Top Ten

March 21, 2019

Budget 2019 features lifelong learning, work placements, innovation

The federal government has announced that it plans to add 40,000 new work placements by 2023-24 and 44,000 work-integrated learning opportunities by 2021. According to Universities Canada, the 2019 budget also includes a five-year $114M investment into research and innovation, as well as $26.5M per year for the federal granting councils’ Canada Graduate Scholarship program. The Financial Postadds that a new tax credit will enable workers to claim half the cost of a course or training program. Additionally, they may take up to four weeks off and receive employment insurance coverage for 55% of their average weekly income. The Post reports that the program will not be slated to launch before the federal election. Financial Post Universities Canada | CFS (National)

UVic to create national centre for Indigenous law, Reconciliation

A national centre for Indigenous law and reconciliation at the University of Victoria has taken a major step toward completion with a $9.1M funding commitment from the federal government. A UVic release states that the national centre of excellence for the study and understanding of Indigenous laws will house the world’s first joint degree in Indigenous Legal Orders and Canadian Common Law (JD/JID), launched at UVic last September. UVic adds that the design of the building will reflect modern and traditional values of the Coast Salish peoples, welcoming students, academics, and community members from all nations for engagement, debate, and public education. UVic | Times Colonist (BC)

ON survey finds that 63% of university, 50% of college students report sexual harassment

Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities has called the results of a recent province-wide survey on campus sexual harassment disturbing. Of the 116,000 university respondents and 42,000 college respondents, 63% of university students and nearly 50% of college students said that they had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their time at school. MTCU Minisiter Merrilee Fullerton added that the government has committed $6M to support campus sexual violence programming. The government said it will also require schools to report annually on the measures taken to support students who have experienced sexual violence, review their sexual violence policies, and form task forces to address the issue by September. CBC | Sudbury Star Hamilton Spectator (ON)

McGill researchers receive $3.7M in funding from Canada, QC

15 McGill researchers have received $3.7M in federal grants through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R Evans Leaders Fund, with each recipient also receiving matching funds from the Quebec government. Among the projects funded will be efforts to improve batteries in electric vehicles and develop off-grid energy storage solutions that maximize intermittent renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. “The latest CFI investments provide our researchers with the foundational infrastructure needed to become leading-edge contributors in diverse research fields ranging from mechanical engineering to dermatology,” said McGill Vice-Principal of Research and Innovation Martha Crago. McGill (QC)

Canada provides $275M in funding to over 370 research projects through CIHR

The Government of Canada has invested $275M in over 370 health research projects across Canada through Canadian Institutes of Health Research funding. CIHR states that 82 of the grants were awarded to early career researchers, and that 11 grants were focused on Indigenous health research. “Health research has the power to help us tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing us as a society, and Canadians should be proud of the incredible work being done from coast to coast to coast,” said CIHR President Michael Strong. “As a researcher myself, I can say that the work is rarely glamourous—but it is always worthwhile, and I am excited to watch these CIHR-funded projects unfold.” CanadaCIHR (National)

New USask initiative supports Indigenous engineers

The University of Saskatchewan has launched a new program to secure more spots for Indigenous students in its engineering program, reports Global News. The program is part of the university’s Indigenous Peoples Initiatives Community, which is designed to help Indigenous students build the necessary academic foundation to successfully complete a degree. “A degree in engineering provides these students with the tools and qualifications they need to become outstanding role models for the next generations of Indigenous engineers,” said Al Shpyth, Director of the International Minerals Innovation Institute, which helped fund the initiative. Global News USask (SK)

UQAR launches revamped Master’s in Regional and Territorial Development

Students interested in analyzing the development challenges of regions and territories will find new opportunities to build their skills through a revamped Masters of Regional and Territorial Development at Université du Québec à Rimouski. A UQAR release states that the new program is an interdisciplinary Master's degree that addresses the economic, political, social, cultural, historical, and geographic dimensions of regional development in a more critical way. Additionally, the revamped program will integrate an optional internship and feature up-to-date training that takes into account the advancement of current knowledge and practices in regional development. UQAR (QC)

SFU breaks ground on new sports stadium

Simon Fraser University has broken ground at its Terry Fox field, officially marking the start of the construction of the university’s new sports stadium. Jointly funded by SFU and the Simon Fraser Student Society, the stadium will be the first-ever permanent outdoor home for SFU Athletics. "Not only will it be a great place to come and watch some fabulous sports activities, and our football and soccer teams compete in the NCAA, but it will also mean the Terry Fox field can be used for other events like concerts or gatherings, as well as a whole bunch of student orientation events,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. The stadium is slated to open in Summer 2020.SFU | Daily Hive (BC)

SAIT launches first-of-its-kind Water Management program

SAIT Polytechnic has announced the launch of a new water-focused environmental diploma program, which it states is the first of its kind in Canada. The two-year Integrated Water Management program will combine classroom studies, virtual reality labs, and field work to train graduates to work in a variety of environmental and industrial fields. “They’ll get hands-on experience as part of the curriculum, which is different than perhaps the typical university model,” said SAIT President David Ross. “This is the program of the future. This new program with strengthen the technical knowledge of emerging water professionals, including science, regulatory, financial and societal requirements.” The program is supported by a $1M contribution from Imperial Oil. Calgary Herald (AB)

UQTR inaugurates Desjardin Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub

The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières has inaugurated its Desjardin Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub. A release states that the Hub is designed to promote entrepreneurship and innovation while offering information-oriented and skills-based services. UQTR Rector Rector Daniel McMahon called the Hub a gateway to university entrepreneurship where ideas turn into action. UQTR adds that the Hub is also involved in collaborations with Open Trois-Rivières, the Quebec School of Entrepreneurs, the Social Economy Poles, and the Entrepreneurial Zone. UQTR (QC)