The Province of Alberta has put together a list of things (http://www.gov.ab.ca/home/index.cfm?Page=829) you can do with your free time in the summer. One of the joys of distanced education is that we can actually take advantage of a lot of these things by simply putting off our study time until later in the day.
Then again, if you’re like me, you wind up putting it off until later in the week, and then later in the month, and before you know it, it’s extension time.
Still, if you’ve just had too much of the study grind lately and are looking for a break or for some tips to make your break more enjoyable or safe, then you should check out that link, as you may find some information that will surprise you.
Probably the best thing there is the events listings for June and July — 11 pages just full of things going on around the province of Alberta. You’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy.
And hey, since Alberta tax dollars are paying for all of these to some extent, Albertans may as well get some enjoyment out of it.
Ontario Undertaking Post-Secondary Review
The provincial government of Ontario is going to undertake a thorough review (http://ogov.newswire.ca/ontario/GPOE/2004/06/08/c2427.html?lmatch=&lang=_e.html) of their post-secondary system. The review will present recommendations to the government in January 2005.
Leading the review will be the former Premier Bob Rae who declared, “Our review will look at not only what we have done in Ontario but more broadly at the world to consider what other jurisdictions with great public institutions of higher learning have done, are doing, and plan to do.”
So perhaps there’s hope that, in looking outside Ontario, or maybe even looking at the growing number of Athabasca University students within, the importance and value of distance education can be made apparent to them.
If that happens, then there’s a chance that Athabasca University can use that to wean themselves from Alberta’s meagre support and join up with a province that has already made a commitment to freeze post-secondary tuitions.
While, as an Albertan, I like the slightly preferential treatment Alberta students get from AU in having a free exam centre and no out of province fees, I’d happily give those benefits up if it meant that tuition wouldn’t increase by another four or five percent next year.
With Ontario being AU’s fastest growing market for students, I’m pretty sure AU wouldn’t mind having more direct support from the Ontario government either.
Now I hope that AU will see this as an opportunity not just to explore new and innovative options such as moving, but also as a way to put pressure on the Alberta government to include AU’s vital infrastructure of communication costs when calculating the grants that they decide to give to the universities.
Your Vote Counts
With recent polls putting the conservatives and the liberals in a neck and neck race this year, your vote has become more important than ever.
After all, the last thing we want is a Florida style debacle over which party is actually made the government of Canada. For one thing, we wouldn’t be able to continue laughing at how our neighbours to the south handled that election. (Although I’ll admit the joke seems to have gone a bit sour on all of us).
However, even without that, your vote is still more important than before because every vote you cast helps to determine how much public funding (http://www.elections.ca/content.asp?section=gen&document=ec90532&dir=bkg&lang=e&textonly=false) (that’d be your tax dollars) goes to financing that party’s activities over the next four years.
If a party gets 2% of the total votes or 5% of the votes in the districts in which they run, then for the next four years, the Government of Canada pays the party just under 44 cents per vote cast for them. So even if you really like a party that you know isn’t going to win, simply voting for them can give them the boost they need to win next election.
That’s nothing to sneeze at.
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.