attributed to how there is limited research in Alberta that looks at the overall benefits of community-based neurorehabilitation programs. Therefore, the overall policy recommendation is that the provincial government should establish a comprehensive and province-wide study that looks at the effectiveness and benefits associated with community neurorehabilitation programs in Alberta. To accomplish this study, Alberta should fund additional community neurorehabilitation programs to the ones already in existence so that more individuals with ABI can be included. The results of this study came from the analysis of data from a rehabilitation centre located in Alberta called the Association for the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injury (ARBI). The purpose of the analysis was to determine if there was an overall significant improvement for clients in terms of health outcomes and quality of life after undertaking community neurorehabilitation. In addition to improved health outcomes, cost of care based on place of residence at admission, discharge and follow-up was analyzed to determine if rehabilitation is a cost-effective solution to the growing ABI health crisis. First, the costs of care were determined by looking at the costs associated with four different residence categories including one’s own home, the hospital and two living support services under Alberta’s continuing care system for individuals with ABI. These living support services include personal care home (PCH) and long-term care (LTC). The costliest place of residence was determined to be the hospital, followed by LTC, PCH and own-home in that order. Depending on the severity of disability, individuals may need more support and thus reside in a more expensive place of residence, proving costly for Alberta. Next, the cost of care data was analyzed by comparing two different cases, case 1 and case 2. Case 1 represented client’s undergoing rehabilitation at ARBI and case 2 represented the situation where clients did not go to ARBI. First, the two cases were compared to see if there was statistical significance, and then the calculated difference between case 1 and case 2 was compared to the cost of rehabilitation at ARBI. The results of this study found there to be both a clinically significant and statistically significant improvement for client’s in different areas of impairment, suggesting that community neurorehabilitation positively improves health and social outcomes for individuals with ABI. Additionally, the cost of care results found there to be positive cost savings associated with undergoing rehabilitation at ARBI. The total cost of case 1 and case 2 was calculated to be $11,377,800 and $17,980,950.00, respectively for an overall cost savings of $6,603,150.00 or $194,210.29 per person over 65 months. When the cost of ARBI was added to case 1, there was still an overall cost savings of $5,637,550.00, or $165,810.29 per person over 65 months. Overall, the results of this study indicate that the Government of Alberta only needs to help a few individuals through neurorehabilitation programs like ARBI to experience substantial gains. Therefore, the overall policy recommendation is based on the results of this study, as well as from other research studies, that found community neurorehabilitation to be a critical next step in the recovery of individuals with ABI. Community neurorehabilitation is a multidisciplinary approach that combines specialized clinical and social supports to deliver an individualized and evidence-based pathway of care. ABI can have a lot of different negative impacts on an individual, and so a multidisciplinary approach is important. This study, along with other research has shown that timely access to equitable and intensive multidisciplinary neurorehabilitation services can improve patient outcomes and quality of life while also reducing an individual’s reliance on health and social services. Therefore, the overall policy recommendation is based on how Alberta needs to take more action to fully understand how to best help individuals with ABI while also reducing the burden on government health and social services.
- ItemOpen AccessAcademic, Political, and Community Engagement: Crafting Pandemic Preparedness Policies for Vulnerable Families(2020-09-04) Kohek, Jessica Ann; Zwicker, JenniferTo optimally support the health of families, interventions provided by community organizations must be evidence-based. Research attracts awareness to particular community issues; however, there is often a disconnect between research collection and subsequent translation into community-level policies. Evidence-based interventions may have proven efficiency, yet research rarely results in the political action necessary to translate interventions into community practices. When research does inform policies, and programs, the process can take decades. Implementation of evidence-based practices is necessary to mobilize research into practice and improve outcomes for families who rely on services. This project sought to identify the challenges community organizations face in accessing and providing evidence-based services, as these services promote optimal outcomes for families. COVID-19, as a focusing event, has highlighted pre-existing political, economic, and structural impediments to knowledge mobilization. The barriers and solutions proposed by participants in the research have pre-existed, but been exacerbated by, the context of a pandemic. Prior to conducting research, a literature review informed the need for increased support, communication, and funding for community organizations. The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) was used after the literature review was conducted to contextualize this need in Calgary. Five NGT groups were held over the course of two weeks to generate ideas surrounding barriers to evidence-based service provision throughout COVID-19, as well as solutions that have the potential to address aforementioned challenges. The three main barriers prioritized by participants included reduced revenue streams, transition to online service delivery, and inadequate communication and collaboration with government. Participants emphasized two solutions: person-centred policies and programs, and reciprocal collaboration. The literature and NGT groups result both support a need for cross-ministerial collaboration, community-based research partnerships, and engagement and consultation with community organizations. These findings are not novel or unique to COVID-19. Barriers mentioned preceded the pandemic, and solutions provided have continual impacts to support the health of families outside the context of a pandemic. Policy recommendations promote the priorities iterated by participants in the NGT groups. To address the barriers to evidence-based service provision throughout COVID-19, three policy options are recommended: (1) education and consultation with community organizations, (2) subsidy and grant provision for community-based research, and (3) formalizing a local network of researchers, community organizations, and policymakers. Next steps include validating the results of this study with an online Delphi and conducting a multijurisdictional environmental scan to determine best practices to support families with evidence-based service.
- ItemOpen AccessAccess to Mental Health Services for Youth Experiencing Homelessness in Calgary, AB(2022) Chatha, Sukhmani; Kwok, Siu MingThis capstone researches access to mental health services for youth experiencing homelessness in Calgary. Having mental health supports would provide developmental aid such that youth who are experiencing homelessness have non reoccuring experiences and are still able to properly develop their skillset for mental and emotional wellbeing in transition into adulthood. Based on the literature and research available, there are five issues that need to be addressed – the limitations of mainstream mental health services for homeless youth, limited use of shelters among youth experiencing homelessness, a lack of residential stability, low levels of school based interventions, and aging out of government care. Although the focus here is on mental health, the approach to address the issue cannot purely be related to increasing mental health services. Such interventions might address those who are experiencing homelessness for a short period of time, however they fail to address the issue of youth homelessness itself which must be considered as well to ensure an effective long term solution. In order to effectively address the issue, more funding for youth supportive housing combined with wraparound mental health and other social services is recommended.
- ItemOpen AccessAddressing under-representation of women in municipal government: campaign schools, electoral reform, and community-based policy interventions(2022) Berger, Kaitlyn; Young, LisaThis study examines the policy alternatives available to address under-representation of women in one Canadian municipality. Drawing on data from a survey of participants of a local campaign school, this analysis finds that campaign schools are an effective tool for increasing the likelihood that women will run for office. However, the positive effects of campaign schools are not felt evenly by all participants. Women who have more prior election experience, who are older, who do not have young children and who do not report an intersecting marginal identity, are more likely to benefit from campaign schools. Existing literature points to the potential for campaign schools to address individual-level barriers and the need for electoral reform or quota systems to address political barriers. The results of this study show that the primary barriers experienced by participants were community-level barriers. Thus, additional policy interventions such as family-friendly campaign policies and sanctions against harassment in elections are worthy of consideration. This paper concludes that several policy interventions can be employed together to tackle barriers at the individual, community and political levels. These solutions must embrace the diversity of women candidates, so that all forms of under-representation are addressed.
- ItemOpen AccessAdopting Open Banking in Canada: An Analysis of Current Global Frameworks(2020-09-14) Taylor-Kerr, Andrew James; Beaulieu, EugeneFinancial technology or fintech is a rapidly evolving and disruptive development within the financial sector. New technologies arising from fintech innovations are changing how consumers access and utilize financial services while also allowing new fintech firms to compete within the financial sector. As fintech innovations proliferate throughout the financial sector benefits are being seen globally from growing financial inclusion, increased access to capital for small and medium enterprises and improved operational efficiencies for financial firms. Developments from fintech innovations do come with potential drawbacks that regulators are working to address. Fintech has the potential to adversely affect banking sector stability and presents increased cyber-attack risks that adversely affect firms and consumers, requiring regulators to adapt in response to these issues. One regulatory response that has gained traction globally for its ability to harness fintech competition and innovation while maintaining a more secure and stable financial system is that of open banking. Open banking is a regulatory approach that allows consumers to opt in and opt out of sharing their personal financial data with financial firms. Open banking also creates opportunities for more secure transfers of personal financial data by discouraging a data collection practice known as ‘screen-scrapping’, currently utilized by fintech firms, by allowing them to collect personal financial data through more secure application programming interfaces (API). With the permission of the consumer open banking frameworks usually obligate firms to transfer personal financial data via API to another firm who then utilize that data to develop consumer-centric products for customers. Canada, praised globally for the security and stability of its financial system, has been slow in developing an open banking framework and is now at risk of being left behind jurisdictions that have chosen to harness the competition, cyber-security and innovation advantages open banking can bring. To aid Canada in developing an effective open banking framework this capstone examines the regulatory approaches to open banking that have been developed in several jurisdictions including the U.S. and EU. A comparative analysis is conducted to identify what aspects of current regulatory approaches to open banking Canada can utilize in developing its own successful open banking framework. It is concluded that Canada should build on the strengths of its secure and stable financial system to become a ‘fast follower’ in developing an open banking framework that will enable it to attract further fintech investment and transform itself into a global leader in fintech innovation. Based on the comparative analysis of open banking frameworks several jurisdictions have developed the following recommendations are made to ensure Canada’s prospective open banking framework will enable it to become a global fintech leader:
- ItemOpen AccessAlberta in the Age of Renewable Power: Policy Lessons from Germany and Sweden(2019-09-03) Anderson, ALyssa; Winter, JenniferIn an increasingly carbon-constrained society, governments across the world have designed policies to support the development of renewable electricity. In particular, Germany and Sweden are world leaders in the development of renewable electricity. In contrast, the province of Alberta has limited experience creating a policy environment that encourages renewable electricity generation. This capstone project explores the policy lessons that Alberta can take from Germany and Sweden to foster the development of renewable electricity. By incorporating lessons learned from Germany and Sweden, the Alberta government could adopt new policies that increase the proportion of electricity derived from renewable sources. This paper is arranged into four chapters. The first chapter provides an overview of Alberta, Sweden, and Germany’s past and present renewable electricity policies. The second chapter analyzes each jurisdiction’s current policy according to four criteria: 1) effectiveness, as quantified through the compound annual growth rate in renewable electricity capacity or generation; 2) diversity of actors, as evaluated through any special provisions that promote the participation of companies of varying sizes; 3) diversity of technologies, through an analysis of the number of renewable technologies able to secure support under each program; and 4) each program’s impact on household electricity costs, as measured by the compound annual growth rate in the size of the electricity surcharge as a share of household electricity costs/kWh. The third chapter compares public acceptance of renewable energy in each region through an analysis of public opinion polls. Finally, the fourth chapter summarizes the policy lessons Alberta can take from Germany and Sweden to foster the development of renewable electricity. There are four lessons Alberta can take from Germany and Sweden. First, as seen in Germany, the government's ability to anticipate changes required to integrate renewables into the electricity grid may limit the effectiveness of Alberta's future renewable policy. Second, the Alberta government could improve future policy by making special provisions to promote a diversity of actors; however, Alberta can learn from the overwhelming participation of small actors in Germany’s auctions by limiting their future provisions to those that provide a level playing field for all actors. Third, for Alberta to encourage a diverse range of technologies while still promoting the most cost-effective electricity production, the province could implement a technology-neutral policy first (as seen in Sweden), followed by a transition to a technology-specific policy (as seen in Germany). Lastly, if Alberta strives to become a large-scale producer of renewable electricity, it may have to impose an electricity surcharge on consumers; however, it is likely the surcharge will stabilize as Alberta’s renewable sector matures, as seen in Germany and Sweden. In brief, this capstone provides the foundational knowledge required to understand renewable electricity policy in Alberta, Sweden, and Germany. This paper also offers specific policy lessons that Alberta may apply to keep pace with the global push towards a clean and renewable power sector.
- ItemOpen AccessAlberta’s Hydrogen Roadmap: Efficacy and Efficiency of the Province’s Vision for Supporting Low-Carbon Hydrogen(2022) Mahoney, Shannon; Bailey, MeganAlberta’s Hydrogen Roadmap sets a vision for how the province will grow a hydrogen economy to diversify its energy sector, benefit the economy and contribute to emissions reductions. This paper examines the efficiency and efficacy of Alberta's proposed policy actions to support low carbon production and makes recommendation for how to further advance this strategy. It finds that Alberta's Roadmap as industrial policy may be warranted and also finds that Alberta's Roadmap is a solid start to building its hydrogen economy. It sets forth strong policy actions to reduce emissions in existing production, grow demand by implementing hydrogen in carbon-intensive sectors, and support technology and innovation. A weak carbon price combined with the current high cost of low carbon hydrogen production make it unlikely that the hydrogen industry would develop and produce a maximum benefit in an appropriate timeframe for reaching net zero goals if left to the market. Unless the gap between the cost of emissions and the cost of emissions reduction is closed or significantly decreased, no financial incentive exists for companies to act. Government policy tailored to each of these market issues could support the development of hydrogen to produce economic and environmental benefits. However, without such tailored policy, industrial policy could simultaneously address several of these failures. In addition to Alberta’s proposed policy actions, this paper offers four recommendations to further support low carbon hydrogen production and deeper decarbonization: vi 1. Increase the stringency and emissions coverage of carbon pricing to signal firms to reduce emissions and improve the economic feasibility of low/zero carbon technologies. 2. Fund innovation to improve low carbon hydrogen feasibility and reduce investment risks/uncertainty. 3. Provide transparency and establish stricter eligibility requirements for fossil fuel subsidies. 4. Prioritize adopting a hydrogen emissions classification system that establishes an emissions threshold aligned with global standards. 5. Establish a regulatory framework to avoid overlap and confusion between regulatory bodies and existing legislation.
- ItemOpen AccessAlternative Policies for Managing the End-of-Life Oil and Gas Liabilities in Alberta(2018-09-14) Lim, Michael; Mansell, RobertOil and gas well assets go through various stages of their life cycles. Different stages include exploration/drilling, production, and end-of-life management. All stages need to be appropriately regulated to balance environmental costs and monetary returns. In particular, the end-of-life management is often an overlooked aspect of resource policies. However, end-of-life liabilities, or the cost associated with plugging wells and reclaiming affected sites, need to be managed properly to protect the Crown, industry, and landowners. This research project puts an emphasis on the financial aspects of the end-of-life management of liabilities. The financial aspect involves setting aside appropriate funds or deposits to abandon and reclaim wells and well sites within a reasonable time period. If appropriate measures are absent, the Crown, the ultimate resource owner, and landowner may bear the environmental costs of resource extraction. To prevent that outcome, the regulator (the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) in Alberta), imposes a requirement of financial backing for the environmental liabilities that can be used even in the case of bankruptcy or insolvency. Over the last 35 years or so, end-of-life management policies in Alberta have evolved. The current generation of policy was established in 2001. The policy framework relies on two mechanisms, residual values of oil and gas assets and the Orphan Well Association. In Alberta, the AER mandates oil and gas producers to maintain certain residual asset values of oil and gas assets. Those values act as collateral for eventual abandonment and reclamation. If there aren’t sufficient residual asset values for the outstanding environmental liabilities, the industry funded OWA manages the end-of-life liabilities. However, with the recent decline of oil prices and the recent Redwater ruling, those mechanisms are no longer viable. As a result, new policy solutions are required to deal with the end-of-life existing wells and newly drilled wells. In Alberta there is currently anywhere between $611 million to $9.217 billion of irrecoverable environmental liabilities carried by already insolvent or bankrupt producers. Those liabilities come from 160,000 inactive or non-producing wells. This research project examines the following policy options: upfront deposit of financial security; cyclical adjustment to Orphan Fund levy; accelerated abandonment of wells; and public funding with policy reforms. Each policy option is evaluated on five criteria: public benefits; cost to the industry; cost to the crown: private benefit of policy; and, applicability of policy. Based on the assessment, policy solutions are proposed to deal with the end-of-life liabilities of both existing wells and newly drilled wells. The upfront deposit of financial security is the most appropriate solution for newly drilled wells. The solution imposes more financial responsibility for individual producers to cover the end-of-life liabilities. A combination of cyclical adjustments to Orphan Fund levy and public funding should be used to deal with the existing liabilities.
- ItemOpen AccessAn analysis of the First Nations Finance Authority as a viable off-ramp to the inadequate First Nations property rights framework under the Indian Act(2019-09-05) Bhaidani, Tanzeel; Flanagan, ThomasThis capstone provides an overview of the inadequate property rights framework that First Nation communities are subject to under the Indian Act, describes some of the major off-ramps to the Indian Act, and analyses the effectiveness of the First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA). First Nations of Canada have lower quality of life indicators compared to the average Canadian. This is in part due to an inadequate framework of property rights under the Indian Act, which prohibits fee-simple ownership. The inability to leverage reserve land and assets as collateral has resulted in First Nations people being subject to high interest rates due to uncertainty. This pushes them further into the cycle of poverty and substandard living conditions. In the past, governing First Nation reserve lands under the Indian Act has been lengthy, cumbersome, and difficult mainly because the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC) has decision-making power over First Nations. Independence on INAC and the Indian Act can only be achieved through sustainable economic growth from private investment in and independent revenue from capital, research, new technology, human capital, etc. As a result, several off-ramps have been recommended and implemented, which offer more autonomy and control to First Nations people. These mainly include: 1) Property taxation under the Fiscal Management Act allows First Nations to address issues regarding economic development, services, and fiscal integration; seek professional advice; access affordable long-term financing; attract investment on their land; and work towards building partnerships with other governments. 2) Land management under the Land Management Act allows First Nations to opt out of 1/3 of [viii] the Indian Act’s provisions and create their own land codes to legally manage their land, enter contracts, borrow money, and expend and invest money. 3) Self-government under Section 35 of Canada’s Constitution Act allows First Nations to have decision-making authority and jurisdiction upon some or all of their affairs, upon signing a treaty or agreement with the provincial and federal governments. Despite several advantages, these off-ramps do not help First Nation communities to borrow money for community, land, or infrastructure development. This is resolved by the FNFA, a relatively new and less-studied off-ramp, a not-for-profit Aboriginal led financial lender. FNFA provides continuous access to low interest and long-term (up to 30 years) loans to First Nation communities collectively, without collateral. FNFA calculates every community’s unique borrowing capacity based on their revenue-generating activities. A “revenue intercept mechanism” allows FNFA to directly collect its repayment from the community’s revenue-pool, with certainty. To date, there has been no default on an FNFA loan. FNFA loans are tailored to meet the unique needs of each First Nation; are legally bound and enforceable under the Fiscal Management Act and Financing Secured by Other Revenues Regulations; create high investor certainty; promote accountability and transparency; establish a system of regulatory oversight in case of non-compliance; are relatively quicker to implement; have all-party support; and most importantly allow First Nations to hold decision-making power. To date, FNFA has 91 member First Nations across 8 provinces and 1 territory and has loaned over $634 million dollars which have generated an economic output of over $1.4 billion and 6,786 jobs. Despite several successes, FNFA faces geographical, linguistic, political, bureaucratic, legislative, and conceptual challenges and limitations. However, continuous efforts [ix] are being made to address these, which makes it a viable off-ramp to the Indian Act. The off-ramps discussed throughout this capstone project have created several opportunities for First Nations in Canada. However, they are more favorable to already well-organized First Nations. Property tax only works if there is something worth taxing; land management is only useful when the land is valuable, self-government is a very lengthy process, and even borrowing from the FNFA can only significantly help those communities who have a sufficient revenue stream to pay it back. Therefore, a majority of First Nation communities are continuing to struggle. However, efforts made by the First Nations, federal and provincial governments are steps in the right direction and must be recognized and appreciated.
- ItemOpen AccessAn Examination of Alberta’s Minimum Wage(2018-08-30) Kosiorek, Keyli; Tombe, TrevorThroughout its history, the minimum wage has always been a controversial policy. Politicians, economists, businesses and citizens are continually engaged in debates over its effectiveness and its unintended consequences. Initially designed to protect workers from exploitation, the minimum wage has been gaining popularity as an anti-poverty tool. In fact, in recent history there has been a $15 minimum wage movement taking place across North America that aims to put more money into the pockets of those in need and thus reduce poverty. In 2015, under the newly elected NDP government, the Government of Alberta implemented the $15 minimum wage policy. Their plan to reach $15 consisted of a 47% increase of the minimum wage in just 3 years. Alberta was the first province in Canada to implement such a policy, but since then, Ontario and British Colombia have followed in their footsteps. There is an abundance of research on the minimum wage from both the US and Canada, much of which is focused on the impact of the minimum wage on employment. While researchers have not reached a consensus on the magnitude of the effects, most agree that increasing the minimum wage has a negative impact on employment, especially for low-skilled workers and youth. While the research is plentiful, there have been no studies that have examined the impact of the $15 minimum wage movement on employment. Additionally, there has been no study that has looked at Alberta specifically. This paper adds to the existing literature by analyzing the impact that a rapidly increasing minimum wage has had on employment and unemployment in Alberta. To understand the effects of Alberta’s increasing minimum wage on employment and unemployment, I used a natural/observation study of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Alberta was the treatment group in my study because its minimum wage increased significantly starting in 2015. Saskatchewan was the natural control group in my study because they did not increase their minimum wage arbitrarily and only adjusted it slightly each year for inflation. Because the two provinces are so similar in many ways including industry, political landscape, Saskatchewan’s data became the baseline measure of the experiment. Thus, any changes in Alberta’s employment rates that were not seen in Saskatchewan could attributed to the increase in minimum wage that Alberta experienced. For my study I used pooled time-series data collected from the Canadian Labour Force Survey to compare the two provinces in a regression analysis. The analyses were run on four different age groups: 15+, 15-24, 25-54 and 55+. The results from my empirical analysis were consistent with previous literature with coefficients for the employment rate between -0.068 and -0.434 for the period between 1997 and 2017 in Alberta. I also found coefficients for the unemployment rate between 1.064 and 2.327 in the same time period. These results indicate that the increase in the minimum wage in Alberta resulted in a reduction in the employment rate and an increase in the unemployment rate. In addition to this empirical analysis, I looked at the cost of Alberta’s minimum wage increases since 2015. I calculated that the increase from $10.20 to $15 per hour will cost Albertans over $725 million. This is over four times the cost of tax benefit programs such as Alberta’s Family Employment Tax Credit. Such programs are better targeted towards those who need support. In this section of my paper I compare these two policies and the pros and cons of each. It is important to consider the costs and benefits of each policy prior to implementation to ensure that all objectives are being met and that the policy does not create more harm than good. I conclude my paper with three suggestions for policy makers to consider when developing minimum wage policy: First, I suggest that policy makers should have a clear understanding of who earns the minimum wage prior to making any changes. Secondly, I suggest that policy makers should be clear about their objectives in order to create policies that best target their desired group. Finally, I suggest that all policy decisions should be based on detailed cost-benefit analysis and that all documents should be disclosed to the public for transparent debates.
- ItemEmbargoAnalysis of an Electricity Market Restructuring Reform: The Case of Mexico(2020-09-10) Flores, Brenda; Shaffer, BlakeIn 2013, Mexico started reforming its electricity sector, expecting improvements in the performance of the industry and increases in consumers’ welfare. The 2012-2018 administration introduced competition to their generation segment and created a Wholesale Electricity Market through a series of constitutional amendments. It aimed to attract private capital to modernize the sector and improve the quality and reliability of energy supply in the country. It also sought to decrease the high electric costs and encourage the incorporation of clean energy in the sector. However, consumer prices have not reflected the improvements in competition in the market. This framework has allowed the current government to propose measures that are opposed to the competitive model. The purpose of this project is to analyze the implemented policies and their consequences, as well as the implications of keep increasing market competitions or returning to a state-owned utility monopoly. Paul Joskow developed some key principles for reforming processes to create efficient electricity markets. These principles can be used as a “standard model” for jurisdictions restructuring their power sector. The model can be helpful to analyze any country’s restructuring electricity reforms. This project compares them to Mexico’s measures to identify barriers to competition and other sources of inefficiencies in the Mexican electricity market. According to the literature review, the model based on Joskow’s principles for a successful liberalizing reform mainly consists of: i) Privatization of state-owned utilities, ii) Vertical separation of competitive segments, iii) Designation of a single Independent System Operator (ISO), iv) Promotion of efficient access to the transmission network, v) Creation of voluntary public wholesale spot energy and operating reserve market institutions, vi) Development of active demand-side institutions and vii) Creation of independent regulatory agencies. For a reform to be successful, it also needs a strong political commitment to it. Furthermore, nonstable market rules and regulatory imperfections deter potential investments in new generating capacity. Mexico complied with the vertical and horizontal separation of the state utility, the designation of an ISO, the creation of the institutions for a wholesale market and the creation of independent regulatory agencies. Nevertheless, the Mexican restructuring process did not privatize its state-owned utility. That decision makes it harder to incentivize performance improvements and the utility can be used to pursue political agendas. Also, Mexico is still in an early stage in the development of demand-side management institutions, limiting the efficiency of the market to incorporate demand responses. Moreover, prices have not decreased due to the increasing congestion in various links of the national transmission network. Additionally, with the change in administration, there is currently weak political support for the reform and the market rules are unstable, discouraging investment. The legal separation of CFE was pulled back and two temporarily suspended agreements may allow for exclusionary behaviour in the access to transmission. These actions impose further barriers to competition.
- ItemOpen AccessAppraising Canadian Development Assistance before and after CIDA(2022) Akrouch, Hepa; Hiebert, MaureenIn 2013, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), an organization vested with administering foreign aid programs in developing countries, was folded into the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. This capstone will assess the impact of this administrative change on Canada’s development assistance strategy and recipient countries. It will also shed light on whether the decision to merge CIDA into the Department of Foreign Affairs has contributed negatively or positively to Canadian development assistance, all of which will ideally inform future development assistance policy initiatives and governance of development aid.
- ItemOpen AccessAre Alberta's General Practitioner (GP) to Specialist Referral Pathways Aligned with Existing Principles and Best Practices for Patient Empowerment (PE)?(2022) Wong, Sylvia; Leslie, MylesLong wait times, inefficient care coordination, and patient disengagement have been identified as significant issues in Canadian specialist care (Liddy et al. 2018). This lack of patient engagement could be attributed to the common belief that patients do not have the right expertise (Baker et al. 2016; Brekke, Nuscheler, and Straume 2007, 18), which seems to be enshrined in the gatekeeping role that Canadian general practitioners (GPs) routinely play when referring patients to specialists (Forrest 2003). Whatever the origins and intents of deploying GPs to control access to specialists, poor performance in the GP to specialist (G2S) pathway not only delays treatment and care (Liddy et al. 2018), but it can also cause unnecessary harms (i.e., pain, stress) to patients (McCarron et al. 2019; Manafo et al. 2018). Indeed, poor transitions between GPs and specialists can lead to negative health outcomes (Yiu et al. 2015, 24), especially when patients face repeated, but necessary, transitions between HCPs throughout their care.
- ItemOpen AccessArtificial Intelligence, Government Employment and Productivity: Implications for Canadian Federal Government Employment and Costs From AI-augmented Services Implementation(2018-09-15) Neff, Benjamin; Mansell, RobertFor any government, being responsible with the taxes of its citizens is of the upmost importance. Therefore, the services it provides must be of the highest quality and efficiency. In recent years, that expectation was unrealized by the average Canadian citizen. Federal services continue to be slow, bothersome, unsatisfactory, and inefficient. However, new technological investment could reverse this course and facilitate a more efficient and satisfactory service. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a group of cognitive technologies that could provide such changes. As AI is increasing in ubiquity across all sectors of the economy and society at large, there is a substantial debate over how AI will affect them. While there is substantial optimism of the eventual productivity growth and new job creation, there is also pessimism that the technologies will replace far more jobs than they create. Some estimates project that nearly half of the current American jobs will be replaced with AI labour in the next 40 or so years. AI is proving itself to be a general purpose technology that will change the shape of how businesses are run and how the economy is structured. However, this is causing a substantial amount of concern associated with middle class income and employment growth. [vii] In the next 5 to 7-year period, Ai will continue to cause disruptions in employment decisions in all sectors of the economy—that includes government work. As such, the Canadian federal government needs to formulate a plan regarding if and how much it should invest into AI. This study explores the effects of AI on the Canadian government based on comparative studies of AI on US government employment. It finds that in a medium-term timeframe, the federal government could accrue an annual benefit of up to $4.1 billion annually from forgone salary costs from a sample of 23 departments and agencies. These savings are from up to 97 million annual labour-hours that could be replaced through a high level of investment into AI. Based on a comparative analysis with developments in the United States, a number of policy recommendations are advanced. These include the following. • Start investing into AI technologies today. The benefits from machine learning and the development processes are compounding. The earlier the government starts, the sooner they can produce increasing efficiencies. • Provide AI literacy training for the current workforce. This prepares and equips government workers to adapt to complementary tasks and prevents morale disruptions. • Reduce the workforce. Government jobs that become predominantly redundant should be eliminated with prudent investment of the savings in salary costs. • Consult citizens. Citizen input is critical for AI implementation to foster political support for a long process that might not produce visible results quickly. • Avoid AI decision-making. For ethical reasons, humans should be the primary decision makers to prevent data biases.
- ItemOpen AccessBarriers and Pathways for Food Insecure Individuals to Access Mental Health Resources(2022) Singh, Jasmine; Edwards, MeaganThis study aimed to explore the connection between food insecurity and mental health and the barriers and pathways to mental health support for individuals experiencing food insecurity. This qualitative study included interviews with team members at key social organizations in Calgary, Alberta who work directly with food insecure clients. Barriers to mental health support for food insecure individuals were shown to be lack of access to a primary care doctor, racial/cultural barriers, and a prioritization of meeting basic needs over mental health concerns. The common themes uncovered from interviews, as well as literature, identified key recommendations to improve the pathways of food insecure people to improving their mental health. These key recommendations included improvement of access to basic needs such as a food policy, creating free community spaces, a universal basic income and a strengthening of social assistance. Other recommendations included incentivizing better collaboration across social organizations, enabling emergency room and primary care doctors to assist with the unique needs of these clients, and expanding the Canada Health Act to include mental health treatments for more meaningful support.
- ItemOpen AccessBuilding Trust in Smart Cities: A Case Study of Seoul Smart City and Recommendations for Calgary's Smart City Alliance(2022) Deshpande, Samruddhi; Boucher, JCBig data and technology growth have introduced a compelling opportunity for municipal governments to transform their public service delivery by administering them through Smart Cities. Smart Cities have a crucial role in data-led urban innovation, which can provide the municipality, its civil service, the private sector, and its citizens with improved connectivity, efficiency and overall welfare. All these pillars can strengthen municipal governance, but the broader administration of modern-day technology and big data must be balanced or aware of the concerns produced by such technology to tangibly improve citizen welfare. As these smart developments apply a vast amount of big data, the capstone focused on answering the following question: How are Smart Cities evolving in the context of the technological revolution and how is it that they maintain a relationship between investments in technology and new Smart Cities can maintain a relationship between investments in technology and investments in building trust in technology? Rather than focusing on how much technology is available, the capstone focused on ethical data governance models that build trust in technology to strengthen data fairness, privacy, and transparency. Data-governance processes often depend entirely on the infrastructure ownership models within a city. The research presented literature on a public administration model to set up a case study of a Smart City development that synthesizes the smart city public administration and its data governance capabilities. As there are many avenues to synthesize ethical policymaking in the age of technology, this paper focused on the data collection process. The project employs a case study looking at Seoul, South Korea, where infrastructure ownership rests within public-private partnerships. A case study is an appropriate decision-making tool that can help jurisdictions compare and evaluate policy options to strengthen their public service delivery. The case study used three leading indicators of citizen-centred intelligent cities to address the relationship between technology and the trust built into the technology and public service delivery in Seoul. Data fairness, privacy and transparency, and data governance are indicators.
- ItemOpen AccessCampaigns of Disinformation: Modern Warfare, Electoral Interference, and Canada’s Security Environment(2019-07-30) Tuttle, Devin; Rioux, Jean-SébastienThis capstone develops a risk assessment of Canada’s democratic institutions as it relates to potential foreign interference in the 2019 federal election, determining what factors should be of most concern for Canadian policymakers charged with defending Canada’s democratic infrastructure from foreign interference. Through a literature review of non-linear warfare, social media networks and algorithms, I discuss the technological and behavioural factors that have contributed to the vulnerabilities in Western states, namely the advent of a changing media and information environment. I argue that changes in technological and information accessibility have allowed states who have been traditionally disadvantaged in terms of warfare capabilities to overcome these asymmetries. I go on to explore cases of recent interferences in domestic by Russia and China, providing a comprehensive overview of each state’s motivations for engaging in non-linear warfare: historical grievances against the Liberal International Order, changing tactics in modern warfare, and interference strategies in foreign elections. Following these case studies, I then assess why Canada is viewed as a target from the perspectives of both Russia and China, and the different motivations of these states in intervening in Canada. Following an assessment of Canada’s security environment as it relates to election interference, I evaluate the safeguards Canada has put in place to defend against attacks to its democratic institutions. I devise a risk matrix that codifies the threats Canada will likely face during the pre-election and election period leading up to the 2019 federal election. This capstone concludes with a recommendation that urges Canada to institute a National Centre for Strategic Communications and Digital Democracy that would develop cohesive strategies to safeguard democracy in Canada against foreign influence campaigns, cyber-attacks, and disinformation.
- ItemOpen AccessCanada's Future in the Indo-Pacific: The Need for Strategic Policy(2022) Sandhu, Jocelyn; Bratt, DuaneThe Indo-Pacific region is home to some of the largest populations and fastest growing economies in the world. It is a region critical to global supply chains, as it hosts major ports and sea routes through which goods to countries around the world, including Canada, pass through daily. At the same time, it is a region in which a multitude of security challenges threaten to upend regional stability and erode the international rules and norms upon which Canada relies. Despite Canada's critical economic and security interests in the Indo-Pacific, it does not yet have a policy that articulates these interests, identifies key challenges, and sets out goals for the region in order to establish a long-term strategic vision behind its engagement there. This capstone will demonstrate the need for a comprehensive policy for the region by conducting a critical analysis of the opinions of experts and examining the strategies of like-minded countries before ultimately providing recommendations on what economic, diplomatic, and security priorities should be included in an Indo-Pacific policy.
- ItemOpen AccessCanadian Refugee Policy: An analysis of the Syrian refugee resettlement initiative in Alberta(2018-09-14) Mendonca, Luisa; Rioux, Jean-SébastienThe Syrian War has drastically destroyed the country creating an enormous wave of refugees fleeing for safety to neighbouring countries as well as, to North America and Europe. The Syrian Horizontal Initiative (referred as the “Syrian Initiative” in this capstone) resettled Syrian refugees in 280 communities across Canada. Canada has resettled 21,876 GARs, 3,931blended visa-office referred Syrian refugees and 14,274 Privately sponsored refugees (PSRs), being a total of 40,081 Syrian refugees in Canada, as of January 2017. By July 31, 2018 Canada has resettled 17,732 more Syrian refugees, being of a total of 57,815 Syrian refugees resettled in the country (Please see Appendix 1 for table). In fact, the Syrian Initiative has been considered one of the fastest resettlement-refugee initiatives in recent history. Due to the speed of this initiative, the Federal government did not consider how much cities and provinces would be impacted by this influx. The policy making process for this initiative revived issues and differences between policymaking and policy implementation in the processes of refugee integration. Throughout this capstone, I focused on analyzing and identifying the gaps between the decision-making processes and how it has reflected on provinces and municipalities as the federal government, and therefore, what were the key issues of resettlement identified by local service providers in this sector, municipalities and provinces. In fact, one of my key findings was the issues regarding communication and coordination of services and decisions between the federal and provincial governments, as well as local organizations. For this capstone, I focused on the impact of the Syrian Initiative in Alberta and specifically in Calgary. I investigated the recent history of the Canadian Refugee Policy and looked into Government reports, City and municipalities’ resettlement strategies, key umbrella organization reports, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Open access Data, among recent articles and research about the Syrian crisis in Canada. In addition, I also researched Alberta’s and Calgary’s local partnership initiatives aimed to help with the Syrian Initiative. In conclusion, communication and information sharing between agencies at all levels of government, continued partnership and coordinated services could help bridge the gap in services and lack of planning between policy making and implementation. With an Advisory committee consisting of key players of the sector, such as, umbrella organizations, municipalities and provincial government representatives, the Federal government could help better plan its refugee policies and consult them on how this policy could affect local organization, services and communities in Canada. This would foster better policy implementation and planning to help newcomers in Canada.
- ItemOpen AccessCF-39 Arrow II: A Swedish Solution to the CF-18 Replacement Problem(2018-09-17) McColl, Alexander; Bercuson, David J.Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau ordered 138 CF-18 fighter jets in 1980. As of September 2018, 76 modernized CF-18s remain in service. Over the past two decades, four different Prime Ministers have been involved in selecting a replacement for the CF-18. With a purchase price of over $16 billion and a potential total lifetime cost of over $40 billion, the CF-18 replacement will be the second most expensive military procurement in Canadian history. Not only will the CF-18 replacement program have to fight for funding against the general austerity and easy riding nature of Canadians, but it will also be running concurrently with the largest military procurement in Canadian history: The National Shipbuilding Strategy. This paper reviews the history of Canadian military procurement, with emphasis on the successful New Fighter Aircraft (NFA) program of the 1970s that selected the CF-18, and how those lessons should be applied to the CF-18 replacement. This paper argues that, absent the political will to provide considerably more than 1.15% of GDP in defence spending, the Canadian Forces can no longer afford to be a modern multipurpose force and should instead move to a Navy centric force structure. By reviewing how the CF-18 serves at home on the NORAD mission, in Europe on NATO air policing missions, and as part of coalition combat missions; the minimum requirements for the CF-18 replacement are identified. This paper recommends employing the NFA methodology to design a defence policy for easy riders. Such a defence policy will meet military objectives with best value, state-of-the-art technology that also offers full industrial offsets for Canadian industry. The best value solution to the CF-18 replacement is the least expensive jet in the competition: the Saab Gripen.