Nation in brief

Cheap tuition: is it possible?

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale said on the campaign trail last week that she not only supports the province’s continued freeze on tuition, but also the gradual phasing out of student loans. As reported by The Muse, Dunderdale, who is looking to win the Progressive Conservatives their third term as the governing party, said she would eventually like to see loans replaced with needs-based grants. The NDP made a similar announcement, with leader Lorraine Michael promising to offer non-repayable grants to students upon taking office. The PC’s plan would have them spending $52 million to maintain the current tuition freeze and replacing the student loan program after a four-year transition period.

Mommy wants money

Ken Anderson, a British Columbia man who was abandoned as a teenager, is now being sued by his elderly mother Shirley for parental support. CBC reported that Shirley is asking Ken as well as his two siblings for $750 per month from each of them, despite the fact that she hasn’t spoken to her children in decades. According to a rarely used section in the province’s Family Relations Act, adults can be held responsible for legally supporting their parents. The mother claims that Ken was 18 when the family moved away and he was not interested in accompanying them. Her son’s lawyer tried to have the case thrown out last week because the mother hadn’t produced the proper financial documents, but the B.C. Supreme Court judge reserved his decision.

Even Kate couldn’t bring in the tourists

According to recently released numbers, July was a pretty bleak month for tourism on Prince Edward Island, despite the government’s assurances that the July 4 visit by Prince William and his wife Catherine would drive up visitors’ interest in the island. According to a CBC report, the visit did not succeed in causing the same tourism boost that Regis and Kelly did when they broadcast their daily morning talk show live from the island in the summer of 2010. In July of this year, overnight stays were down 9.3 per cent and inquiries to the government’s tourism website were down 25.2 per cent. When Regis and Kelly announced they were headed to the island, P.E.I. was pushed to the top of Google search rankings and the tourism website ended up crashing. Sorry Kate, next time leave it to the pros, i.e. Kelly Ripa and Anne of Green Gables.

Jack in bronze

A noted Canadian artist whose sculptures are featured in front of the National Library in Ottawa and in New York’s Madison Square Garden has announced that she intends to produce three bronze sculptures of late NDP leader Jack Layton. CBC reported last week that Lea Vivot has not been commissioned to do the sculptures and is not looking to get paid. The artist explained she is looking to honour Layton, who inspired her during his struggle with cancer. One sculpture will feature Layton on his bike, the second with his cane walking up a set of stairs and the third with him sitting on a bench.


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