Theses (Public Administration)

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    Exploring the role of emissions-economy trade-offs in climate policy support : comparative survey evidence from the United Kingdom and Australia
    (2024) Bell, Christopher; Rhodes, Ekaterina
    Countries vary in their success in decoupling greenhouse gas emissions from economic growth to meet emissions reduction targets. Using a web-based survey of citizens in the United Kingdom (n = 1,009) and Australia (n = 1,029), with different decoupling rates, this study assesses levels of citizen support for different types of climate policies, beliefs in trade-offs between emissions reduction and economic growth, and associations between these emissions-economy trade-off beliefs and support for climate policies. The results show compulsory policies, including carbon taxes and bans, receive the highest opposition. There is little variation between the studied countries for climate policy support and emissions-economy trade-off beliefs. The results also show that citizens who are agnostic about economic growth support policies the most. Therefore, decision-makers should focus on communicating climate policies’ economic and social benefits for the economic growth-concerned citizens to increase overall policy support.
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    Ground truthing: An Exploration of Ancestral Governance in Nuxalk Homelands
    (2024) Thompson, Caitlin; Wiebe, Sarah Marie
    This thesis explores how Indigenous governance, as specific to Nuxalk, is important to Canada’s understanding of historic land dispossession, reconciliation, and community development. The study demonstrates how Nuxalk governance is inseparable from Nuxalk homelands, how governance supports Nuxalkmc’s rights and responsibilities related to their homelands and explores whether or not Nuxalk land governance is supported, broadly speaking, by specific goals in the Province of British Columbia’s Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Action Plan. Most importantly, the research will help to illuminate how Nuxalk governance is applicable, functioning, and practiced by Nuxalk people today.
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    Exploring the “White Space” Between Leadership Training and Leadership Development Outcomes in the British Columbia Public Sector
    (2024) Kim, Han Na; Marcy, Richard
    Many public sector employees take leadership training to become better leaders. However, employing the knowledge learned to produce real-life outcomes does not happen automatically. A developmental space exists between acquiring leadership knowledge and the desired leadership outcomes, also called the “white-space.” This study explored this space between post-training and desired leadership outcomes to investigate how British Columbia public sector employees draw from leadership training and other experiences to become better leaders. This study conducted in-depth one-hour-long interviews with 21 public sector employees in leadership roles across various organizations in B.C. The study addressed how individuals attempt to achieve multidimensional, zero, first, and second-order leadership learning outcomes, what individual, group, and organizational attributes affect the “white-space,” and how individuals learn from their daily life experiences to further their leadership. Significant findings from the interviews include several ways in which B.C. public sector employees attempt to achieve multidimensional and/or zero, first, and second-order learning outcomes in the ‘white space’ post-leadership training. Individuals strive to attain these learning outcomes by supporting team members, nurturing others’ personal development, actively seeking avenues to augment leadership competencies, developing confidence, actively utilizing acquired skills and more. Findings also reveal the intrinsic motivators that drive public sector employees to pursue leadership development, such as the desire to grow and develop others, achieve tangible positive changes for the public, and foster positive relationships within their teams and organizations. Another key finding is the interplay between individual traits and interpersonal dynamics in shaping leader identity, particularly in the B.C. public sector context. While all participants viewed themselves as leaders, their perceptions of leadership and leader identity were influenced by their perception of their individual traits and who they are in relation to others. Some crucial findings related to individual, team, and organizational attributes that impact the public sector leadership development post-training have also emerged. For example, positive team attributes were supervisory support and peer support, successful collaboration on team projects and ideas, and clarity in roles and responsibilities within the team. Some of the critical negative team factors included uncollaborative team environment, “bad leaders/supervisor,” and lack of social interactions. Concerning organizational attributes, being provided with a mentor or a coach, organizational commitment to leadership development, and opportunities to practice leadership skills were deemed vital, such as opportunities for jobs, new projects, and tasks critical for leadership development. Key findings related to the negative organizational attributes in the public sector included factors such as lack of follow-up discussions or further training, public sector’s hiring and talent management culture that discourages leadership development process and disconnect between training and real-life situations. The last part of the study explored how participants develop leadership through daily life activities through participating in external committees or groups, coaching or volunteering, seeking out leadership training outside of work, reading books or listening to podcasts on leadership, and engaging in self-care activities. Overall, the study demonstrates a complex interplay between these factors that ultimately shape B.C public sector employees’ leader identities and the leadership development process post-training and ends with practical recommendations for public sector leadership development, particularly in the Canadian context.
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    Understanding climate risks facing housing finance stakeholders in British Columbia: Interview-based empirical evidence
    (2024) Howley, Julia; Rhodes, Katya; Majerbi, Basma
    The effects of climate change are yielding unprecedented extreme weather events in British Columbia. The impacts of these climate changes are felt across many sectors, including the housing finance sector. This study seeks to gain an understanding of how physical climate change risks are manifesting in British Columbia (BC)'s housing finance sector and impacting homeowners and homebuilders, and to uncover potential market failures, with a goal of developing recommendations for policy and regulatory responses. Methods comprise conducting eighteen (18) in-depth semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, including: homeowners, construction industry representatives, mortgage insurers, insurance industry representatives, financial lenders, real-estate industry representatives, academic researchers, data providers, and financial and technical regulators. Interview findings focus on gaps or inefficiencies in BC’s housing finance ecosystem covering five key themes: (i) assessing and pricing risk, (ii) lender risk concerns and disclosures, (iii) improving data, modeling, and transparency, (iv) insurance accessibility (v), and adaptation education and incentivization. Based on interview findings, this study recommends policy and regulatory interventions be explored to address the gaps and market failures present within BC's housing finance ecosystem. Recommendations include expanding current and emerging adaptation policy and risk disclosure regulations, improving risk awareness, investing in data and modeling capacities, encouraging cross-collaboration between stakeholders, setting industry standards, incentivizing adaptation measures, and prioritizing risk mitigation.
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    Neighbourhood Food Democracy: Participatory Food Asset Mapping in Vancouver’s Westside
    (2024) Stepkina, Ksenia; Wiebe, Sarah Marie
    Food insecurity represents a pervasive systemic issue that has a devastating population impact. Ordinary people, especially those most impacted by the failings of the food system, have little say in its governance. Food democracy aims to support regaining of the democratic control of the food system and enable its transformation by promoting active citizen participation in the decision-making processes. This research study presents a vignette to begin to consider potential pathways for supporting participation of equity-denied groups in addressing the issue that directly impacts them. Set in Vancouver’s Westside, this thesis explores the potential of participatory food asset mapping and a focus group discussion as tools for engagement of equity-denied groups in a democratic process. Based on the proposed conceptual framework of neighbourhood food democracy, these Community Based Participatory Action Research methods serve to support research objectives of community empowerment, knowledge co-creation and setting an agenda for social change. The research study engaged 15 community members with lived experience of food insecurity in the Westside in participatory mapping and focus group discussion. Participants identified neighbourhood food priorities, including values and barriers to local food access, as well as considered contributing systemic factors (knowledge co-creation). Participants suggested recommendations for the community, non-profit and public sectors to support community food security by maximizing value, reducing barriers to food access, and addressing systemic factors (agenda for social change). The research study validated the promise of CBPAR methods in supporting participation of equity-denied groups in a democratic process (community empowerment). To fully realize the promise of neighbourhood food democracy, the report recommends ongoing local opportunities for meaningful participation of marginalized groups in democratic processes on the issue that affects them.
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    Public Sector Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Reporting in Canada
    (2024) Coovadia, Zainab; Krawchenko, Tamara; Majerbi, Basma
    Reporting on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors began as a strategy for companies in the private sector to attract capital and meet investor demand for ESG data. In recent years, it has also been adopted by some governments as they interact with financial markets for their capital needs. Across Canada, several governments have gained awareness of leading ESG practices, frameworks, and standards from international organizations. This thesis explores why, how and the extent to which Canadian governments engage in ESG activities through a comparative content analysis of their ESG reporting. Informed by the literature on policy learning and transfer, the thesis discusses and analyzes the pathways through which ESG reporting guidance is issued, diffused among a wide policy network, and adopted by the public sector. As is shown, some governments are creating unique, jurisdictional frameworks for reporting on their own ESG performance (i.e., Toronto, Alberta, British Columbia). Other governments are integrating some aspect of ESG issues in their financial or investment reporting (i.e., Vancouver, Montreal, Mississauga, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary). A couple governments are applying ESG considerations to economic agreements and other instruments (i.e., Northwest Territories, Government of Canada). Overall, governments in Canada are monitoring the development of international ESG reporting standards, along with their stakeholders’ expectations regarding these standards, as they work to provide more transparent and higher quality ESG data that is comparable with their peers.
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    Transparency, Accountability, and Accessibility: A Comparative Analysis of the Publication of Transition Documents through the Context of British Columbia, Manitoba, and Canada
    (2024-01-29) Olynyk, Madison; Speers, Kimberly
    This thesis sheds light on transparency, accountability, and accessibility efforts through the lens of British Columbia’s recently published transition documents. Using a multiple case study approach, with cases being the Government of British Columbia’s British Columbia’s website and published transition documents from 2020 and 2022, this research discusses similarities and differences between three of British Columbia’s ministry’s transition binders and compares findings to government transition documents and websites in the Government of Canada and Manitoba. Ultimately, one of the key findings from this research is that British Columbia meets more of the transparency, accountability, and accessibility criteria outlined in this thesis than the Governments of Manitoba and Canada. The research finds that the Government of British Columbia makes it easier for citizens to hold their governments accountable than the Governments of Canada and Manitoba. Regarding accessibility and transparency, British Columbia performs well: on par with the Government of Canada and better than the Government of Manitoba. Additionally, ministry-specific findings in British Columbia prove that ministries may be given some level of independence when supporting these initiatives. The thesis also identifies the areas where British Columbia has the potential to improve these metrics when publicizing its binders.
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    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Implementation of Indigenous Relations and Leadership Competencies in Leadership Competitions at the BC Office of the Auditor General
    (2024-01-29) Moore, Natalie; Ney, Tara
    The BC Public Service is working towards improving diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The BC Office of the Auditor General (BC OAG) is also making commitments to improve DEI in the organization. The purpose of this thesis is to assist with these improvements, focusing on how DEI can be better incorporated into hiring practices for leaders at the BC OAG. Specifically, this thesis is seeking to determine how the BC OAG implements competencies in leadership competitions in a way that aligns with these DEI commitments. To assess this, the researcher undertook a qualitative mixed methods research approach, consisting of a cross-jurisdictional scan of Canadian audit offices, structured interviews with BC OAG staff members who had been panelists on leadership competitions, and a document review of leadership competition files. From the cross-jurisdictional scan, the key finding is that Canadian audit offices value and plan around DEI quite differently from one another. The key finding from the structured interviews is that DEI is not a requirement in competency implementation at the BC OAG, nor is it a requirement for panelists to utilize a DEI lens in their role on leadership panels. The key finding from the document review is that the competencies the BC OAG utilizes in leadership competitions have the potential to incorporate DEI, but this incorporation is inconsistent. From these findings, an option was presented to the BC OAG to develop its own explicit DEI competency that is tested for in every leadership competition.
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    Front-liners on the Sidelines: The credential recognition experiences of Filipino internationally-educated nurses (IENs) in Victoria, British Columbia (BC)
    (2024-01-19) Leonida, Micah; Krawchenko, Tamara
    The impacts of the nursing labour shortage are being felt across Canada but especially in Victoria, BC where place-based realities have impacted internationally-educated nurses’ (IEN) professional pursuits. Rising inflation, housing costs, and living expenses create challenging contexts for IENs from the Philippines who aim to settle, integrate and complete professional recertification processes in order to become registered nurses in BC. As provinces across the country vie for nurses to alleviate strains on the health care system, this study explores Filipino IENs’ integration experiences and settlement barriers. The study examines to what extent these factors might have influenced their educational upgrading, professional recertification, and workplace acculturation experiences. This exploratory study rooted in an interpretivist paradigm examines the experiences of nurses from the Philippines who recently migrated to Victoria in the last ten years. The key findings of the study posit that financial barriers, time barriers, deskilling, and mental health challenges are the most prevalent obstacles encountered by Filipino IENs in Victoria, BC. These findings are further expanded upon in order to understand the impacts that migration pathways, post- and pre-arrival immigration processes, familial responsibilities, English-language requirements, workplace discrimination and professional recertification pathways have on the complex integration and settlement experiences of Filipino IENs in Victoria, BC. Nine recommendations are proposed including the creation of more efficient migration pathways, investing in accessible information supports, prioritising effective communication, designing equitable policies that account for familial responsibilities, supporting flexible English language requirements, developing local navigational supports for IENs, addressing deskilling, adapting professional recertification pathways, and increasing collaboration between clinical practice programs.
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    Addressing Jurisdictional Friction on Healthcare Access for scəẃaθən məsteyəxw Children: A case study approach to understanding the implications of jurisdictional friction in creating barriers to equitable healthcare access for Tsawwassen Children.
    (2023-12-21) Harris, Rowan; Thiessen, Susanne
    This thesis explores the implications of jurisdictional friction on healthcare access for children of scəẃaθən məsteyəxw - Tsawwassen First Nation (“TFN”), a modern treaty nation in British Columbia. To support this exploration, a critical instance case study and an Indigenous methodology were employed, utilizing in-depth interviews with five participants from TFN and a document analysis of related literature. The research methods were supported by a literature review that examined jurisdictional friction through inadequate service access, jurisdictional divides, and colonial policies. The findings reveal that due to jurisdictional friction, Tsawwassen Children continue to experience structural and individual barriers when accessing healthcare services off Tsawwassen Lands. Jurisdictional friction is furthered through intergovernmental and interorganizational relations over responsibility for the funding and delivery of health services to Tsawwassen Children. This friction results from colonial healthcare administration, a lack of distinctions-based recognition, and a lack of implementation of the Tsawwassen Final Agreement.
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    How experiences affect decision-making: Exploring the phenomenon of access to healthcare through the stories of Indigenous women in British Columbia.
    (2023-12-20) Smith, Paige Elizabeth; Thiessen, Susanne
    This thesis explores how Indigenous women experience barriers to accessing healthcare in British Columbia (B.C.) and how their experiences influence their health-related decisions. The intention was to explore how lived experiences with the provincially funded healthcare system affect if at all, Indigenous women’s decision to access healthcare and consider the potential future implications. The phenomenon of access to healthcare for Indigenous women was explored by analyzing pre-existing literature and conducting in-depth qualitative interviews with Indigenous women. The data collected from the interviews were analyzed through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. By listening to and amplifying the realities of Indigenous women’s experiences, this research is contributing toward reconciliation. As a non-Indigenous researcher conducting research with Indigenous Peoples, applying and honouring Indigenous research methods and principles of data governance was equally important. Indigenous Researchers at the University of Victoria guided this work along with the CARE principles for Indigenous Data Governance and the Four R’s of Indigenous Research. The analysis indicated the significance of relationality and connection with providers and the system through which Indigenous women access care. It established that these were critical factors affecting their decision-making. Further, this study demonstrates the need for increased understanding and appreciation of Indigeneity within the healthcare systems and the unwavering perseverance that Indigenous women embody to advocate for their and others’ equitable care. This thesis could enrich the development and application of services supporting Indigenous communities and strengthen current healthcare practices and policies by accepting alternative forms of care outside Western healthcare.
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    Here We Will Bloom: Current State of Nonprofit Arts Programs in Newcomer Reintegration in Canada
    (2023-12-20) Nel, Susanne; Speers, Kimberly
    The purpose of the study is to describe the current state of arts and culture programs offered by newcomer-serving nonprofits located in Canadian urban centres. The work recommends smart practices for nonprofit use of arts and culture practices to support the reintegration process undertaken by immigrants and refugees as they pursue fair participation in the host country. The study follows a qualitative methodological approach, using key informant interviews and a document scan of representative programs to collect data and coupling gap analysis with conventional content analysis. The fifteen major themes identified explain how nonprofit arts and culture programs support reintegration and inform three smart practices recommendations with implications for newcomer leadership and collaborative design, goals prioritization, and multidisciplinary service.
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    Performance-based budgeting in Canada: Assessing the association between past performance and subsequent resource allocation
    (2023-11-28) Whittla, Curtis; Rhodes, Katya
    Performance-based budgeting (PBB) is a common performance management practice throughout OECD countries where performance information is directly or indirectly linked to resource allocations in the budgetary process. Canada has had various systems of PBB in place since at least 1969, with the most recent changes being implemented in 2016. Despite these recent changes, few studies have examined the allocative efficiency of Canada’s PBB system, which purports to allocate resources in a way that optimizes performance (TBS, 2016). Using panel data spanning eight fiscal years from 2014-15 to 2021-22, this study aims to measure the correlation between past performance and subsequent resource allocation at the organizational level and provide recommendations to improve PBB processes. The analysis found that for every one percentage point increase in average organizational performance, an additional 0.23 percentage points of spending was allocated in the subsequent budget, demonstrating a modest but statistically significant level of allocative efficiency. This result was not found for staffing allocations. These analyses provide some preliminary findings in the Canadian government context which support theories about the allocative efficiency of PBB. These findings differ from the results of an earlier study of PBB in Canada conducted by the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) in 2014, which found no statistically significant correlation between performance and resource allocation at the organizational level. This study concludes by providing some recommendations to strengthen Canada’s PBB systems, including recommending Canada’s approach to PBB as an example of creating allocative efficiency, promoting the use of performance information in budgetary decision-making and politics, providing consistent and full public data to scholars and budgetary oversight bodies like the PBO for better analysis, and maintaining more consistent indicators across multiple fiscal years.
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    The Beauty Underneath: Revitalizing Indigenous Shellfish Harvest in Semiahmoo Bay
    (2023-10-04) Juteau, Christy; Wiebe, Sarah Marie; Lapper, Robert
    North American coastal Indigenous communities have feasted from the tidelands since time immemorial. Abundant clams, oysters, mussels, seaweed and other marine resources provided seasonal sustenance, opportunity for communities to gather, to share intergenerational knowledge, ceremony, language and cultural values. Since settler contact, land development, pollution and overharvest have diminished native oyster populations and contaminated clams and other marine resources. Current colonial coastal governance has responded with blanket shellfish harvest closures along much of the British Columbia coastline, walking away from the problem, and focusing attention on areas important for commercial harvest. This participatory action research focuses on the transboundary waters of Boundary Bay (Steloqwen in SENĆOŦEN), home of the Semiahmoo First Nation people. This place-based study reveals pathways towards revitalizing Indigenous shellfish harvest on the Canadian side of Steloqwen, through complex social-ecological system analysis and Indigenous resurgence and storytelling. While there are potential future economic benefits to Semiahmoo First Nation through the re-opening of shellfish harvesting beds, Semiahmoo are primarily interested in revitalizing their traditional practices of being out on the land, digging for clams, having opportunity for elders to share with young people about culture and language and connection to the bay. They want to restore reciprocal relationships that have been lost through contaminated waters and unjust governance. Through a literature review, jurisdictional interviews and Indigenous storytelling workshops, key barriers and opportunities were identified and discussed to reveal a pathway towards revitalizing shellfish harvest in Steloqwen. Firstly, jurisdictional roles and responsibilities related to coastal ecosystem management need to be clarified and re-defined to close existing governance gaps and to be aligned with Indigenous values. Secondly, pollution sources must be identified and controlled, which requires both a consistent, coordinated, and well-communicated monitoring plan as well as a collaborative approach to addressing the variety of potential pollution sources. And thirdly, Semiahmoo First Nation capacity must be bolstered to provide a leadership role in collaborative efforts. All three of these key barriers can be addressed by taking a two-eyed seeing approach, weaving systems analysis and Semiahmoo Indigenous teachings to reveal innovative solutions. In conclusion, this will involve: 1) ȻEN,TOEL, jurisdictional alignment to allow for Indigenous led collaborative watershed remediation, 2) ĆEĆINES, Indigenous led watershed governance with teeth to hold jurisdictions accountable, and 3) XĆETSW̱, Indigenous led collaborative process of looking over, measuring, figuring out and deciding where the pollution sources are and how best to address them. All of these solutions rely on Indigenous capacity to provide leadership and uphold their rights of sovereignty and self-determination. To operationalize this research, Semiahmoo First Nation must be acknowledged and supported as leaders with the capacity and authority to carry out governance in their territory, influencing land and water management on a watershed scale. Short, medium and long-term steps are recommended to achieve the vision of revitalized shellfish harvest and a healthy bay ecosystem.
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    Good Roads 2.0: An Analysis of the Impacts of Rail-Trail Organizations on Strategic Planning, Community-Building and Economic Revitalization
    (2023-09-13) Mihell, Natasha; Speers, Kimberly
    Friends of Rails to Trails Vancouver Island (“FORT-VI”) seeks to develop a 224km rail-trail corridor from Victoria, British Columbia (“BC”) to Courtenay, BC, with an additional spur from Parksville to Port Alberni. To advance and manage this goal, FORT-VI asked for a comparative analysis of five different rail-trail initiatives that outlines the potential and likely impact, challenges or barriers that stand in the way of developing a rail-trail corridor, and smart practices or successes of similar projects around the world. Influenced by Bryson’s (2018) strategic change cycle, this paper identifies potential outcomes of rail-trails initiatives across multiple policy areas that include: health, recreation and ecological economics; and land use, reconciliation and governance. The analysis demonstrates that, while FORT-VI’s initiative may be suspended indefinitely due to external influences, there is much information to be gleaned about the value of rail-trails across all policy areas, which can assist FORT-VI in its continued advocacy for a rail-trail on Vancouver Island. Not only can this information support the development of rail-trails like FORT-VI’s Island Rail Corridor, but it can also benefit other areas that are looking to develop rail-trails. Lastly, it can assist various associated actors, such as First Nations in the Vancouver Island area, who may be interested in supporting a rails-trails initiative or learning more about such initiatives in general.
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    Getting the Job Done: Understanding Barriers and Enablers to Municipal Climate Action in Greater Victoria
    (2023-09-13) Masemann, Charlotte Emilia; Krawchenko, Tamara
    Municipalities in Greater Victoria are dedicated to climate action and municipal officials deal with both barriers and enablers in implementing climate solutions. Focus groups held with municipal staff members in the thematic areas of buildings and energy, sustainable transportation and solid waste reveal that these barriers and enablers fall into six categories: funding, staffing, legislation/regulation, governance, information, and politics. Focus group participants expressed that they remain firmly enmeshed in the hierarchy of Canadian federalism, with upper levels of government having control over much of the funding and legislative/regulatory powers important for climate action. Three types of instruments are used in climate action: regulations, economic measures and information. The province controls most of the regulations and economic measures, leaving the municipalities of Greater Victoria with inadequate or inappropriate access to both. Political will and information exchange enable existing climate action, but lack of autonomy over the most effective policy instruments was identified as a barrier for municipalities.
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    Executive Women: Designing Quality of Work Life in the Public Service
    (2023-09-07) Confreda, Sara; Cunningham, J. Barton
    The purpose of this report is to gain a deeper understanding of quality of work life (QWL), particularly for women executives in the public service. The study is exploratory, focused on identifying factors that contribute to a positive QWL and how this population group would improve and design their QWL. A literature review is conducted of relevant literature on QWL, providing a history of the concept and frameworks researchers used, and factors that are considered important to employees and women. An original conceptual framework was developed from the relevant literature that focuses on different areas of QWL and was implemented into the interview guide. Fifteen interviews were conducted with women executives in the public service to gather their experiences and thoughts on QWL. Interview findings were analyzed using thematic analysis and grounded theory to identify key themes. Participants discussed many aspects that were important in their QWL and considerations for improvement. They considered work impact, relationships, autonomy, flexibility, and open work environment to be important. When asked how they would improve their QWL, they suggested improving the sustainability of their work-life balance and better prioritization in their organization. Implications of the research are addressed, and recommendations are provided based on the themes identified in the literature and interview findings.
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    Perception of Professionalism and Impacts on Health Human Resource Decision-Making
    (2023-08-29) Bilinski, Julia; Lapper, Robert G. W.
    Health human resources have been strained due to global health emergencies and previous decisions that shape care policies and delivery today. This thesis explores the perception of professional legitimacy of healthcare occupations by health human resources decision-makers, by bringing two British Columbia case studies and perspectives of decision-makes into the academic discourse. The focus of the analysis is the possible effect of the occupational regulatory status of healthcare workers on the perception of professional legitimacy among decision-makers and the potential effect of this perception on Health Human Resource policy. The analysis of two case studies, Bills 29 and 94: Impact on Unregulated Healthcare Workers, and Changes to the Health Professions Act, and interviews with former provincial decision-makers in health human resources, yielded many themes that align with the reviewed literature. This thesis finds that regulatory status might affect the perceived professionalism of healthcare occupations by making decision-makers more likely to listen to a regulated occupation. Recommendations are also presented that include increase of inclusive government consultation and collaboration, use of Gender-based Analysis Plus, integration of a public interest perspective, and bias training for public servants to promote greater representational equity of all health occupations in policy decisions in human health resources.
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    Approaches to Treat Opioid Use and Concurrent Mental Health Disorders in Canada: An Exploratory Analysis of Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy
    (2023-08-10) Johl, Jasmine; Speers, Kimberly
    The opioid crisis is one of the most significant public health and policy challenges facing Canadians today, with 94% of opioid overdose deaths occurring by accident, impacting not only individuals, but families, friends and communities involved. The research identified policy initiatives, legislative and regulatory approaches implemented in Canada to respond to the opioid crisis. In particular, the thesis focused on how these approaches have addressed opioid use disorders and concurrent mental health disorders. Research has identified that over 50% of those experiencing opioid use disorder also experience concurrent mental health disorders. Several studies have linked opioid use disorder to concurrent mental health disorders of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, which have been clinically proven to be cured by psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and in some cases, surpassing success rates of conventional psychotherapies. Currently, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is not a treatment option within Canada’s opioid crisis response and psychedelic substances are heavily restricted by the Government of Canada (only available for extenuating circumstances, such as end-of-life care). This research focuses on these and other policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks that could present barriers and/or opportunities for a complementary treatment option like psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to treat opioid use disorder and concurrent mental health disorders. A comparative case study research approach was used for this research. A jurisdiction scan was conducted to explore the opioid crisis response to date by the Government of Canada and the five hardest hit provinces and territories – Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Yukon. Included in this scan was the legislative and regulatory frameworks that exist in Canada related to psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. In conclusion, jurisdictional successes from Saskatchewan’s focus on trauma-informed practice and Alberta’s recent regulation of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy are highlighted. Recommendations on next steps for the federal/provincial/territorial governments' approach to psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy are provided, including researching the efficacy and safety of psychedelics alongside opioid agonist therapy.