Become a Master of Criminal Arts
Well, it sounds good, doesn’t it? In reality, it’s a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, the first applied studies Master’s level degree that British Columbia is offering (http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/nrm_news_releases/2005MAE0001-000002.htm). British Columbia is pleased to also now be offering degrees in hospitality management and business administration.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’d always thought that degrees are different from diplomas in that they teach you more general ways of thinking about your particular subject, as opposed to simply more involved ways of applying them. This seems to me like a case of a cash-strapped educational system seeing a demand for technical skills and coming up with a degree label in order to cash in. After all, what does a person do with a hospitality management degree that they can’t do with a hospitality management diploma? Other than teach hospitality management, that is? Is there really a lot of deep thought and debate going on about the theories of lobby decoration or waiter scheduling? And even if there is, is it really that different from the debate going on next door in the general business administration degree program?
I’m all for higher education, but sometimes it strikes me as overkill. Of course, the sad thing is that the BC government will now be devoting post-secondary educational dollars to getting these programs up and running, instead of focussing on more traditional and proven programs.
BSE Back Again
Hot on the heels of the United States announcing that they’d soon be re-opening their borders to Canadian beef, Canadian authorities start reporting (http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/newcom/2005/20050102e.shtml) more cases of BSE. Fortunately, so far they all seem to trace back to the same batch of feed that was fed to the cattle when they were calves. So it could still be an isolated incident. Meanwhile, the U.S., while wary, is still planning to open the borders as Canada’s new inspection regime still puts us at a low-risk for exporting any BSE infected cattle.
Fortunately, a report (http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/bse/en/BSEthreat.pdf) by the World Health Organization outlines that so long as you’re eating the meat and not getting near the brain, nervous, or spinal tissue, the chances of transmission are very low. However, according to the report, it might be a good time to avoid the all-beef wieners or any meats that have been mechanically separated or processed, because there may be a danger of the mechanical process mixing a bit of the riskier tissues with other meats. This is a disease you don’t want to get, as it literally eats holes in your brain.
Saskatchewan Cheapens Education
The province of Saskatchewan recently received a one-time equalization grant from the federal government. The provincial government decided (http://www.gov.sk.ca/newsrel/releases/2005/01/06-006.html) that 30% of that grant, or $110 million dollars, should go to educational property tax relief over the next two years. What this means is that about 8% of the amount people pay on their property taxes for education will be credited back to them. Unfortunately, this means the majority of post-secondary students, who only rent their homes, won’t benefit from this educational relief.
While it’s always nice to get a tax credit, I think that such a windfall might be better put into developing something that will last long term, such as their own version of the Alberta SuperNet to link up all the rural areas of Saskatchewan.