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Engaging in the Deliberative Policy Analysis Process for Water Justice in Canada University of Alberta


Author or creator
Anna Wilson
Additional contributors
Water Policy
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Research Material
From 2014 to 2017 the World Economic Forum (WEF) identified water-related illnesses as one of the top five major global risks to human health (Adeel, 2017, p. 100). Unfortunately, this has not impeded the war on science with United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump closing the Environmental Protection Agency and the former Canadian Conservative Government closing Canada’s Ocean and Fisheries Library and ending Canada’s Navigable Waters Protection Act (Mitchell, 2017, p. 26). Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to protect Indigenous lands, when he approved the Kinder Morgan Pipeline Project as twelve-year-old Autumn Peltier broke down in tears pleading with him not to let them build a pipeline on her home in Wikwemikong First Nation land in Ontario (Lau, 2016, para. 3) (refer to appendix #1). Prime Minister Trudeau promised Autumn that he would protect the water and this promise has made national headlines. Deliberative policy analysis can make Trudeau’s promise Canada’s national water policy. Deliberative Policy Analysis (DPA) can be defined as a process in which policy analysts carefully consider the: “stakeholders [and citizens’] value differences, dialogue, argumentation, and deliberation as major targets of analysis to determine a policy outcome (Li, 2015, p. 26) through one of the three models of DPA: 1. mediation and stakeholder group engagement, 2. citizens’ forums, or 3. citizens’ initiatives and referendums (Smith, 2003, p. 77). This paper defends the urgency of Canada adopting a deliberative federal water policy that follows World Health Organization (WHO) water policy guidelines. Canada’s adoption of WHO water quality guidelines will be supported by the case studies of other countries who have adopted the WHO water quality standards. First, Canada’s current water policies will be examined, second, Canada’s water policies will be compared with the WHO water policies. Third, a deliberative national water policy will be synthesized through the conceptual framework of critical deliberative policy analysis through specific water management case studies from the, U.S., Italy and Brazil. Implications for future water policy practices under the guidelines of the WHO will conclude this paper.
Date created
December 14, 2017
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International

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File author: Anna Wilson
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