Canadian Fed Watch! News Across The Nation:

December 18, 2002

Saskatchewan Strategy Paying Off

The Provincial Government of Saskatchewan has begun to see results from its program of paying for health care students’ education on the condition that the students work within Saskatchewan once they’ve graduated. Over 250 students (SEE: received bursaries ranging from $2,500 to $25,000, which means over 250 people have committed to providing needed health care services in rural Saskatchewan for a number of years.

In addition, the provincial government has set aside funding of almost four million dollars for the bursary for service program. This type of long-range thinking should be applauded and emulated by provincial governments nation-wide. Instead of devoting increasing resources to making a region more attractive to people with needed skills, Saskatchewan is devoting resources to creating more of those type of people, a strategy that winds up benefiting everybody in the long run as more doctors mean less difficulties getting medical treatment when we need it.

This is a far better answer than trying to create a privatised layer of public health care. Saskatchwan’s strategy builds a bigger pie, while the best that Premier Klein of Alberta’s strategy can do is make it possible to serve more with smaller pie pieces. Sooner or later though, no matter how filling a pie Klein has cooked up, it won’t be able to satisfy everybody’s needs.

Alberta Advertises Increase in Scholarships

The Alberta Provincial government has an announcement titled “Scholarships increase to reward student excellence” (SEE: Unfortunately for Alberta Students, the title is misleading. The article is making reference to how the Heritage Scholarship Fund has had to be increased by two million dollars due to the large numbers of applications.

Unfortunately, the only thing that has really increased are the number of these scholarships that they are giving out. Our K-12 education is working very well to develop students excellently suited to go on post-secondary education.

The amount of each scholarship has not increased at all in at least ten years though. Comparing this to how tuition has risen over the same period shows that this scholarship, supposedly put in place to encourage students to reach their full potential, is actually worth less and less with each passing year. When I received the Heritage Scholarship it was almost enough to cover my full first year tuition, including textbooks and supplies. Today’s students can barely cover a single semester’s worth of courses.

If the Alberta government really wants to encourage students to reach their full potential, they should consider making it easier for students to take a full degree program by lowering tuition. After all, a single semester of a four-year program really isn’t worth that much.

NORAD to Track Santa Claus

As it has every year since 1957, the North American Aerospace Defence Command, is getting ready to escort Santa Claus (SEE: his route across Canada and the United States. Hopefully our friends to the South will keep the weapons off their planes while they do so. I hate to think of the risks involved (SEE: otherwise.

For those who are interested in tracking Santa’s route around the globe, you can follow everything from the site: There you can also find fun things such as desktop wallpaper, information on Santa and his route, and Christmas music performed by the USAF Band of the Rockies, the USAF Band of Mid-America, and the Royal Canadian Artillery Bands which is all ready for download in MP3 format.

Merry Christmas!