Top Ten

January 3, 2018

USask receives $2M grant to tackle HIV, Hep C among SK First Nations

The University of Saskatchewan has received a $2M grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to bolster a program that aims to tackle HIV, Hepatitis C, and other blood-borne diseases among Saskatchewan First Nation groups. USask researcher Stuart Skinner explained that the Know Your Status program integrates western medicine and traditional Indigenous knowledge, and that it aims to expand local doctors' knowledge and ability to treat infectious diseases. The five-year project involves 50 people, about half of whom are Indigenous community members, chiefs, and persons who have personally experienced infections. “This is their program,” said Skinner. “The communities themselves, the leaders and the people who are affected are the ones who design the program, design the treatment, and we're just following what they want us to do.” CBC

CNN demands UOttawa, UofT, Sick Kids hand over files related to defamation lawsuit

CNN is pressing the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, and Sick Kids Hospital to hand over private files on a heart surgeon after the surgeon filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN. The Ottawa Citizen highlights the accolades of the career of heart surgeon Michael Black, which “effectively ended” after CNN published “Secret Deaths: CNN Finds High Surgical Death Rate for Children at a Florida Hospital.” CNN has since demanded details of “complaints, accolades, awards, performance or performance reviews,” and other records from U of T, where Black attended medical school; UOttawa, where he trained; and Sick Kids, where he completed a surgical fellowship. Ottawa Citizen

NBCC, Study Abroad Canada partner on program pathways, sharing expertise

New Brunswick Community College and Study Abroad Canada have signed an MoU to explore collaboration opportunities. In particular, the two parties will work together to create an English for Academic Purposes pathway, market and promote programs in international markets, develop and offer workshops and internships, and offer certification programs for Chinese students and professionals. “NBCC has set goals of welcoming significantly more learners over the next five years and building our capacity for growth,” said NBCC Vice-President of Academic Development Mary Butler. “To achieve this, we must explore opportunities for new collaborations, such as this partnership with Study Abroad Canada, which will help NBCC to reach more learners.” NBCC

UNB to develop smart grid solutions for industry and utilities

The University of New Brunswick has received an investment of over $4.3M from the Government of Canada and Emera Inc to pursue improved and refined smart grid solutions for industry and utilities. The funding will go towards a project that will see researchers design, build, test, and demonstrate a suite of distributed energy resource solutions that can be commercialized by industry and implemented by utilities. “Smart grid solutions is an emerging market sector that will become increasingly critical as utilities transition from fossil fuels to more efficient and reliable systems using renewable energy,” said Matt DeCourcey, a member of Parliament for Fredericton. “Investing in UNB’s smart grid project represents a world first in research and commercialization, and will help us create jobs and build a clean-growth economy.” UNB

Carleton establishes a chair for the study of conjuring arts

Carleton University has announced the creation of the Allan Slaight Chair for the Study of the Conjuring Arts, thanks to a $2M leadership gift from the Slaight Family Foundation that was matched by the university. “Magic has always been an important part of my father’s life, and we are thrilled to partner with Carleton on the establishment of this Chair,” said Gary Slaight. “I’ve been involved with Carleton’s television and radio programs in the past and impressed by the university’s reputation and dedication to students.” Conjuring arts are a growing subject of academic interest in areas such as the history of warfare, the use of political persuasion, and neuroscience. Ottawa Citizen | Carleton

StFX, CCC sign three-year agreement to research cannabis  

Late last December, St Francis Xavier University signed a three-year agreement with Cultivator Catalyst Corporation that will see the two organizations collaborate on research on the development of proprietary solutions for the commercial cannabis industry. In particular, StFX and CCC will collaborate on research into areas such as new delivery methods and mechanisms for taking cannabis into the human body and cultivating cannabis on an industrial scale, as well as assistance in sourcing human capital for CCC. “There are researchers at StFX with interest and expertise in cannabinoid compounds and how they may provide benefit for a variety of medical conditions,” said StFX Manager of Industry Liaison and Technology Transfer Andrew Kendall. “We are also interested in research into cannabinoids from a harm reduction perspective.” StFX

ON colleges, faculty have new collective bargaining agreement

Both local unions and the body representing Ontario’s public colleges have praised the decision of a provincially appointed arbitrator that was released late last December. The ruling includes a four-year contract with wage increases of 1.75% retroactive to October 1st, 2017, with increases of 2% in each of the following three years. It also establishes a seniority system for partial-load faculty, as well as a provincial task force to examine faculty complement, precarious work, provincial funding of colleges, and other such issues. "We have a workable award that is in the best interests of all parties and we want to thank the arbitrator for his efforts," said Sonia Del Missier, Chair of the Colleges' Bargaining Team. “We will be focused on rebuilding our positive working relationship with faculty that is in the best interests of the colleges, our students, and our communities.” CBC

AB school division offers tuition to UCalgary, housing, to attract more teachers  

In order to attract more teachers, Northland School Division has set aside $250K to pay support staff to complete a Bachelor of Education degree through the University of Calgary’s community-based program, and is asking for $6M to replenish and replace rental housing for teachers in remote communities. “We want to be fully staffed, and we’re not, and we’re not having success in recruiting,” said Northland superintendent Gord Atkinson. “We need a good, strong system that allows us to have a pipeline to teachers.” The vast majority of the district’s 2,600 students are First Nations, Métis, and Inuit, and Atkinson explained that professional retainment would likely improve if the district was able to hire teachers who knew the students, the families, and the languages, customs, and traditions of local people. Edmonton Journal

Boréal's Diagnostic Ultrasound Program Receives Six-Year Accreditation

Collège Boréal has announced that the Diagnostic Sonography program has received six-year accreditation from the Canadian Medical Association. “At Collège Boréal, we are committed to delivering programs and services of superior quality,” said Boréal President Daniel Giroux. “This accreditation reflects the excellence of our Diagnostic Ecography program and is a testament to the commitment and expertise of our school staff.” The accreditation process included a self-assessment, the verification of documents, and an on-site visit. The six-year accreditation is provided only to those programs that comply with five evaluation requirements. Boréal

UTSC, Centennial develop new paths to a university degree  

The University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus and Centennial College have signed an MoU that establishes three facilitated transfer pathways between the college’s Liberal Arts program and UTSC. The College to University Pathway sees Centennial students seamlessly move into a UTSC degree program with advanced standing; the Redirect Pathway allows students who meet Centennial’s admission requirements, but not UTSC’s, to begin at the college and later join UTSC; and the Second Chance Pathway allows poor-performing UTSC students to transfer into Centennial and later rejoin UTSC’s degree programs. “It’s in all of our interests that students—particularly those who are otherwise underrepresented in our catchment—keep their options open and have access to a university degree,” said UTSC Vice-Principal Academic and Dean Bill Gough. UTSC