Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Joanna Ochocka

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Public participation is a comerstone of democracy and a central value of Community Psychology. The purpose of this participatory action research was to develop an understanding of public participation as through the experiences of Islanders engaged in land decision making in Prince Edward Island. In particular a case study of the Tracadie Cross Waste Watch Facility was developed through document analysis and in-depth interviews. A sketch of public participation in Prince Edward Island was grounded in in-depth interviews from case study participants. as well as additional in-depth interviews with Islanders who have been engaged in land decision making independent of the case study. The results showed that land decisions are improving in terms of more participatory decision making, however participants still indicated the exclusive nature of Govemment land decision making. Participants described a desire to contribute to the decision making process and the loss of valuable local knowledge when citizens are excluded from sharing in the decision making. A multi-stakeholder perspective of effective public participation was developed, revealing effective public participation comprised of collaborative decision making, commtmity mobilization and, a long term commitment to educating the public on active community and government involvement. The outcome recommendations were developed to contribute to creating more effective public participation in Provincial Government land decisions. Six outcome recommendations were developed: seeking public involvement; creating equality in access to information; promoting public initiated participation; connecting multiple levels of organization; creating transparency in decision making; and mandating power to the public. Participants described a hope for the future of public participation in Govemment land in Prince Edward lsland and the power to achieve more participatory decision making through the power of communities.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season