Feature News Stories

Mount Royal University may see further tuition hikes

Students fired up as institution proposes ‘market modifiers’ to three programs

MRU Students Mount Royal University students sat in their seats shaking their heads as they listened to Kathy Shailer, provost and academic vice-president of Mount Royal University, talk about so-called “market modifier” proposals at a university “consultation” on Oct. 2.

Market modifiers are tuition increases based on the perceived market value for that course and on indicators such as applicant numbers. This means students could pay more for some courses than others.

For example, the Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Alberta has the highest tuition rate in Alberta. That degree has now set the highest value to which other universities could potentially charge per course, which Shailer explained in the consultation.


Ordinary people making scientific breakthroughs

In Calgary, a whole cadre of volunteer 'citizen scientists' are crucial to conservation efforts

Red-Tailed-Hawk-ThumbnailBefore Shonna McLeod became a volunteer conservation scientist, she could often be found navigating through the boreal forest surrounding her hometown of Banff. However, an abrupt move to Calgary in 1987 left her with culture shock and a pressing desire to reconnect with nature.

Shortly after taking on a position at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, she was invited to participate in a bird conservation research initiative and while McLeod didn't have a formal background in science, her contributions as a "citizen scientist" have since played a significant role in countless local and international academic studies.


E-cigarettes to fall under other tobacco bylaws

Calgary creates plan to research e-cigarettes and their health effects

thumbnail copy copy copy copySome Alberta smokers are living within a loophole of the law when it comes to indoor puffing of electronic cigarettes, also known as E-cigarettes.

Alberta's Tobacco Reduction Act states that, "'smoke' means to smoke, hold or otherwise have control over a lit tobacco product" – the word "lit" being the loophole.

Once again technology has outpaced law-making and the City of Calgary is trying to catch up.

City councillors met on Sept. 22 and passed a motion to begin a work-plan on E-cigarettes. The goal is to conduct comprehensive research about E-cigarettes to better understand what health concerns there may be. Some Calgarians are worried that this work-plan is only the beginning of future bylaws restricting use of the cigarette substitute.

Abba Shytermeja smoked for 15 years. She used E-cigarettes to quit smoking and thinks the possibility of bylaws is ridiculous.

"You can see the smoke, but it's just vapour air," she says.


Tenants vs. Landlords: The fight for the security deposit

Do landlords and tenants really understand their entitlement to the security deposit?

thumb landlordisputeWhen Lacey Wilson moved out of her apartment a month and a half ago, she expected a smooth process in the final dealings with her landlord. What she got was a fight over the $950 security deposit that continues to this day.

"I was rather surprised," Wilson said. "Nobody had told me this was happening."

When Wilson moved into her now former apartment, she paid the security deposit, plus an extra $500 for her two cats. She agreed that the terms were fair.

It wasn't until her plans of moving out that she had problems. Wilson tried staying in communication with her landlord in the midst of her moving out and while he was away on vacation.