Transitioning to a New Approach for Sustainability: The Case of Manitoba's ALUS Project

  • Author / Creator
    Holland, Kerri L.
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Trimble, Linda (Political Science)
    • Belcher, Ken (Bioresource Policy, Business, and Economics)
    • Wesley, Jared (Political Science)
    • Boxall, Peter (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)