Fed Watch!

Employment from Education?

The Ontario Government has released (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/nr/02.01/nr0104.html) an announcement declaring that colleges are doing a good job getting people ready for the workplace, and helping them to find a good career. In support of this, they give a number of statistics that show that about 91% of students who graduated and were looking for work had managed to find it. While this sounds good on first reading, when you realize that the national unemployment rate is only 7.5%, you see that Ontario graduates are actually 1.5% behind the national average.

Not all is lost however, as those graduates who are specializing in the health services industry, from medical imaging to dental hygiene actually have lower unemployment rates than the average, and make the most money as compared to the other respondents. More reason to take a look at Athabasca University’s Masters of Health Studies.

Teachers Organized Across the Province

School teachers across the province, including those from the Calgary Catholic School Board (http://calgary.cbc.ca/editorServlets/View?filename=strike020105) are getting ready to hold a strike vote. I find this kind of ironic considering how it was not too long ago that the Catholic School Board was making comments about the inability of the public school board to run its business as effectively as they do.

In related news, in the Sunday, January 6th edition of the Calgary Sun, Premier Klein has said that he has put off essential projects involving infrastructure and schools for as long as he possibly can, and that even with a threatening deficit, money must be found for them. It’s too bad that he can talk about finding money to fix buildings, but his learning minister, Lyle Oberg, cannot seem to find any money to fix the labour difficulties of the teachers. This seems especially poor when we consider that it is those very teachers that enabled Alberta’s Children to score so highly on the international competition I mentioned a few weeks ago.

Experience the Island Culture

Prince Edward Island’s government has launched (http://www.gov.pe.ca/news/getrelease.php3?number=2410)an internet based radio station devoted to promoting the culture of Prince Edward Island. It only plays artists from Prince Edward Island, so if you want to see what some of the local music sounds like, you can tune into it at http://www.gov.pe.ca/radio. The music varies from what you might consider the “traditional” island music played with a fiddle to modern rock and classical. The only problem is that I haven’t a clue where I’d be able to pick up the CD for some of the better songs I’ve heard so far.

It’s interesting to note that apparently PEI also streams their legislative meetings over the internet as well. I only hope that other provinces will follow PEI’s lead with this – it strikes me as a way to save money over traditional broadcasting technologies (the Alberta Government currently broadcasts their legislative sessions on the Access television network) and as a wonderful low-cost way to promote local culture not only to the locals, but across the nation and the globe. Perhaps if those of us in the west could get a little closer to those of us in the east and vice versa we could do away with these regionally focused federal political parties.

Where do Canadian Diamonds Come From?

The federal Competition Bureau has ruled that all that is required for a diamond to be declared a Canadian Diamond is for it to have originated in a mine in Canada. The Government of the Northwest Territories (http://www.gov.nt.ca/thisweek/news/index.html) contends though that there is really no means to test where a polished diamond originally came from, and that this ruling opens the door for low quality diamonds to be sold as Canadian Diamonds in the world market.

In contrast, the Northwest Territories was hoping for a ruling that would require a diamond be able to meet certain standards, including tracking the process of polishing and cutting a diamond through Canadian factories. This would allow Canadian Diamonds to be given a certain distinction in the marketplace and perhaps achieve a competitive advantage through that reputation.