This is truly cruddy behaviour on the part of the government.
As Jeff Nagel reports here (and in Black Press papers across the province), the government has cancelled the Premier's Excellence Awards. The scholarship program has run since 1986, providing financial aid to some of B.C.'s top high school grads. The awards - bumped to $15,000 from $5,000 by the Liberals in 2005 - recognize academic excellence and community service. The application process is time-consuming - essays and the like - and the students really work at it. Finalists had been selected, and the 15 winners were to be announced mid-July.
But the government stalled and gave evasive answers and then - without notifying the students - cancelled the whole program.
Leaving aside the fact that education is supposed to be a priority with the government, this is simply sleazy. Students participated in good faith based on a government commitment, only to be betrayed weeks before their first year of post-secondary education.
The move is part of a $16-million cut in support for post-secondary students in B.C.
It will save $240,000 - less than the premier's last salary increase over the current four-year term.