Scott Brison, MP at a barbecue this summer in Hants County NS
MOST OF US THINK OUR MPS COULD DO BETTER. SO DO THEY. And they are not afraid to say so.
That is just one of the revelations in ongoing research released in July by the Ottawa-based Samara Centre for Democracy.
Everest College shutdown raises questions about regulation of private colleges
The recent shutdown of 13 Everest College campuses in Ontario by the provincial government raises questions about the effectiveness of regulations intended to protect students at private colleges.
It was known for some time that Everest College’s US parent company was facing both financial issues and investigations for falsifying data on job placements, grades and attendance. When Canadian Press obtained information on complaints against private colleges in Ontario through freedom of information legislation, 36 per cent were about Everest College.
Yet, in spite of these problems, Everest College was able to continue operating until a sudden shut down became unavoidable.
Ontario’s Auditor General has already raised concerns about the level of oversight for private colleges. In the 2011 Auditor General’s report, it was pointed out that even though there were serious concerns about 180 campuses, only 30 were inspected. Steps taken by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities since then provide little grounds for optimism. It can still take up to three months before high risk campuses are inspected, while for medium risk ones it can take up to two years.
For students and the public this is worrying. Much of the income private colleges receive comes from student loans and other public funding. The public funding private colleges receive will increase as the federal government implements its Canada Job Grant program. When private colleges fail to deliver the education or training they promised, students are left with loans that will be difficult for them to ever repay.
As with other privatized services, proper oversight of private colleges comes at a cost. Ensuring colleges are inspected in a timely fashion, and that complaints from students receive a thorough response, would require more staff and resources assigned to monitoring private colleges. The larger question this raises is whether the funds proper enforcement requires would be better spent on improving the public community college system so students are not forced to turn to private colleges for jobs training.
Being indigenous is dangerous to your health far too often
Alex Carr with his daughter Spencer
ALEX CARR CONSIDERS HIMSELF LUCKY. He finally found suitable daycare in Ottawa for his one-year-old daughter, Spencer. It’ll cost him $1,800 a month. He’s happy to pay it.
In Vancouver Kristen Keighley-Wight pays $1,000 a month for only three days of childcare a week for their three-year-old son. That’s all her two-income family can afford.
Both families are two-income households with well-paying jobs—part of what Justin Trudeau likes to call the “middle class.” They can’t imagine how working class families or single parents find quality childcare they can afford.
Even when you can afford to pay, finding childcare takes more than putting your kids on the waiting list the moment they are born.
“We were aggressively calling them,” said Alex. “I was even thinking I’d have to delay my return to work. At the last minute, we got lucky.”
It’s not that there weren’t any more affordable options. It’s just that they had to ask themselves, “at what price?”
As Kristen recalls, “We saw places that we just turned around and walked out of real quickly. We saw a bunch of triggers and places that weren’t safe and we said we’re not going to leave our kids there because we don’t trust them. And then we were feeling just awful because we know that some parents don’t have the option to say no to that.”
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