Alberta Post-Secondary Roles and Mandates

A snippet from my article for Communiqué

The Alberta system of post-secondary education may be unique in Canada. As Alex Usher says, “Alberta not only has the closest thing Canada has to a genuine system of education, but the government is also by some distance the most interventionist in the country when it comes to universities” (Usher, 2019). The Albertan system has changed over the years from its single public university – the University of Alberta founded only three years after the province was created (Macleod, 2016) – to the current seven universities. Four of the universities are called comprehensive academic and research universities and three are called undergraduate universities (Types of publicly funded institutions, 2020). In addition to the universities, the province has eleven publicly funded comprehensive community colleges; two polytechnic institutions; five private universities; and the Banff Centre, a specialized arts and cultural institution.

The Alberta system went through an overhaul in the first decade of the twenty-first century. New institutions were added, institutions changed from being colleges to being universities, and funding, which had been cut substantially in the 1990s, was increased (Usher, 2019). More importantly, in this decade was the 2007 introduction of The Roles and Mandates: Policy Framework for Alberta’s Publicly Funded Advanced Education System, which I will refer to as Roles and Mandates 2007. This document formalized the six-sector model that Alberta continues to follow today and laid out the goals and directions the system works towards. Although it has been superseded by 2019’s The Roles and Mandates: Policy Framework for Alberta’s Adult Learning System, referred to as Roles and Mandates 2019, the current structure of the Alberta system was formed by the 2007 version and so this inquiry will focus on the Roles and Mandates 2007 and the report that led to it.

Read the rest here

Rhetorical Misuse

There are some people whose rhetorical goal is to bring the reader/listener to a point of numbness where they feel that the topic is too complex to understand and they defer to the expert. This is especially used when talking with those who agree with the premises and conclusion that the speaker/writer has. Thus the reader/listener feels good because their view has been supported by an expert, and the writer/speaker feels good because they have received support.

But in reality all that has happened is the linking of premise and conclusion with a bunch of wibbly wobbly rhetorical wimey stuff that isn’t a functional argument.

This leads to polarization of belief as camps grow around the speaker/writer and they are combative with other groups around a different speaker/writer who disagree with the premises or conclusions, but because the speakers/writers never actually educated their groups but simply provided them with unlinked premises and conclusions the two groups turn their backs on each other because to admit that they don’t understand it is to admit that they might be wrong. It is to admit that they hold the premises and conclusions not because it’s true but because they received confirmation of their biases from an “expert”. It is to admit that their proof is based not on truth but on a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the evidence or of the opponents perspective.

Andrew Scheer and Memes

UPDATE August 29, 2019: Abortion rights: Scheer has now announced that he holds the opposing position from Harper. He is willing to allow MPs to bring forward private members bills on abortion and same-sex marriage and allow a free vote.

UPDATE June 4, 2019: Yes, I’ve seen that a number of people are referring back here to try to defend Scheer, however, as you can tell, this was written two years ago, as was the original meme. It only applies to him at that point and before. Everything he’s done since is not covered in this. Look it up, research it, think about it, read actual news rather than commentary or opinion pieces.

Original post, June 1, 2017:

If you’ve read my writings during the last election I was very very critical of the CPC. That being said I hate it when people are deliberately misleading. I saw a meme today about the new leader of the CPC Andrew Scheer.

It seemed to list things that I had heard the opposite about so I looked each item up. Here’s what I found.

Looked it up. The meme is very wrong on some things but right on others.

Continue reading “Andrew Scheer and Memes”

Dobson, Trump, Faith, and Power

The major Evangelical leader Dr. Dobson has put out a release talking about Donald Trump’s faith. Now I was under the impression that there was no “religious test… as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust”. But since Dobson brought it up… in the words of Aaron Burr in Hamilton “Ok, so we’re doin’ this”.

His post on “Culture Watch” is available here.

Let’s break it down:

Only the Lord knows the condition of a person’s heart.  I can only tell you what I’ve heard.  First, Trump appears to be tender to things of the Spirit.

Yes, that’s true. Only the Lord knows. However, the bible says a few other things about the heart:

Luke 12:33-34: Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Do we want to consider where Trump’s treasure is? We don’t need to ask, he talks about it time and time again.

Continue reading “Dobson, Trump, Faith, and Power”

Thoughts on the Syrian Refugee Crisis

I thought I’d take a look at the countries who are hosting the most Syrian Refugees. So with a quick skim of news reports and Wikipedia I have this.

These are the countries that have brought in the most Syrian refugees by percentage of their population:
Lebanon (22%)
Jordan (10%)
Macedonia (10%)
Serbia (4%)
Greece (4%)
Turkey (4%)
Kuwait (2%)
Qatar (2%)
Croatia (1.5%)
Sweden (1%)
UAE (1%)

The honorable mentions are:
Germany (almost 500,000)
Egypt (130,000)
and surprisingly
Saudi Arabia (75,000)

Remember that the next time someone says that the middle eastern countries aren’t pulling their weight. Saudi Arabia has even brought in more than three times more refugees than Canada’s 25,000 (four times if you’re determining it as a percentage of population).

And the US? 3000 refugees. That’s lower than any other developed country except for Japan (refusing to take any), Israel (refusing to take any), China (refusing to take any), India (they’ve taken in about 50) Czech Republic (holding the few they have in prisons and under investigation for human rights violations), & Finland (though they’ve accepted 20 times more refugees by percentage of population than the US).

Think about that a bit.