UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The District of Chilliwack : a case study in the political process of decision making Munn, Enid Lucille


Understanding how government's plan, make decisions and implement policy programmes is of vital concern to the planners who are expected to intervene in society's complex problems and formulate solutions that can be implement ed. A recent model examines political decision making processes and isolates four factors which influence decision outcomes: 1) the roles played by actors in the issue; 2) the nature of the decision making environment; 3) the characteristics of the issue; and 4) the type of planning and intervention strategies used. The model was used as a framework for examining a decision making episode in the District of Chilliwack, which centered around the issue of community growth in an area that had been circumscribed by the Agricultural Land Reserves. The model hypothesized that comprehensive, classical planning methods, which are goal-oriented and focus on long-term horizons, are likely to be rejected in decision making processes. This was confirmed in the Chilliwack case, along with the hypotheses that a proposal for change that is ideologically controversial, inflexible, and difficult to predict in its consequences, will likely be rejected. The fact that the Chilliwack plan was easy to programme and had a limited scope of costs and benefits could not overcome its drawbacks, therefore, these hypotheses were not upheld in the case study. The model's framework provided a useful means of examining and understanding why the particular outcome of the case study occurred. It clarified the inappropriatness of methods and means used by the Chilliwack decision makers and planners in attempting to achieve their goals. Consequently, the study points out that planners need new approaches, skills and knowledge in order to achieve socially acceptable and workable solutions to complex societal problems.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.