Friday, February 25, 2005


I attended my first university alumni event tonight. I think it's safe to say that I was the youngest alumni there (and the second-youngest person there, period. A special thanks to my little brother for keeping me company.) I can't say I was surprised by the average age of the attendees. Most young alumni probably view events like these as fundraisers (personally, I think they usually are, though this one ostensibly was not), and when you're still mired in undergraduate debt, who wants to donate to the institution that helped put you in that pit (notwithstanding how valuable or enjoyable the process)?

The visit with my brother, and the complimentary martini and hors d'oeuvres made up for feeling out of place, though. That and having the opportunity to ask a very pointed question of our local M.P.P. (she was the featured guest, speaking about "The Importance of Education in Shaping a Civil Society.) My brother joking told my mom that I had "ripped into her". Not true, really. I simply (and nicely) asked how her government could make the process of doling out federal transfer payment money more transparent.

It was a fair question. In her answer to a previous question, she kind of pointed a finger at the federal government when asked why the Ontario government is spending more on post-secondary education. I wanted to know how we could know if the Ontario government is spending the money allocated for post-secondary education by the federal government as it should. I mean, come on. Everyone in this country knows governments misspend at will. Financial accountability? Yeah, right.

What we need is greater transparency in the whole business of government transfer payments.

But my M.P.P. didn't seem to get that. She stated quite simply that the money was going where it was supposed to go. I guess the one thing any politician fears more than the failure to be re-elected is governmental reform...

Anyway, one of my fellow alumni stopped me on my way out to let me know that he thought my question was a good one.

Indeed, I did, too.

On the slightly more trivial side of things, since January 1st of this year, I've had the pleasure of viewing a few entertaining, moving, informative and often thought-provoking films. In addition to Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire, I recommend the following for your own viewing pleasure:

- In Good Company
- Sideways
- Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed
- Million Dollar Baby

More about Shola Lynch's film on Shirley Chisholm another day, though. I have to wash dishes and get to bed. I have to get up at 4:30 a.m. for work tomorrow. Bah!

But before I forget, I want to congratulate Becky on her marriage. Both of you are very lucky people. True love, true partnership is so rare. Treasure it and each other. My most heart-felt congratulations to you both!

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