With the passage of American Thanksgiving, the Christmas season is officially underway at most stores. And, in keeping with the season, CityTV has released a new story about how the University of Alberta is seeing record high demand for its campus food bank. You may not be aware, but AUSU also offers a food assistance program, though, being a distance institution, it’s run a bit differently. You can find out more at the AUSU Virtual Food Assistance Program page.
Of course, when you think about it, the idea that students need a food assistance program at all points to a massive failure in our student funding system. The Alberta government has noted that they’ve put a tuition cap in place starting next year and provided a bunch more money to food banks across the province, but that only works for the season. Once the foodbanks leave the news, so will the politician’s concern, and students will still need help, even though the government financing, which they have to pay back, is supposed to be able to enable them to go to school and feed themselves.
Currently, however, the government’s main concern is the Alberta Health Services (AHS). Reversing changes the PC government made in 2008 to consolidate the AHS from regional health authorities into one super-board, citing cost savings, the UCP has now split AHS back into four separate divisions, firing six members of the executive of AHS, and hiring eight more to replace them in the now separated structure. Personally, I don’t mind expanding the structure if it means results turn out well. However, as many of the health professionals in the industry, including the nurses union, have noted they were not consulted in any of these changes, it makes me question exactly what kind of results we are expected to be seeing. This isn’t helped at all with the appointment of Lyle Oberg, a man who has a reputation for spearheading attempts to move Alberta further toward private health care services.
This week in the Voice, however, we’re starting things off with a brand-new Minds We Meet, where we talk with a student whose career has taken a number of turns over her past, and how her plans include more turns in the future.
Also this week, we’re featuring an inspirational piece from Marie Well about the recent conflict in Israel and Academia’s reaction to it. When she sent it to me, I have to admit I was slightly leery of publishing it, as the situation remains highly divisive and I was worried about fair treatment being provided, but I think she’s managed to do just that.
And then we round it out with the next part in Alek Golijanin’s look at radicalization, but this time he’s looking at it from a slightly different angle, considering how things that many of us might feel are legitimate should be re-examined if we want to ensure we’re providing equal protection for all.