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The Columbia Journal
P.O. Box 2633 MPO,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Phone: 604-266-6552
Fax: 604-267-3342

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  • Volume Eight, Number Five: July 2003


    Let’s Teach Our Kids Decision-making

    Children as Partners is an evolving international initiative focused on advancing meaningful child participation at all levels of decision-making.

    The International Institute for Child Rights and Development in Victoria BC is writing to invite you and the young people you work with to participate in developing a Children as Partners website.

    Children as Partners (CAP) is an idea developed by some adults and youth about how to encourage and support all those working to make a reality of children's right to participate. We use the word 'children' to refer to all children and young people under the age of 18.

    In August 2002, an expanded group of organizations and individuals met in Canada to explore some of the ways in which the CAP initiative might be taken forward. One of the key outcomes from that meeting was agreement to undertake the development of a an interactive website.

    It is important to CAP that young people participate in the website's design, content and interactive systems. We hope that this contest will provide young people with an opportunity to express their opinions as well as their dreams and create a site that can connect them to other children and adults of different countries who are interested in child participation.

    If you would like more information please contact Anka Raskin at capa@uvic.ca or 250-472- 4762

    Suzanne S. Williams

    Victoria, BC


    Rafe’s Gone, and So Is a Listener

    I just got back in town from working overseas for the past few months to read in a back issue of the Columbia Journal that the old-time war horse Rafe Mair is gone (from CKNW).

    When I left, Rafe was very mad about the spread of fish farms, and rightly so. He had also been taking some pretty hard-line runs against the dishonesty and incompetence of the BC Liberals, which seems to be a taboo among the major media.

    In fact, I remember him being fiercely critical of Global Canwest, the company that owns just about every media outlet here except CKNW. Perhaps all this was making the station’s management a bit too nervous.

    So maybe it’s more than just Rafe’s age and the age of his listeners that got him canned. It seems more and more that any commentator or reporter, be they left or right, who steps out of line with the agendas of the rich elite in this province eventually gets canned.

    I miss Rafe, even though I didn’t agree with him on a lot of things. I sure won't be listening to NW much any longer.

    Ross Hill



    “Unforgivable” Tuition Hike a Liberal Pay-off, not NDP Over-Generosity

    I note that BC university students are to face an average increase of 30.4 per cent in fees for the academic year 2003-2004.  This follows an increase of 25.2 per cent in fees for the last academic year.  The Minister of Advanced Education has the effrontery to forget that her cash-starved government is the product of its unconscionable action in reducing income taxes by 25 per cent across the board in its own first day in office.  The Minister has the double audacity to blame the unforgivable student fee increase on the NDP’s six year frozen post-secondary fees.

    The Minister may be forgiven for her unfamiliarity with NDP policy that post-secondary opportunities must be available to all qualified students regardless of family, class and income.  The frightening aspect of her actions is to ensure the initiation and the perpetuation of classism in advanced education and hence a continuation of a governing party supportive of and promoting capitalism.

    John Church


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