National Case Competition 2020: Teams across Canada tackle housing affordability

For the members of the MPP national case competition team, the recent SFU Reading Week was a marathon session of research, planning, editing, and presentation practice in the lead-up to the CAPPA IPAC National Public Administration Student Case Competition held February 21 and 22 at Laval University.

We congratulate SFU team members Bhav Bansi, Megan Bowers, Katherine Chan, Richard Mozisek and Ruby Sarkar for their third place ranking in this year’s competition. Carleton University was chosen as the top team this year, with University of Toronto taking second place.

Teams from eleven policy and public administration schools across Canada had seven days to analyze the 10-page case “Housing Affordability: a national problem?” and prepare a 15-20 minute presentation to deliver to a panel of seven judges including the Ethics Commissioner for the Quebec National Assembly, VPs from Ernst + Young and Canada Mortgage and Housing CMHC, as well as former Minister-Counselor and Head of the Foreign Policy Service at the Canadian Embassy in Paris.

Team member Bhav Bansi commented that “participating in Case Comp is the highlight of my first year and it was a valuable opportunity to work closely with great teammates. Overall, it was great hands-on experience and I learned a lot about the policy process, which I now am able to implement in other projects, such as BC Priorities.

"I'm very proud of the work the team put in. They took a broad, complicated topic and turned it into a compelling presentation,” noted Josh Gordon, faculty coach for the team, adding that ”what was especially impressive was that they took a bold stance with their policy recommendation and successfully defended it to the judges. It's tempting to go for safe options sometimes, and often advisable to do so, but they wanted to propose a course of action that would actually have a significant impact on the policy problem."

Reflecting on the whole experience, Katherine Chan summed it up by saying that “it was by far the most intense but rewarding week of the MPP program. It was a crash course in policy development from start to finish. I learned so much from working with our team, coach/housing consultant Josh, Nancy, and all the other faculty members who provided guidance.”