So, Simon had been wanting me to become less Conservative, and this might have done it. It appears as if the Conservative government has decided that they don't have enough money to pay me minimum wage to teach illiterate children how to read. I guess literacy is pretty overrated, anyway.
Summer student jobs lose subsidies
Wed, May 23, 2007
By VERA OVANIN, SUN MEDIA
Changes to a federal program that subsidizes summer student hiring means some London-area museums and libraries are in the lurch.
At least six groups that had hoped to hire nearly 30 students will be affected by the changes, which reduced the overall funding for job subsidies and redirected it to areas where young people struggle to find summer work.
"It's very disappointing. They are taking away valuable career experience for young people that the museum has been providing for almost 30 years," Tammy Adkin, executive director of the London Regional Children's Museum, said yesterday.
The museum wanted to hire six students full time under the Canada Summer Jobs program, but last week found out it will get no money.
Instead, by making cuts to some programs and possibly by raising admission fees, the museum expects to hire six part-time students on its own.
Some other organizations that had hoped for hiring subsidies -- such as the London Public Library -- are in a jam.
"We have consistently applied for this grant every year and were very successful. That's why we were so shocked when we learned last week that we won't be receiving it this time," said Anne Becker, the library's chief executive.
"We're in a real pickle."
The changes made by the federal Conservative government have been known since March, but only now -- as the student hiring season begins -- is the fallout being felt.
At the time, critics said students would pay the price for funding that fell to $86 million, $4 million less than when the program was created 10 years earlier, and which shifted emphasis to struggling areas.
In the past, to qualify for grants, employers had to prove to the federal government they were providing students with meaningful work experience.
Now, Ottawa is giving priority to those who hire students from rural and remote areas with low youth employment or areas with high crime.
London, population 350,000, with a buoyant economy, isn't a high priority.
The change is undermining communities and taking away valuable student jobs, charged MP Irene Mathyssen (NDP -- London-Fanshawe).
"It's absolutely incredible that the programs that have been so successful for so many years would be cut in such an arbitrary way," she said.
Other affected London agencies include the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, Fanshawe Pioneer Village, the South London Community Centre and the Grand Theatre.
Fanshawe, which had hoped to hire five or six students to act as animators and interpreters at the re-created 19th-century farming village, has now decided it won't hire any students for such jobs, said Sheila Johnson, the village's executive director.
The Museum of Ontario Archeology in London was denied a hiring grant last week, but learned yesterday its funds will be restored.
"This is ludicrous -- now you have the money, now you don't. It affects people's ability to plan," Mathyssen said.