Top Ten

November 15, 2018

BC developer pledges $50M for grants program

Property developer Ryan Beedie has announced that he will donate $50M to fund Beedie Luminaries, a needs-based grant for post-secondary students in BC's Lower Mainland, reports the Victoria Times Colonist. Valued at $10K each, the grants will be awarded to 50 students who demonstrate “resilience, determination, empathy and purpose, as well as academic readiness.” The Times Colonist adds that recipients will also receive help from a support network that consists of mentors, community partners, and corporate leaders. “There are many bright, driven young people who simply cannot afford post-secondary education,” Beedie said. “Beedie Luminaries will break down that barrier and give them a leg up so they reach their full potential.” Times Colonist (BC)

Laurentian students vote in favour of mental health funding, reject fee hike for varsity sports

Laurentian University students have voted in favour of a $50 fee to support mental health services on campus, CBC reports. Laurentian VP of Student Life, Enrolment Management and International Chris Mercer told CBC that the fee will double the university’s current mental health budget of $400K. “So this is about the students meeting us at our investment level, where together we can define and develop a mental health program and suite of supports that is more responsive to their needs,” said Mercer. CBC adds that students rejected a proposal to pay an additional $50 for varsity athletics, for which they currently pay $90 per year. CBC (Sudbury, ON)

SAIT receives $2M for electrical trades from late businessman

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has received $2M from the estate of Randy O’Dell, reports the Calgary Herald. The private donation from the late founder of O’Dell Electric Ltd.—said to be the largest in SAIT’s history—will go toward the creation of the Randy O’Dell Centre for Electrical Trades. Sherry Payne, executrix of O’Dell’s estate, told the Herald that almost all of O’Dell Electric’s apprentices had come through SAIT. “He was very proud of the people that we had on staff at O’Dell, and it just made sense to give back to the industry that gave him such a successful career,” added Payne. Calgary Herald (Calgary, AB)

Canada Research Chairs program announces 2018 allocations

Minister of Science and Sport Kristy Duncan has announced 285 new chair allocations and an additional research stipend for first-term Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs. A release states that the allocations reflect the 2018 budget for the Canada Research Chairs program, in which the CRCP will receive $210M over five years in addition to an ongoing fund of $50M each year. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council will each receive 14 Tier 1 and 90 Tier 2 Chairs. 7 Tier 1 and 53 Tier 2 Chairs will go to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and 17 Tier 2 Chairs have been allocated for Special chairs. Canada (National)

UBCO opens innovation hub for startups

Global News reports that UBC Okanagan has launched the Innovation UBC Kelowna Hub. The Hub will help students turn their ideas into new products and services, partner startups with mentors, and support young entrepreneurs in securing grants, Global states. Camille Saltman, UBCO’s Director of Entrepreneurship, said that several startups have already benefitted from the Hub. “We were amazed that 17 deals, right out of the gate, were willing to sign up and participate,” Saltman told Global. The Hub is available to researchers, students, recent alumni, and UBCO staff. Global News (Kelowna, BC)


UQAM to let students use names of their own choice

Students at the Université du Québec à Montréal will soon have the option to request that instructors call them by a name of their choosing, reports La Presse. According to a UQAM release, the initiative aims to facilitate diversity and inclusion, as transgender people and international students sometimes ask to be called by names other than those on their legal documents. Danielle Laberge, Vice-Rector of Academic Life, stated that UQAM is the first Francophone university in QC to adopt the policy, which reflects recent changes in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. La Presse | UQAM (Montréal, QC)


PEI government tables bill to make sexual violence policies mandatory at post-secondary institutions

CBC has learned that the Prince Edward Island government is tabling a bill that would require the University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College to develop policies and processes that address sexual violence amongst students. The bill also requires that the two institutions review their sexual violence policies every three years—unless otherwise directed by the provincial minister—and to consider input from students. Sonny Gallant, PEI’s Minister of Workforce and Advanced Learning, stated that the bill was put forward after input from stakeholders including UPEI’s student union and the national advocacy group Our Turn. CBC(PEI)


USB celebrates new service centre

The Université de Saint-Boniface has constructed a new service centre for its science labs. According to a release, the centre will facilitate botanical research and provide secure storage spaces for chemicals and pathogens. The centre was funded by a joint investment of $1.5M from the Government of Canada and Government of Manitoba, and an additional $478K from USB. USB vice-rector René Bouchard explained that the centre features state-of-the-art equipment and secure areas to comply with applicable health and safety regulations, as well as the necessary infrastructure for growing scientific research programs and alliances. USB (Winnipeg, MB)

MUHC announces $11M for out-of-the-box research projects

The Montreal Gazette reports that the McGill University Health Centre is putting $11M towards new research through a $100K annual grant that will be awarded to scientists for the most outstanding “out-of-the-box” research projects. “This kind of support allows us to take that risk and do avant-garde research,” said MUHC Scientist Donald Vinh, adding that 50% of unconventional patient-centred research in the US results in clinical breakthroughs within five years of funding. The annual competition has reportedly received $3M from the Trottier Family and R Howard Webster foundations. Montreal Gazette (Montréal, QC)

Canada announces $1.8M for language projects for MB Indigenous communities

The Government of Canada has announced that it is providing $1.8M over two years to preserve, promote, and revitalize Indigenous languages in Manitoba. The funding is provided through the Aboriginal Languages Initiative, which supports 16 community-based projects that include language camps, classes, nests, and master-apprentice programs offered to Indigenous communities. The University of Winnipeg has received a combined $138K towards the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre and the Summer Institute for Six Seasons of the Asiniskow Ithiniwak Project, while the University College of the North received $53K for Aski Achimowin. Newswire | UWinnipeg (MB)