Department of Political Science

Course Information

POLITICS 459 - Selected Topics in Public Policy, Public Administration and Public Law

96-1 Topic: Canadian Natural Resource and Environmental Policy

Special Notices

April 4, 1996 - The Preliminary Exam Questions are now available. Click on this to access the questions.

February 2, 1996 - A New Course Reading List is now available which includes required and recommended readings for Seminar Presentations in Weeks IX-XII. Click on this to access the list.

January 26,1996 - The Schedule for Seminar Presentations in Weeks IX-XII has been added to the homepage. Click on this to access the schedule.

January 19, 1996 - The Schedule for Reading Presentations has been added to the homepage. Click on this to access the schedule.

January 1, 1996 - A new styleguide for citations of electronic source material is available below or by clicking on this .

January 1, 1996 - The SFU Library Catalogue is now accessible using the WEB and a forms-based reader such as NETSCAPE. Click on this for access to the library "KIOSK" homepage.

In 96-1 this course is being taught by Professor Michael Howlett, AQ 6043 291-3082, email Office Hours: 1:30-2:30 Thursday

Class Time: Thursday 10:30-1:30
Class Location: CC 5100


Note: This outline is available through the World Wide Web at URL:""

This course examines the historical, economic and political significance of natural resources in Canada. It then addresses a range of current policy issues relating to the natural resource industries including: constitutional jurisdiction; policy instrument choices; policy subsystems; the policy-making process; and sustainability. An overview of the types of regulation Canadian governments have imposed on the sector is provided and a framework for understanding the political and economic forces influencing government policy formation is developed.


1. There will be a final examination worth 30 percent of the course mark.

2. One 15-20 page paper is due at the end of term and is worth 50 percent of the class mark. Papers should be typed, double-spaced and properly formatted. Papers are due on the last day of class. LATE PAPERS WILL LOSE TEN PERCENT PER DAY LATE.

3. Twenty percent of the course mark will be awarded on the basis of class participation. This includes the completion of a reading presentation in class timebased on reactions to a book or article review posted to the newsgroup established for the class (sfu.class.pol.pol459) and a seminar presentation in class time based upon a first draft of the term paper.


1. John Whalley ed., Canada's Resource Industries and Water Export Policy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986)

2. Bruce Mitchell ed. Resource and Environmental Management in Canada (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1995) SECOND EDITION ONLY


1. Chad Gaffield and Pam Gaffield eds., Consuming Canada: Readings in Environmental History (Toronto: Copp Clark, 1995)

2. World Resource Institute, World Resources 1994-95: A Guide to the Global Environment (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994)


(1) Choose a resource sector and a Canadian government. Outline the current policy of that government towards the resource chosen and describe the historical evolution of that policy. On the basis of this investigation, discuss the significant factors which have influenced the development of the policy chosen.


(2) Choose a case of Canadian environmental policy-making. Outline the elements of the case and the factors which led to its outcome.



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