Impressive showing for Johnson Shoyama Public Policy team at a national case competition

Posted: March 21, 2018 9:00 a.m.

The Johnson Shoyama team of (l-r) Michael Horvath, Libbey Morin, Lori Wareham and Jared Dunitz.
The Johnson Shoyama team of (l-r) Michael Horvath, Libbey Morin, Lori Wareham and Jared Dunitz. Photo courtesy of Tianna Yaskow

Calling it an invaluable experience, a team from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) finished third at a highly competitive national case competition.

The seventh annual National Public Administration Case Competition is the only case competition of its kind in Canada.

Initiated by the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, the national competition is a collaboration between the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada. This year, it was hosted by Simon Fraser University with a total of 13 universities participating from across Canada.

Representing the JSGS team were students from both its University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan campuses – Jared Dunitz, Michael Horvath, Libbey Morin and Lore Wareham.

“From the internal competition this fall, to finally getting to the national competition and presenting in front of high level officials in provincial and federal governments, it was an invaluable experience from start to finish,” says Wareham. “I am able to look back and remain proud that our team did the absolute best that we could.”

The team was coached by Jennifer Ehrmantraut, JSGS Executive-in-Residence and Dale Eisler, JSGS Senior Policy Fellow, and was supported by Tianna Yaskow, JSGS Student Experience Officer.

The coaches commended the team for its strong works ethic and its ability to overcome the challenge of working between classes, jobs, and across both Saskatoon and Regina campuses.

“The students showed exceptional dedication in preparing for the competition while dealing with a truly complex policy issue,” says Eisler. “They did us proud.”

After receiving the case a week prior to the Feb 23-24 competition, the students were tasked with reviewing, analyzing and preparing a presentation outlining policy options related to a hypothetical pipeline project in British Columbia. Given the current heated debate over pipelines in Canada, the case was very complex and offered the students much to consider.

The Johnson Shoyama team concluded three possible recommendations:

  • Status quo
  • Conditionally support the pipeline
  • Oppose the pipeline

The team chose to conditionally support the pipeline in hopes of supporting the best outcome for BC residents.

On competition day, the team presented its policy options and final recommendation to a panel of five judges in the roles of BC MLAs, in order to prepare them for an upcoming meeting with the opposition. All holding real-life senior positions within the federal and provincial governments and the private sector, these individuals were very knowledgeable on the current pipeline debate.

“Being able to take home the bronze after competing with the best schools across Canada felt incredible,” says Wareham. “We definitely couldn’t have done it without each other, and from our amazing staff, students and faculty at JSGS, who we felt so humble representing.”

The schools competing were the University of British Columbia, Carleton University, Concordia University, Dalhousie University, Glendon College, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, Laval University, University of Ottawa, Queen’s University, Ryerson University, Simon Fraser University, University of Toronto, and York University.

The 2019 case competition will be hosted by Carleton University in Ottawa.