JSGS 990 MPP & PhD Student Presentations

Video Conference

Please join us via Zoom as our MPP and PhD students present their research.

The following students will be presenting on their research:

Haven Rees, MPP – Supervisor Elizabeth Schwartz
Presentation: Land Use Impacts and Incoherence of Small-scale Utility Renewable Power Policies: SaskPower’s Power Generation Partner Program

Renewable energy development has reached critical interest within Canada, and each province has made steps to manage its development specific to their own context. In Saskatchewan, Crown corporation SaskPower has developed the Power Generation Partner Program (PGPP) to engage communities and the private sector in small scale utility renewable energy production. Because renewable energy production is an emerging land use in competition with other established uses of land, permitting this form of land use falls to local governments. Because the PGPP is being presented on behalf of SaskPower as an opportunity to communities, the community-level effects of this development present questions pertaining to the motivations for communities to pursue this form of development, and the appropriateness of existing land use policies in place to accommodate this new land use. This was tested by examining both provincial and local land use planning legislation and documents to understand the broad land use policy goals that a community has for future development, and understand the regulatory context that might affect the inclusion of this form of development. Overall, proposals for renewable energy development are largely subject to the judgement of local administration in the absence of clear guidelines and direction for renewable energy development stated in land use planning documents, specifically in Zoning Bylaws or Land Use Laws.  There is evidence of policy layering occurring within the context of land use planning within the province.  As a result, those interested in pursuing renewable energy development through the PGPP are faced with an incoherent land use policy context that is difficult to navigate.

Zoey Roy, MPP – Supervisor Daniel Beland

David Sparling, MPP – Supervisor Ken Coates
Presentation: Cybersecurity at a Crossroads: Government Perceptions of Sino-Canadian Relations in a Digital Context

Over the past decade, cybersecurity has emerged as a key locus of national security policy. The importance of cybersecurity will only increase as states navigate the transition to next-generation internet and telecommunications infrastructure. In the government debates of western democracies, the People’s Republic of China and Chinese corporations are frequently cast in the role of challengers to the liberal international order. As a member of the highly integrated Five Eyes intelligence network, Canada has experienced both internal and external pressures to take a firmer stance against foreign direct investment by telecoms giant Huawei and other Chinese corporations on national security grounds. This project examines how government actors and experts in committee present political narratives on cybersecurity concerns related to China during the 42nd Parliament of Canada (December 3, 2015 to September 11, 2019) by using directed content analysis to analyze data from the debates of the House of Commons, the Senate, and the minutes of select parliamentary committees. Findings reveal a significant paradigmatic division on Chinese cybersecurity threats separating not only the Justin Trudeau Liberal government and the Conservative Opposition, but also the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), two of Canada’s core intelligence agencies. Additionally, this analysis illustrates the integral role of geopolitical dynamics in Canadian cybersecurity policymaking, particularly the “Five Eyes” security collaboration between Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand the United Kingdom. These findings demonstrate the need for inter-agency and international fora to develop enforceable norms of cyber-conduct.

Vincent Bruni-Bossio, PhD – Supervisor Murray Fulton
Presentation: Board Chairs and Accountability in Coping Non-Profit Organizations

Over the past 30 years, governments have continued to outsource many services previously delivered by public agencies to non-profit organizations. In delivering these services non-profits must demonstrate to government and other key stakeholders that they are achieving their missions. The challenge for non-profits is deciding what to track and measure in order to demonstrate accountability. Deciding what to track and measure is especially challenging given that many socially focused non-profit organizations fit the description of a coping organization (Wilson, 1989), where it is difficult to observe the efforts and outputs by employees and the outcomes of this work. Many non-profits focus on tracking a combination of employee processes or outcome targets (Tetlock, et al, 2013; Patil, Vieider, & Tetlock, 2014). Decisions about whether to assess processes or outcome targets can be observed by examining the perspective of the board chair. The board chair, who provides leadership to the board and is the primary contact with management (Shekshnia, 2018), has opportunities to observe tensions around accountability in the organizations and potentially influence decisions.

This thesis investigates the accountability approach in socially focused non-profit organizations by examining board chair perspectives on the tensions that arise when dealing with accountability. The study involved 21 semi-structured interviews with board chairs of coping non-profit organizations in order to examine various characteristics that influence accountability. Findings suggest that while funders are trying to exert influence for more outcome data, board chairs are struggling with understanding accountability and the coping characteristics of socially focused non-profits. According to board chairs, key factors that influence how boards address accountability in these organizations include the trust level at the board, the personalities of the people on the board and the experience and history of both the board and board chairs. Two key points raised are: 1) in coping organizations assessing performance is almost impossible and, 2) decisions about accountability are often the result of informal dynamics that most people ignore or believe are inconsequential.

This event counts as one JSGS 990 event for those who have the 25 - 990 requirement (PhD and MPP students).

Event Details

01:00 PM - 02:30 PM CST


Karen Jaster-Laforge