AUTHOR’S NOTE: Didn’t have any time to write anything original, so here’s the news article I spent the last 5 days compiling
Well, we’re entering the home stretch of the Provincial Election. I know, it’s been low on a lot of people’s radars, but still, you have a chance to get out there and make a difference! This is your one chance to get out there and tell the politicians in charge what you really think of them.
I decided to find out who all’s running here around NAIT. Now, the main campus falls into the riding of Edmonton-Calder. So that’s who I went out and talked to. Now, granted, you may not live in Edmonton-Calder even if you come to school here. If that’s the case, then I suggest you head to the Elections Alberta website ( www.electionsalberta.ab.ca) and find out what area you live in and who alls running in your home. Heck, in your home riding, you might have a Green or a Social Credit, or even a crazy party!
Also, I just skimmed the surface. You’ve probably got your own questions, and stuff I haven’t even touched upon. That being the case, here’s what you do. Once you’ve gone to the Elections Alberta website ( www.electionsalberta.ab.ca) and found out who’s running in your home, what you do is call up the people who are running and ask them your questions! Think about it. Everyone wants your vote, so this is probably the only time your MLA will actually return your phone call!
The big day is Monday. So, get out there and vote!
That being said, here’s who’s running in NAIT’s home riding of Edmonton- Calder. Candidates are presented in random order:
Party: Progressive Conservative
The Man: Mr. Rathgeber has been the MLA for Edmonton-Calder since 2001. His riding used to also include the Patricia campus. He’s 40 and a lawyer by trade. He moved to Alberta in 1990.
His party’s platform on post-secondary education: Things will stay as they always have; a student pays for 30% of his/her education, and there’s a generous student loan program in place. But, what the PC government can best provide is a climate open to jobs, so we all have some place to go when we graduate.
What he can do for NAIT: Mr. Rathgeber is well-known at NAIT, and he occasionally calls in on Dr. Shaw from time-to-time. He’s very involved with NAIT and helping to secure funding for various programs, such as $40 million for the Apprenticeship Training of Excellence. He enjoys working with NAIT and wants to see NAIT continue to grow.
In 10 Words or less, why should you vote for him? “Having a voice in the government will continue to secure more funding for NAIT.”
Party: Alberta Liberals
The Man: Mr. Smith is a NAIT graduate. Electronics engineering in 1992. He’s a social activist and a lifelong Edmontonian. He moved to the Edmonton-Calder division five years ago. He’s a semi-professional musician and a single father of 3.
His party’s platform on post-secondary education: It was well-publicized a few weeks ago. The Liberals propose taking 35% of every surplus and using that to set up an endowment fund; the money from that would then go into post-secondary education. They want to make sure that education is properly funded.
What he can do for NAIT: He wants to see NAIT continue to grow. He wants to create more spaces and expand the facilities.
In 10 words or less, why should you vote for him? “Students are our future. The Liberals understand this deeply.”
Party: Alberta Alliance
The Woman: Ms. Kramer is also a NAIT graduate. She studied welding. She’s been a welder now for 10 years, and she’s 35 years old.
Her party’s platform on post-secondary education: The Alliance would like to reduce tuition and put a freeze on it. Right now, there’s too few bursaries. “A drop in the bucket,” according to Ms. Kramer. Being a recent NAIT graduate, she knows there’s more than simply tuition: textbooks, utilities, etc. The Alliance wants to make it easier to go to school.
What she can do for NAIT: Ms. Kramer said that she’d need to talk to NAIT students first to find out what the issues are. I suggested parking, to which she replied that that’s more of a city issue than a provincial issue.
In 10 words or less, why should you vote for her? “I’m hard working, I enjoy challenges, I enjoy standing up for myself and others, and I’m good at getting heard.”
Party: New Democratic Party of Alberta
The Man: Mr. Eggen is 42 years old. He’s been a high school teacher for the past 17 years where he teaches English and Social Studies. He’s been involved with the NDP for the past five years, and he’s been devoting a lot of time to this current campaign. His party’s platform on post-secondary education: The ND’s have a very specific plan for post-secondary education. They want to freeze tuition at 2002 rates and remove the 17% increase that was placed on tuition a few years ago. The want to tie tuition to the consumer price index, so that way it’ll increase and decrease according to the markets, rather than the random jumps it makes now. The also want to expand the student loan program. As Mr. Eggen said, they just want to make it affordable.
What he can do for NAIT: Mr. Eggen believes that NAIT is underrepresented in the government. Right now, one of the biggest issues facing NAIT is lack of funding for capital expansion. NAIT is a growing school, and there’s not enough money to accommodate that growth. He’s spoken to some of the instructors, and another issue is instability of funding. It just kind of comes and goes in cycles. So, he’ll fight for guaranteed long-term funding. “A lack of continuity in funding undermines the strength of the school,” said Mr. Eggen.
In 10 words or less, why should you vote for him? “Vote New Democrat for stable post-secondary funding and to make life more affordable.”