Last weekend a couple of things of note happened. The first, which You’re more likely aware of, is that the federal Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) chose a new leader. I noted in previous columns how with the wealth of candidates up on offer, and the widely varying ranges of positions held by those candidates, we could find ourselves with a very interesting, and possibly shifting, CPC.
This was not to be, however, as, in the final round of thirteen rounds of voting, Conservative MP Andrew Scheer was elected as the newest leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. In this choice, conservative members have decided essentially to maintain the course that won them several elections since 2006, and lost them the election in 2015. Mr. Scheer, by most estimations, offers little change to the party from the course charted by Mr. Harper, so in this respect is a comfortable, if predictable, choice for the party.
Notes have been made about how he is a stronger social conservative than Mr. Harper was, but as Mr. Scheer has already indicated that he feels Canadians have already decided on many of the issues near and dear to the social conservative ideals, he won’t be seeking to revisit them.
What you may not know about Mr. Scheer is that while he was pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in History through the University of Regina, he was also taking some courses from Athabasca University. If we’re lucky, this connection may be able to be leveraged to more federal awareness of the potentials of national funding for a university that has students across the nation.
The other news item was that Athabasca University released its year end variance report that showed the university finished the financial year with a surplus of slightly greater than it was initially projecting its deficit to be. This comes partially from the university staff doing its best to cut costs wherever possible, as well as in increase in student enrolments. That this has happened shouldn’t be much of a surprise, as, as I pointed out in a previous editorial, AU seemed to be obviously low-balling some of its predicted income measures so as to paint a dire situation for the university. While this doesn’t mean AU’s troubles are over, as President Neil Fassina has indicated that some of this surplus comes from a number of one-time additions to AU’s revenues, it can provide some comfort for students who may have been concerned about the sustainability of Athabasca University.
Meanwhile, with convocation and summer both fast approaching, this week’s issue looks at how to keep that motivation alive during the summer months, as well as a bit of a deep dive into the recesses of the myAU portal page. Also, Dear Barb tackles the difficult question of how to deal with a co-worker who’s lost a child, and we resume our comics with Dysfunctional Love Languages and the hidden meanings of words in toxic relationships.
Of course, we also have our news, reviews, interviews, advice, AU events, and other articles to keep you busy this weekend, we wouldn’t forget that. Enjoy the read!