Top Ten

May 28, 2009

NB, Ottawa feud over province's share of campus infrastructure funding

New Brunswick PSE Minister Donald Arseneault says the federal government is reneging on the amount it promised the province for funding under the $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program. He says he had been told NB would receive $70 million for campus infrastructure projects, but now the share will be $45 million. Arseneault has written to federal Industry Minister Tony Clement expressing displeasure about the situation, noting that the province will not sign a funding agreement until NB is treated fairly. A Conservative MP says the province was never promised $70 million. Daily Gleaner

SFU, UBC challenge rulings on release of commercial info

In 2 separate petitions to the BC Supreme Court, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia are seeking judicial reviews of orders from the province's Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding records related to university-owned commercial entities. In both cases the universities had made arguments that some documents requested were in the possession of separate bodies and therefore were not subject to freedom-of-information law. Georgia Straight

McGill to end fiscal year with $13-million deficit

McGill University expects to finish the fiscal year with a $13-million shortfall. In order to operate on a balanced budget by May 2011, the university will implement cost-saving measures such as a 6-month freeze on wage and salary increases and a 3% salary reduction for senior administrators. Each hiring unit is being asked not to fill 5% of administrative and support staff positions that become vacant during the next fiscal year. To bring the university in line with what is happening at other institutions in Quebec, McGill will execute a 10% cut in pay for professors on sabbatical starting in 2011. McGill Reporter

U of King's College suspends women's volleyball program

Due to a $1-million deficit, the University of King's College is suspending its women's volleyball program for the foreseeable future. The team has not won many games and has had trouble keeping coaches and attracting quality players. The school's athletics department has trimmed operations, leaving just one employee to run the unit. Earlier this year, the University of Windsor cut 6 varsity teams in order to minimize its $5-million shortfall. Halifax Chronicle-Herald

"Now's the time" for apprenticeship training in BC

Given the current recession, now is the time for an intensified focus on apprenticeship training, according to an information campaign launched yesterday by BC's Industry Training Authority and its partners, which include several post-secondary institutions across the province. The "Now's the Time" campaign is meant to keep employers committed to retraining and hiring apprentices, and to encourage apprentices to complete their classwork. By 2015 there will be an estimated shortfall of over 110,000 skilled workers in BC. ITA News Release | "Now's the Time" campaign website

NSAC launches feed preparation centre

On Wednesday, Nova Scotia Agricultural College opened the Chute Animal Nutrition Centre, named after the late Dr. Harold Chute, an alumnus of the college. The $1.9-million state-of-the-art feed preparation facility will give NSAC the ability to produce feeds for poultry, ruminant animals, fur-bearing animals, and fish. NSAC News | Truro Daily News

Hamilton approves student residence project

The City of Hamilton's planning committee has endorsed a plan to convert an old school into a lodging house for up to 50 students. While the project is promising to draw students out of residential neighbourhoods, critics say it will just add to the over-concentration. The project's owner is promising 24-hour supervision and an alcohol ban on the premises. He is also proposing a shuttle service that would bring students directly home from pub nights. Hamilton Spectator

NB invests in carpentry training for Aboriginals

The New Brunswick government announced Monday it will commit more than $276,000 over 2 years for training and certification under the Work Ability program for the Elsipogtog First Nations. The funds will help 9 members of the First Nation complete an apprenticeship in carpentry and receive certification from the province's PSE department. NB News Release

Niagara College proposes brewmaster program

Niagara College is hoping to be the first college in Canada to offer a beermaking diploma. The school, which already offers a winemaking program, is proposing a 2-year, hands-on diploma focused on producing specialized, premium craft beer. Plans include an on-campus brewery or brew-pub to sell products to the public. If approved, the program could welcome its first students in the fall of 2010. St. Catharines Standard

Canada's score on CCL lifelong learning index drops

Canada's overall score on the Canadian Council on Learning's Composite Learning Index has dropped for the first time. The national average for 2009 is 75, down from 77 last year. Calgary was the top performing city with a score of 89, followed by Victoria with 88 and Saskatoon with 86. The CLI measures youth literacy, PSE participation, high-school dropout rates, job-related training, and Internet access. CCL News Release