The federal government should consider increasing the amount of income post-secondary students can earn during the school year before their student loan is affected. In these days of high education costs and the need for many students to work more hours, it's only fair.
Island Senator Catherine Callbeck is urging Ottawa to review the amount of income a student is allowed to earn before they're penalized on their student loan. Right now, the limit is $100 a week. According to Callbeck, this means students who work part-time have to limit themselves to a little more than 10 hours a week to remain within the $100 exemption. But many students, she says, work about 18 hours a week on average.
"Students' costs are significant. We should not be penalizing them for wanting to earn extra money toward their education while gaining important life skills at the same time."
That's a valid point. Costs for everything have risen and limiting the exemption at the current rate doesn't recognize those rising costs or the need of many students to work more hours to help pay their bills.
A good ambassador for a good cause
Once again this year, Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Hal Perry performed a valuable public service when he made himself available as a designated driver for residents of the area over the holiday season.
Good for him. This not only offered a valuable service to many party-goers, but it demonstrated a good example. The war on drinking and driving has to occur on many fronts - strong legislation and enforcement are two of those fronts. Public education is another. People who show by their example that they don't condone drinking and driving can't help but make an impression on others. That's how attitudes - and ultimately conduct - change. And that's the objective we all should be aiming for.
An eye for detail
It makes sense for the RCMP to warn Islanders about counterfeit bills on the go, and to provide a list of how to check their money. But will most consumers actually absorb and practise these tips? At the very least, it will be challenging.
RCMP say there have been reports of suspect counterfeit non-polymar (plastic) notes in circulation in the province. Among other things, customers and merchants are being advised to scrutinize their bills and look for specifics, such as the colours of the holographic stripes and security threads, as well as size of type and the raised ink printing.
These are good tips, but they may be daunting to the average consumer who may not have an eye for such detail - especially when in a long and impatient line of customers at the checkout counter. Nevertheless, when police call on us for assistance in crime prevention, we should respond to the best of our ability.