Government Website Blues


The reason this non-profit website has been operating - since 1999 - was that our tax dollars still don't buy the student loan repayment information we need from Canada's provincial and federal governments.

When it comes to adequate information on these programs, most governments flunk out.

Websites and paper handouts skim the surface. Phone agents get confused and misinform. Policies (about programs paid for with OUR tax dollars) are kept such a guarded secret that Student Finance 101 must  apply through access and freedom of information programs to pry them loose. Even when actual regulations are posted online, the links don't always work.  

Now that - broken links - is a challenge because we prefer to link site users directly to official sites so they can see the source for themselves. But since some of these links fail on the government sites, we will have to make backup copies for our own site that cover all relevant government legislation.

Here's an example. At writing, the Justice Department has internal server problems that make it hard for people to see the 2009 legislation amendments covering Canada's Student Loan Repayment Assistance Plan.

To be fair, that department has a truckload of pages to deal with, so accidents are bound to happen. But it's a reminder of how vulnerable we are when we only have this information available through a government website link.

That's why we've now added a PDF to our site. It lets you see those 2009 legislative amendments to Canada's Student Loan Repayment Assistance Plan.

We've listed it after our usual federal government legislation link in our Research Library. So if you can't get through on the government site, you can see that information here in our PDF.

To find the RAP legislation part, just scroll down to read pages 30 to 38.

These latest regulations are the most important ones for most site users. However, we'll put the collection of remaining regulation pdfs (when available) on our ever-expanding To-Do list. 

As for your tax dollars... if you are using this website, ask your MP and MLA to join the 21st century and pressure our governments to share the complete information on programs with the people they are supposed to serve.

That way, non-profits like Student Finance 101 and student organizations across the country won't have to waste time chasing after it for you.

And just think, no more time-wasting telephone-tree ordeals trying to get straight answers from corporate call centre clerks... 


 © Jeannine Mitchell 2010 - 2012