Technical Reports


"Literature Review of Theories and Concepts related to Environmental Regulation" (with Sarah Dobson, Gregory Galay, Julia Jachimowicz & W. Riley Sample). 2022. Report prepared for the Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

  • Provides a knowledge synthesis of the literature on five theories and concepts related to environmental regulation, based on a rapid and targeted review of extant literature. The literature review and synthesis presents evidence on (1) the validity of the Pollution Haven Hypothesis; (2) the validity of the Porter Hypothesis; (3) the value of social licence to operate; (4) trends in responsible investing, and trends in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing; and (5) anticipated versus realised costs of environmental regulation.

"A Review and Assessment of the Natural Gas Royalty System in British Columbia" (with Nancy Olewiler). 2021. Report prepared for the Government of British Columbia.

  • We examine the current natural gas royalty system and its ability to support the core policy objectives for all resource development and use in the province. We conclude the BC royalty system for natural gas and oil is broken and it does not support and contribute to government and societal goals. We recommend a comprehensive overhaul of the system.

  • Executive Summary

"An Analysis of Industrial Policy Mechanisms to Support Commercial Deployment of Bitumen Partial Upgrading in Alberta" (with G. Kent Fellows & Alaz Munzur). 2021. Report prepared for Alberta Innovates.

  • We use a model of capacity investment to explore the expected effect of different policy supports — such as direct equity investments or zero-cost loans — on firms’ decision to invest in a partial upgrading facility integrated with an existing oil sands extraction facility.

"Defining and Describing Energy Poverty in British Columbia: The Distribution of Households' Energy Expenditure" (with Blake Shaffer). 2020. Report prepared for the BC Basic Income Panel. December.

  • We examine household energy poverty—the inability of households to afford energy services or maintain adequate living conditions—in British Columbia with several indicators from academic literature using 2017 Survey of Household Spending public-use microdata.

"Public-Interest Determination for Infrastructure Development: A Review of Guidance and Practice in Canada" (with Victoria Goodday and Alana Westwood). 2020. March.

  • Report for a SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grant, exploring where and how public interest test provisions for infrastructure approval appear in Canadian statutes and regulations, and how decision-makers (statutory bodies and the courts) have interpreted and applied these provisions in practice.

"A Review of Barriers to Full-Scale Deployment of Emissions-Reduction Technologies" (with G. Kent Fellows and Victoria Goodday). 2019. Report prepared for Emissions Reduction Alberta.

  • We review the regulatory, economic, financial and policy environment for cleantech in Alberta, focusing on the petroleum industry, and identify challenges and barriers faced by cleantech proponents.

  • Published by The School of Public Policy Publications in 2021.

Comprehensive Assessment of Regulatory Programs” (with Akash Asif). 2018. Report to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. June.

  • We provide a knowledge synthesis of best practices in assessing regulation and regulatory programs. First, we describe different levels or scopes of review (reviewing regulatory systems, regulatory bodies, regulatory processes and regulations), then outline principles to help make reviews successful within a chosen scope. Second, we provide a detailed discussion of the experiences of Australia, the European Union and the United States in performing regulatory reviews, outlining the process and outcomes, and present lessons for Canada. Third, we summarize tools to use in horizontal reviews, drawing on the literature examined and by the lessons from jurisdictional case studies.

“Meaningful Engagement of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in Marine Activities: Phase 2 Analysis” (with Brendan Boyd and Jessie Arthur). 2018. Report to the PAME Working Group of the Arctic Council. March.

  • We review and analyze 240 publicly available documents that relate to meaningful engagement in Arctic marine and coastal activities, and that are sourced from four actor categories: Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, governments (Government), private-sector companies (Industry), and the Arctic Council. Themes with keywords are used to explore the concept of meaningful engagement in Arctic communities used by the different actors.

"Indigenous, Industry and Government Perspectives on Consultation in Resource Development" (with Brendan Boyd and Sophie Lorefice). 2017.

  • Report for a SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grant, exploring current understandings and interpretations of engagement and the duty to consult with Indigenous Peoples in the context of resource development in Canada through analysis of public available documents on consultation and engagement from Indigenous groups, governments and industry.

"Hydraulic Fracturing and Public Policy" (with Sarah Dobson and Sophie Lorefice). 2016.

  • Report for a SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grant, exploring knowledge gaps in scientific/academic work, grey literature, and policy and regulatory documents related to the costs and benefits of hydraulic fracturing in Canada.