Top Ten

May 31, 2019

BC asks institutions to review policies following money-laundering investigation

Melanie Mark, British Columbia’s Minister of Advanced Education, has requested that the province’s colleges and universities report their cash-transaction policies in the wake of a study that identified postsecondary education as a sector vulnerable to money laundering schemes. Mark stated that the 25 public and 342 private institutions will report to her within one month. "We don't know the magnitude, the breadth," added Mark. "All we know is that there have been allegations through the second German report that indicate that post-secondary institutions both public and private may be used.” According to study author Peter German, students might be using cash-for-cheque tactics to launder proceeds for crime. German’s study does not suggest that the institutions were aware of the schemes, states the Richmond News. Richmond News | CTV(BC)

Hydro-Québec, UQTR Research chair focused on smart electricity networks

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and Hydro-Québec have partnered to create a new research chair focused on developing smart electricity networks. The chair will be held by Electrical Engineering Professor Kodjo Agbossou, who explained that consumers are taking on a more participatory role in electricity with smart appliances, easier access to renewable energy, and other developments. The new research chair will focus on helping electricity providers adapt to this new reality and develop management approaches that take advantage of promising technology. Hydro Québec and  NSERC have invested $929K and $920K, respectively, toward the chair. UQTR states that the funds will support salaries and bursaries for researchers and students.

Cohen: University libraries and the “peril of glorified wallpaper”

Although several studies have demonstrated that university libraries are circulating significantly less books than they used to, library spaces remain vibrant spaces for teaching, studying, and learning, writes Dan Cohen. The relatively recent ubiquity of digital resources accounts for one aspect of the university library’s changing role, he adds. However, educators also need to be cognizant of team-based projects and active learning strategies as catalysts for a gradual, yet persistent, shift in how new forms of scholarship are conducted. Cohen concludes that  university librarians need to strike a balance between hardbound books as legitimate resources and “glorified wallpaper.” Atlantic

Plans changed for UVic property initially earmarked for student housing

The University of Victoria has announced a new proposal for the future of its Broad Street properties, which will "honour the legacy of donor Michael Williams" by extending the life of the Duck Building, contributing to the Old Town district, and supporting Victoria's tourism sector with a new hotel. The UVic Graduate Students’ Society expressed their frustrated at the planned usage, as according to the Times Colonist states that the location was originally to be developed into a seven-storey condo building with UVic graduate students receiving preference for the rentable units. “It was a surprise, a disappointment,” said UVic GSS Chairman Mehdi Hashemi, who said he hopes the university can now direct money from a hotel to urgently needed student housing. UVic Properties President Peter Kuran stated that there "is a very realistic chance" that some of the revenue of the leased property will be used for student housing. UVic | Times Colonist

Canadore trains meat processors for new facility

Canadore College has agreed to help train workers for its soon-to-be-built meat processing facility in North Bay. The college’s board of governors have approved the meat processing fundamentals certificate that will train meat processors in meat cutting and packaging, anatomical structure, technological equipment, and health and safety requirements. The 600-hour certificate program will include a mandatory paid work placement. The facility, owned by Canada Meat Group Inc., broke ground in September and is expected to be opened in early August. Nugget

Portage, UCalgary renew pathway for social work students

Portage College and the University of Calgary have renewed a pathway agreement that will allow graduates of Portage’s Community Social Work diploma to complete a Bachelor of Social Work degree at UCalgary. Portage states that the pathway enables students to begin their studies in a familiar region with a smaller ratio of faculty to students before transferring to a larger institution. “It is a great opportunity for students to pursue their Bachelor of Social Work Degree,” said Portage Dean of Human Services Robin Tizzard. “We're excited to continue this wonderful relationship for our students to complete their degree at an institution they aspire to attend.” Portage

Reptiles, wetlands, and rocks: Lakehead program promises hands-on environmental stewardship

Lakehead University, in partnership with Ontario Nature, will deliver the Ontario Master Naturalist program this summer. A Lakehead release states that the eight-day certificate course—made up of fieldwork and classroom sessions—will include topics on reptiles, wetlands, and rocks. “There is such a strong, active naturalist community out there that has a great appetite for the type of research and education that this program provides,” said Program Coordinator Bob Bowles. “We are hoping that this program will also help to provide the foundation from which naturalists, new and old, can expand their studies and research.” Lakehead

Burnaby council approves further study into gondola for SFU

City councilors in Burnaby, BC have voted in favour of further study into a cable tramway to Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby Mountain campus. Early studies found that the gondola–proposed to run from the SkyTrain station at the foot of the mountain to campus–would ease overcrowding on public transit and have environmental benefits. The Times Colonist reports that this is the first time council has endorsed a gondola, although no funds have been committed to the project. "(It's) double the capacity of the existing buses, you have huge travel time savings for students, you have 1,870 tonnes of greenhouse gases that will be saved every year, and no more snow days,” explained Colin Fowler, spokesman for Build the SFU Gondola. Vancouver Sun | Times Colonist

Queen’s bans smoking, vaping, and tobacco

Queen’s University is banning smoking, vaping, and tobacco on campus. “The health and well-being of everyone on the Queen’s campus are of utmost importance to me, and to the entire senior university administration,” said Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf. “We want our community members to feel their best—and living, working, and studying in a smoke-free environment is a key step toward that goal.” A release adds that the university will make exceptions for Indigenous use of traditional medicines, approved teaching and research, and prescribed medical cannabis. Queen's

MUN researchers collaborate to investigate alternative energy

In an effort to ensure Newfoundland & Labrador and Memorial University are at the forefront of "a changing research and education landscape," faculty areshifting their academic programming and research to address issues related to climate change, reports CBC."We have a number of initiatives, both academic programs and research activities, that are addressing this challenging issue of climate change," said MUN Dean of Engineering and Applied Science Greg Naterer. "There are many ways that our professors are developing technologies that are having a reduced impact on the environment, reducing greenhouse gas emissions … as well as teaching in courses that are making students aware of this." MUN Professor Kelly Hawboldt added that the faculty are conducting research into alternative uses for carbon, as well as ways to replace carbon as fuel. CBC