Transitioning to a New Approach for Sustainability: The Case of Manitoba's ALUS Project Open Access
- Other title
Ecological Goods and Services
- Type of item
- Degree grantor
University of Alberta
- Author or creator
Holland, Kerri L.
- Supervisor and department
Epp, Roger (Political Science)
- Examining committee member and department
Belcher, Ken (Bioresource Policy, Business, and Economics)
Wesley, Jared (Political Science)
Trimble, Linda (Political Science)
Boxall, Peter (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Department of Political Science
- Date accepted
- Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
- Degree level
In the early 2000s, Canadian governments began to adopt new programming tools aimed at improving farmers’ land stewardship practices. This dissertation focuses on the Blanshard Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) pilot project. The Manitoba project recognized agriculture’s multifunctional roles and stemmed from a grassroots push led by industry, conservation groups, and a local government. These groups were concerned with primary agriculture’s sustainability and formed a unique partnership to develop an innovative incentive-based policy tool for government consideration.
Policy change in Canada is often difficult and complicated, especially in areas that are subject to shared federal-provincial jurisdiction, including agriculture and the environment. Therefore, the adoption of a new programming concept towards agriculture provides an interesting case study to better understand the policymaking process and in particular, how a window of opportunity was created that enabled the ALUS project to be implemented. Furthermore, despite evidence that suggests the project was successful in many regards, the Manitoba government has never renewed ALUS. Therefore, this case study also analyzes why the window for further policy change seemingly closed in Manitoba and offers an explanation regarding what it may take to encourage policymakers to adopt similar programs in the future.
My thesis is that multiple factors including international influences, the push for change from stakeholders, broader policy trends, the availability and merit of the policy alternative, the lack of opposition, and public attention to environmental issues, coalesced to create a receptive policy environment for the ALUS pilot. However, the lack of renewal and/or broader application of the ALUS programming concept suggests that the shift to a new agricultural policy approach, which embodies and promotes multifunctionality, is still tentative and reversible.
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