Tag Archives: Canada

Any fees for tuition?

When I hear the word tuition it makes my flesh crawl. Keeping this feeling deep in my heart, I have closely been following updates from the Quebec uprising.

“Quebec students mark 100 days of tuition protests,” reports AP

Tens of thousands of students marched through the streets of Montreal on Tuesday to mark 100 days since the movement against higher tuition fees began…The conflict has caused considerable social upheaval in the French-speaking province known for having more contentious protests than elsewhere in Canada.Retiree Claude Gravel, 61, said she was against the law seeking to calm down tensions after 100 days of protests…She said the tuition hikes would make educating her college student son hard on the family’s limited finances.

“Quebec students reject latest government offer to cut tuition fees,” states 680News.com

The government had already lowered the yearly increase, by offering to spread it out over seven years for an annual jump of $254, a move previously rejected by students.

Education Minister Michelle Courchesne’s new proposal would have reduced the yearly hike to $219 over seven years.   The original increase, which kicked off the dispute in February, was for $325 a year over five years — a move that would bring annual fees to about $3,800 in 2017.

At first I was sure that the very reason for the mass disobedience was a notorious tuitions, which were promised to be raised during the following five-seven years — up to 75% hike in tuition all together. Having painful experience of paying tuitions back, I felt I could have been one of those students, defending their right for affordable education.

Then came that second thought that people usually feel afterwords. Nah, I didn’t do something for which that “second thought” would be kicking me. Apparently, it was all about my inner I who sent the second thought to my brain warning me to compare tuitions in Quebec, the province of revolt, with tuitions in, say, Ontario, which is a relatively calm place to study. At that point in my pondering I couldn’t draw a picture of what a shocking discovery awaits me as I progressed in my research.

In order to visualize the problem I decided to visit the web sites of universities in English-speaking provinces, and universities in Quebec. The following is my findings.  Continue reading


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O’ Kanata: The best song ever!

It has taken me awhile to turn my face toward limitless heritage of my country. In retrospective, when I engaged in conversations with my friends about Canada’s culture, the first thought pop up in my mind was a unique culture of the First Nations. As far as I can perceive it, the issue of the First Nations is the only one that is not being widely publicized in any mainstream media; it’s hardly being covered in blogs as well.

Probably I should devote more time to writing on this exuberant topic because few people have an idea of how deeply touching the art of the aboriginal people is.

Meantime, we have no choice but admit that history of aboriginal peoples in Canada is unique and extremely compelling for both a typical academic and a man of the street – – they all would definitely find something that is near to their heart.

Before we go any further, let us enjoy an aboriginal version of Oh, Canada, Canada’s National Anthem. O’ Kanata is the best song ever!


ᐆ ᑲᓇᑕ!
ᓇᖕᒥᓂ ᓄᓇᕗᑦ!
ᐱᖁᔭᑏ ᓇᓚᑦᑎᐊᖅᐸᕗᑦ.
ᓇᖏᖅᐳᒍ, ᐆ ᑲᓇᑕ,
ᐆ ᑲᓇᑕ! ᓄᓇᑦᓯᐊ!
ᓇᖏᖅᐳᒍ ᒥᐊᑎᓂᕆᑉᓗᑎ,
ᐆ ᑲᓇᑕ, ᓴᓚᒋᔭᐅᖁᓇ!

Official English

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

In case you loved the singing, you are always welcome to visit a native place of the song — a site from where I shamelessly  borrowed the song. Cheers.

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On-Line or not to line, that is the question

Being preoccupied with the idea of moving to the online banking, I set off to exploring the Big Mac Big Five‘s polices. The first four banks, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, and Royal Bank of Canada, offered much about the same security guarantees to poor souls, the “online banking surfers.” Going through all those four-banks-guarantees I was appeased by what I had discovered, and I could close my eyes and befriend any of those banks for their kind promises.

Then I got a strike between wind and water.

My hangover cure arrived in the form of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce — the place where my sensitive soul was taken aback. CIBC was the fifth bank I had to cross over in order to reach that sweet feeling of a total protection on-line, in case I decided to rush toward signing an agreement in the nearest bank.

The following is a straightforward derivative of the security guarantees copied from the web sites of the big five Canadian banks. Continue reading

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Maple dreams come true

As far as I can remember, I had always dreamed about taking part in the maple ceremony of sucking the maple sap from a maple tree.This year my dreams came true — I was blessed with visiting The Kortright Centre for Conservation, which is one of few farms in Ontario where maple syrup is collected from sugar maple trees.

The procedure of collecting maple syrup is plain:

  1. tap the sugar trees
  2. collect maple sap
  3. evaporate water from the sap
  4. enjoy your syrup

Production methods have been streamlined since colonial days, yet remain basically unchanged. Sap must first be collected and boiled down to obtain pure syrup without chemical agents or preservatives. Maple syrup is made by boiling between 20 and 50 litres (5.3 and 13 US gal) of sap (depending on its concentration) over an open fire until 1 litre (0.26 US gal) of syrup is obtained, usually at a temperature 4.1 °C (7.4 °F) over the boiling point of water. Syrup can be boiled entirely over one heat source or can be drawn off into smaller batches and boiled at a more controlled temperature. (emphases Alex’s)

While meandering along the sugar bushes, I had a neat idea of setting up the maple business. What you hafta do in this business, I thought, is strictly following the above mentioned the four-step routine. It was my maple dream which had no chance to come true — the instructor evaporated it from my mind. She told me that if I were about to become a maple fat cat, I would have to wait for 40! years, at least, to reap the very first maple harvest — that is how long it takes the sugar trees to grow.

Maples are usually tapped beginning at 30 to 40 years of age. Each tree can support between one and three taps, depending on its trunk diameter. The average maple tree will produce 35 to 50 litres (9.2 to 13 US gal) of sap per season, up to 12 litres (3.2 US gal) per day. This is roughly equal to 7% of its total sap. Seasons last for four to eight weeks, depending on the weather. During the day, starch stored in the roots for the winter rises through the trunk as sugary sap, allowing it to be tapped.Sap is not tapped at night because the temperature drop inhibits sap flow, although taps are typically left in place overnight.Some producers also tap in autumn, though this practice is less common than spring tapping. Maples can continue to be tapped for sap until they are over 100 years old.

That is basically all that I was about to share with you. If you want to witness some sugary pictures of the trip, you are welcome to click on any number down there — each number leads to a picture from the trip. Bye for now.

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Life without pennies

The very question of today tonight is what our life will look like without penis pennies.

The government of Canada has announced that Canadian one-cent coin, the penny, will be eliminated soon. With the penny’s demise we all are in danger of losing the vernacular of Canada.

In the past 15 years it’s lost its copper, its usage and its cost-effectiveness – the butt of jokes and bane of neat freaks well before its end became official in Thursday’s federal budget.

True, If the penny is gone today what we are about to put in, had the need arisen? In order to get my mind right I have to clarify what we suppose to put in when we are in need to express our opinion? Up till now I’ve been pretty comfortable with sticking my two cents in whenever I wanted. So if the penny has made a history, should we put in two Loonies and/or one Toonie instead of two cents?

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