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An interesting news day.

June 5, 2009

First, the story of Matt McCann’s firing from the Telegraph-Journal for reporting on the letter protesting Shawn Graham’s honoury degree was properly broken by the CBC (earlier they had run a commentary by Mark Tunney). Apparently in response, the Premier’s office has declared itself shocked, shocked, and even offered Mr. McCann a summer job. Or at least, invited him to send a resume. How odd. Apparently the call to the T-J did not, then, come from that office. Though one would be hard pressed to think of anyone else — anywhere — with sufficient interest in defending Shawn Graham, not to mention sufficient clout to get someone fired.

No doubt it will remain a profound mystery.

In other post-secondary news, various announcements are being made about the stimulous funding from the federal and provincial governments. And the community college on the UNB Fredericton campus is apparently going ahead, though one wonders about the resource-sharing arrangements that might have been made, given how stretched the University is already.

I have to confess that I was seriously annoyed to read that Atlantic Baptist University is getting $12 million of public money (half from the province, half from the feds). I don’t see how an institution can openly engage in discriminatory practices under the protection of its private status, and then accept public money. Not that one blames them for taking it when it is given; the real question is, why was it offered? The public system has been cash-strapped for decades and today’s announcements, welcome as they are, are still a drop in the bucket. Improvements to infrastructure are long overdue, but the ongoing issue of the underfunding of the public post-secondary system remains un-addressed and unacknowledged. This $6 million to ABU has to be added to the growing list of financial false steps on the part of the provincial government, along with the Caisse Populaire and the golf course bail-outs.

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