Government’s decision will hurt my family

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I am writing concerning the closure of Adult Basic Education (ABE) at the College of the North Atlantic and the way it will affect me and my family.

I was a worker at High Liner Foods in Burin for 25 years when it closed down. While working there I had a family prescription drug plan. While working at the plant my wife was in a serious car accident. She has serious back and neck injuries which require her to travel to St. John’s several times a year for medical treatment. There is a possibility she may need an operation; she will see a neurosurgeon in August.  

I require medication for a heart condition. I have a prescription drug plan here at the College of the North Atlantic but when I leave this college and go to a private college, I won’t have this option. The living allowance I will receive from my sponsor will not be enough to cover my family’s basic financial needs. Like most families, we have a mortgage, car payment and other household bills.

I have a daughter in elementary school who needs to have food, clothing and school supplies. If I have to buy all our family prescriptions without a drug plan, I honestly don’t feel l will be able to afford to stay in school. Losing the drug plan will be very stressful on me and my family.

I think the government should reconsider its decision to privatize Adult Basic Education or make sure the private college has a prescription drug plan that is put in place by September.

I need an education so I can take a trade and once again provide for my family, as I have for so many years.

Elvis Drake


Organizations: College of the North Atlantic, High Liner Foods

Geographic location: Burin

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Recent comments

  • Anon
    July 10, 2013 - 16:42

    The privatization of ABE is a mistake. Investment in public education sees a return over ten-fold. The data can be found on the CFSNL website. So for those who say "you shouldn't live off the government's dollar" No one is living off of the governments dollar in the education system, it is an investment in the economical future of our province. simple as that.

    July 06, 2013 - 22:16

    You have told a sad story and Im afraid there are many sad stories similiar to yours, regarding the heartless cutting of the ABE. This present Government certainly are not down in the trenches and taking into account the hardships their policy will inflict on ordinary NFLDERS. I wish you the best and hopefully you will find a way to solve your problems. Pay no heed to the 'Business man' for he is a regular poster who has proven in the past, he is but a fake and a phoney. I hope other posters will join in and condem this so called 'Business man' for the fake that he most certainly is. Im calling on at least 20 posters who know the "Business man" from previous posts to 'Post Up" and tell Elvis Drake that he should ignore the little coward who sends insulting posts over this forum. Hang in there Elvis, better times aheadTake care!!

    • a business man
      July 08, 2013 - 19:32

      Comdemn me? Typical NF attitiute of attacking those who disagree. Honestly, from my point of view, the privitization of ABE is a good thing. Here is why: Previously, ABE was a government (aka taxpayer) expense. Now, it is privitized and it is a revenue stream for the government because the profits are taxed. Yes, it is unfortunate that people like Mr. Drake will suffer, but the rest of us are better off because we are no longer paying for Mr. Drakes education. Furthermore, adults pay for their own education when they go to college or university. I paid for my own university degree, MBA, and law should be the same for ABE. Those who use the program are adults...they should pay. Why on earth should the taxpayer pay for ABE for someone who chose not to go to school when it was free? It is utter nonsense. Frankly, I am happy to see people on ABE suffer if it means that a new business sector can emerge, make lots of money, and pay lots of taxes that support my health care and other services. I support government decisions that cause hardship on others if I benefit as a citizen. I do hope Mr. Drake finds a way to solve his problems, and I hope it has nothing to do with taxpayer money. Those who want to help him can send him some money. Leave me and the other taxpayers out of it. We have our own families to support. Have a nice day.

  • a business man
    July 06, 2013 - 10:29

    While I do sympathize with the author's plight, we must note that he is the author of his own misfortune. Like OK said above, he could have completed school for free. He chose not too, and not he is dealing with the long term consequences. Actually, I take back my sympathy. Aside from the issues of this author, I support the decision to privatize ABE. I am involved with private career colleges in Ontario, and it is a lucrative business. I charge high rates of tuition to students and make high profits. I got into the business to make money, not to make life easy or affordable to "my customers" (the students). BUT, I also hire teachers, security, reception, custodial and other support staff. So in addition to to paying taxes on my profits, I create jobs and those workers pay taxes too. So in short, while the decision to privatize ABE may hurt the author, that is perfectly okay because there will be benefits to the province that apply on a wider scale. I support throwing one family under the bus if doing so helps three families rise up, so long as it is not my family under the bus. Any other family is fine.

  • ok
    July 05, 2013 - 08:37

    that sucks it really does, but many people are in the same boat. Before you end up expecting t government to foot your bill for meds. You have a sponsor for school, consider yourself lucky. You know now you wil lose your insurance. Be like everyone else and investigate your own personal insurance. That's what I had to do. I lost my job, with a house , mortgage, 2 kids and a crappy job but I had to figure it out with out the governments help. trust me I know what its like trying to figure out where money was coming from to pay what bills but that's still no excuse to expect the government to pay for you. You had to opportunity to go to school and finish for free as a teen. You chose (for whatever reason) to not and now you need to upgrade/finish. These are the consequences of your actions. plain and simple. sorry to put it bluntly but that's the truth of it.