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We strike out on Dalton’s promise

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Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty’s election promise of a 30 per cent rebate on university tuition sure sounded good, especially with child the younger going to school in Upper Canada.

But I’ve had the darnedest time trying to figure out if she qualified, first from reading on-line news accounts, and then by going back and forth with staff people at Trent.

The most succinct synopsis I’ve seen is on the Canadian Federation of Students website.

The CFS reckons as many as two-thirds of Ontario university students will be excluded from the tuition rebate, and it looks as though child the younger is one of them.

She’s excluded because of the combined incomes of me and my wife, even though our daughter is an adult. As CFS points out, by McGuinty’s using that criterion, the premier of the centre of the universe presumes that the student has a positive relationship with the parental units and is being financially supported by them.

I’m also still not sure if she’s otherwise, as a student from outside Ontario.

Along the way, one person thought students had to be receiving an Ontario student loan in order to receive any cash.

Anyway, Dalton, it sure sounded great on the campaign trail.

Sigh.

In other matters, a publisher in Tulsa cranked out a news release wanting me to help it sell a book about how girls can be popular in Grade 6.

Examples of the author’s rules to be popular in Grade 6 were given as an enticement for me to write a story that would knock the Jets off front page, such as, find a friend, and don’t do drugs. Gosh — how many doctoral theses and seven-figure research grants were necessary to come to those conclusions?

The author, btw, bases her book on her experiences in Grade 6 at Beverly Hills Elementary, surely a template for every Grade 6 girl in Manitoba.

Moving on....

I don’t know how I end up on these mailing lists, but here’s a real estate broker in Boston asking me if I want to lease a vacant 61,000 square foot high school.

I thought of this after I wrote about Westgate Mennonite Collegiate’s need to move the school elsewhere for a year should redevelopment plans proceed, which you can read.

Here’s part of the pitch: "Located on a rustic 9-acre complex, the building is ideal for an independent / private or charter school, commercial / trade schools focusing on such areas as medical technology, cosmetology, etc., and educational institutions requiring classroom and meeting space. The highly visible location on Route 3 at the Derby Street Exit (15), is just 30 minutes from Cape Cod."

The rustic property is in historic Hingham, Mass., about 24 km south of Boston, at the rustic and historic-sounding address of 90 Industrial Park Rd.

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About Nick Martin

Nick Martin is the old bearded guy at the back of the newsroom, the most experienced reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press, having started his career in Ontario in 1971.

He’s been covering education for the Free Press since the spring of 1997, after decades primarily covering municipal politics, including a four-year stint at the Ontario legislature for the London Free Press.

Nick moved to Manitoba in 1988 with his Winnipeg-born wife, who is a professor at the University of Manitoba. They have two kids, both of whom graduated from Grant Park High School: son Chris and daughter Gillian.

Nick has won a national journalism award from the Canadian Association of University Teachers, two Manitoba Human Rights Journalism awards, and the Ontario Reporters Association investigative award.

Nick is a long-distance runner, having finished and survived 18 marathons and 15 half-marathons and 30-kilometre races, and having (barely) survived 10 years as an outdoor and indoor soccer coach.

Nick became a soccer referee in 2007, delighting in his 60s in outrunning 16-year-olds and keeping his distance from obstreperous coaches and parents.

Nick and his wife have discovered a mutual love for kayaking at their Whiteshell cottage, and are both regulars at the Reh-Fit Centre. They hold season tickets to both the Manitoba Theatre Centre and the Warehouse, and as empty nesters, have rediscovered the joys of an active winter vacation.

A native of Jarrow-on-Tyne, England, Nick is a member of the Toon Army as a Newcastle United supporter, and a proud citizen of Leafs Nation.

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