News Across the Nation...

Summer Jobs

Even though Athabasca University has a non-traditional school year, the government programs for student jobs still fall mostly around the summer. While many Athabasca University students are already working full time, for those of you that aren’t, there is always the possibility of getting a job in the federal government. If this strikes as something you might want to consider, you should check out the government’s Frequently Asked Questions list (SEE:http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/TB_856/faqsep-fqpee_e.html) for Student Employment Policies and Programs.

Of course, most people think that working for the federal government mostly means sitting around a stuffy office all summer long doing mind-numbingly boring work. It should be remembered though that there is also an International Exchange Program and Research Affiliate program that runs under the auspices of the federal government.

While it will still be work, at least you’ll be getting paid reasonably well and can use the job to make some good contacts for your future.

Hey, Big Spender!

Statistics Canada has released a report showing the change in education spending (SEE:http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/020723/d020723c.htm) per student from 1995 to 1999. The Province of Alberta has increased its funding per full time student from $5,836.00 to $6,871.00. So it seems that Mr. Klein has increased the amount of money per student available by just over $1000.00 per head.

Of course, things are rarely exactly as they seem. If we take a quick stop at the Bank of Canada’s Inflation Calculator (SEE:http://www.bankofcanada.ca/en/inflation_calc.htm) and plug in the numbers, we can quickly see this increase drops down to under $700 per student. This increase also takes into account the effect of teachers having to or threatening to strike such as in 1997.

That being said, some credit still has to be given to the Alberta Government as the increase per student was actually the highest, both in dollar and percentage values, of all the other provinces – if not by much. Given that we had some of the largest budgetary surpluses in the last couple of those years though, you couldn’t be faulted for wondering why the differences are so close. Especially in a province that Premier Klein claims is committed to the concept of life-long learning.

Bye, Bye Byrd

The WTO has suggested that the United States’ Byrd Amendment is in violation of their negotiated trade treaties. (SEE:http://www.wtowatch.org/news/index.cfm?ID=3645). The official ruling will not be passed until September, but very little change is expected in it. The Byrd Amendment, in case you are wondering, is an amendment that requires any duties or customs collected by U.S. Customs for alleged illegal dumping be distributed to the companies that have been hurt by the alleged dumping. WTO rules however make clear that the duties are to be sufficient penalty in and of themselves.

A native Calgarian, Karl is perpetually nearing the completion of his Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Information Studies. He also works for the Computer Sciences Virtual Helpdesk for Athabasca University and plans to eventually go on to tutor and obtain his Master’s Degree.