ALL ABOARD THE ELECTION GRAVY TRAIN
The Alberta Provincial Government is starting to hand out the goodies in anticipation of a November election, as hinted at by the Honourable Premier Klein. First, Alberta’s seniors will no longer have to pay (http://www.gov.ab.ca/home/index.cfm?Page=864) health insurance premiums, putting them on par with just about every other province in the country.
Of course, for the rest of Albertans, no such luck. At least, not yet. We’ll have to see what happens as the election draws nearer.
The second goody given out is a payment to parents (http://www.gov.ab.ca/home/index.cfm?Page=867) receiving other assistance to ostensibly help them purchase school supplies. The fact that the payments will be seen on September cheques, no doubt right around when the actual writ of election is dropped, is likely just a happy coincidence for the Alberta PC government.
Unlike the reduction of health insurance premiums for seniors, however, there is no indication that this is an ongoing program of any sort, which makes it look even more like a stop from the Election Gravy Train.
The gravy train has yet to stop by any of the post-secondary institutions, but there’s still time left. Not that I’m going to complain too heavily about anything offered, goodness knows we need it, I just find it terribly discouraging that once the train passes by we’ll have to wait yet another four years for it.
COC AND CBC SEEK BIDS FOR OLYMPIC ATHLETES
The CBC and Roots Canada are getting together to hold an auction (http://www.cbc.radio-canada.ca/htmen/newsreleases/20040813.htm) on eBay.ca, the proceeds of which will go to the Canadian Olympic Committee’s “Canadian Olympic Excellence Fund”.
This fund is used to support those athletes who are deemed most likely to succeed in international events, such as the Olympics.
And given how our medal count is going, it appears to be sorely needed.
So, if you’re looking for a unique gift or there’s an Olympic athlete you like to follow, you should probably check this out, as there will be sweatshirts, toques, and other Olympic memorabilia signed by a number of the athletes, including Simon Whitfield, who managed to defy expectations and take the gold medal in the triathlon during the last Olympic games.
Plus, you can bet that the CBC is unlikely to stiff you after the auction.
Now if only the COC would realize that the Olympics aren’t just to send medal contenders, but to send our best to so that they can help promote sport throughout Canada.
Not to mention that you never know if one of our athletes will have their own Simon Whitfield day.
RCMP ASKS FOR STUNNING RESEARCH
Recenly, there’s been some controversy in the media (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040816.wtaser0816/BNStory/National/) about the police’s use of Taser weapons. In response, the RCMP has requested a comprehensive review (http://www.grc-rcmp.gc.ca/news/n_0427_e.htm) be done of all the research surrounding Taser weaponry.
Unfortunately, the research is being done by the Canadian Police Research Centre (CPRC) so it will be difficult for the agency to claim truly independent research has been completed. I say unfortunately because I fully support the use of Tasers for police weaponry. In fact, I support the use of Tasers for home defence as well.
The reason is simply that there is a much better chance of surviving a Taser shot as opposed to a pistol shot. Instead, however, the Canadian government has outlawed Taser’s entirely. I assume our police are using them under some sort of special dispensation, but it seems ridiculous to me that a weapon likely to stun is under tighter restrictions to the public than a weapon likely to kill.
Then again, I tend to think it’s better to rehabilitate someone than simply incarcerate them, so what do I know?
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.