Tuesday, March 2, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 9 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“We’re non-profit and it’s definitely showing.”
- Wendy Zack  
- on the Historical Society’s   
financials at their AGM   

 

Council discusses whether or not to fund student exchanges
 
The AnPass student exchange program, which sends Crowsnest students to Japan and welcomes Japanese students to the Pass, is being put on hold for 2010, while at the same time council is debating whether or not to provide any future funding to the program.
Last year the municipality provided no funding to the program, which has been run by the Crowsnest Centre Society for the past 13 years out of the Centre. No Crowsnest students were sent to Japan in 2009 due to scheduling conflicts, but Japanese students came to the Pass in the summer and were hosted at the Centre.
This year, says program coordinator Jen Houze, "Nothing is going on either way."
With the municipality once again providing no funding, and with the Centre currently shut down, Houze says that the program does not have the means to fund itself. She says that the parents would have to pay for their children to make the cultural trip to Japan, and that many parents can't afford to these days.
"Everything is sort of up in the air right now," says Houze. "We'd like to see the program stay in the Pass. It's such an amazing experience to visit another culture."
She says that the students who were signed up for the programming did some fundraising through a bake sale and the Christmas tree bonfire, before the trip was cancelled, and raised $750. The students who were enrolled decided to donate the money to the local Boys and Girls Club instead.
 
The municipality currently has a policy that says it will pay 50 percent of local student flight costs for any approved student exchange program, along with paying for councillor flights, other approved flights, and any official ceremonies approved by council.
At council's Tuesday, February 23 Governance and Priorities Committee meeting, Councillor David Cole said that he would like all the provisions that mention paying for anything taken out of the policy.
The remaining policy would then only state that any program wishing to receive municipal funding must submit a complete proposal and a list of all participants, but would no longer contain any provision for what the municipality would pay if it wished to support the program.
Councillor Cole said that he feels AnPass is not an educational program, but is simply a vacation to Japan, and that he has a problem paying for any of it.
"This is a luxury we can't afford," added Councillor Dean Ward. No official decision was made on the policy.
The Centre Society wrote to Mayor Ogawa of Anpachi, the Crowsnest Pass' sister city in Japan, to explain this year's decision. They explained to the mayor that the current local council has not been supportive of the program, which makes it difficult for them to operate it.
Mayor Ogawa replied to the society that he understood how politics can affect programs, and that he will give the Crowsnest Pass the year to see if the political situation changes. He wrote that he believes in the importance of the program and the benefits it provides for both communities, and hopes that it will be able to continue in 2011.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 9 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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