Top Ten

December 5, 2019

NB auditor general slams province for $100M spend that resulted in no new nursing seats

New Brunswick's auditor general has strongly criticized the province for spending nearly $100M since 2015 in an effort to increase its number of nursing graduates, yet seeing a decline in overall numbers over that period. The funding was reportedly designed to create more seats at the Université de Moncton and University of New Brunswick, yet Auditor General Kim MacPherson stated this week that the money has resulted in no new seats. MacPherson also noted that the government continued to give money to the schools even when they were “aware the targets weren't being met.” UMoncton President Jacques-Paul Couturier said that despite the school’s best efforts, demographic factors kept its number of nursing graduates from growing. Both Couturier and UNB President Paul Mazerolle have said that their schools have returned the money that was earmarked for new seats that were not created. CBC (NB)

UQAM receives $1.8M to establish scholarship fund for FN, Inuit students studying law

The Université du Québec à Montréal has received $1.8M as part of its major fundraising campaign, 100 millions d’idées, to create scholarships for First Nations and Inuit students studying law at the university. Described by UQAM as the largest donation from an individual in the university’s history, the funds will help establish the Albert-Leblanc Fund, a bursary that will be award two $30K scholarships each year to First Nations and Inuit students from Québec who are enrolled in a BA of Law in the faculty of Political Science and Law. UQAM | Journal de Montréal (QC)

McGill Student’s Society drops motion to reprimand member for accepting free trip to Israel

The Student’s Society of McGill University (SSMU) has announced the repeal of a resolution drafted last week that would have seen a student leader reprimanded for accepting an all-expenses paid trip to Israel. The trip, which is funded by Hillel Montréal, coordinates student interaction with local journalists and politicians to promote a robust understanding the conflicts and geopolitical forces in Israel. Three students accepted the trip invitation, but only the name of the sole Jewish student in the group, Jordyn Wright, appeared on the SSMU motion. While the SSMU argued that the trip violated the organization’s conflict-of-interest-policy, Wright stated that the SSMU’s actions were “thinly veiled anti-Semitism.” During a meeting of its board of directors late Monday night, the SSMU voted to drop the motion. National Post | Montréal Gazette (QC)

SFU expands environmental initiatives through carbon-related divestments, recycling station

Simon Fraser University has doubled down on its environmental initiatives through a commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of its investment portfolio, as well as the launch of a new recycling station. Last week, SFU’s Board of Governors passed a motion affirming the school’s commitment to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of the public equity portion of the $900M investment portfolio by 45% by 2025. Although SFU’s target was increased in September 2018 to 40% by 2030, the school opted to increase the target again while tightening the timeframe. In addition, SFU has installed their first Express & Go recycling station that simplifies the process of recycling refundable beverage containers. SFU | SFU (2) (BC)

Waterloo region students take fight for better housing to city council

University and college students in the Waterloo region took their battle for better housing to the City of Waterloo Council this Monday. During the meeting, students raised many housing concerns—homelessness, illegal key deposit fees, unaffordable rent, and pests—asking the City to do more to protect housing rights and take further action against predatory landlords. Councilor Jeff Henry indicated that city hall is considering several options for addressing students’ complaints, including educating students on housing rights, advocating for change with the provincial government, more actively enforcing city bylaws against substandard housing, and supporting tenant advocacy groups. "Everybody deserves a safe place to live," Henry said. | CBC (ON)

Canada can do better at employing highly educated immigrants: StatsCan

A new Statistics Canada study has found that recent immigrants in Canada were more likely to be over-educated for jobs than recent immigrants in the United States. In 2016, 35% of immigrants aged 25 to 64 who have arrived in Canada within the last 10 years with at least a bachelor's degree were over-educated, compared to 21% of those in the US. The study uses the term ‘over-education’ to refer to situations where people with at least a bachelor’s degree hold a job that requires only a high school diploma or less. “Over-education leads to inefficient use of human capital and lost productivity,” the report explains. iPolitics reporter Jolson Lim also adds that such findings raise questions about whether Canada’s immigration system can be more efficient at employing a highly-educated workforce. StatsCan | iPolitics (National)

UVic project receives $1M to provide low-cost prostheses to remote, underserved communities

A University of Victoria initiative has received a $1M award from the 2019 TD Ready Challenge to provide low-cost prosthetics to remote and underserved communities in Canada and the US. With the new funding, the not-for-profit Victoria Hands Project (VHP) will be able to provide low-cost 3D-printed prosthetic hands to Canadian and American amputees, and to initiate UVic research trials on new 3D-printed spinal braces designed to treat scoliosis in children. “By leveraging new technologies and engineering design, along with our clinical partnerships, we are able to create health care technology that is accessible for many people who normally cannot afford this care,” said UVic VHP Executive Director Nick Dechev. UVic | Time’s Colonist (BC)

Yukon, CAFN partner to deliver new Interpretive Guiding course

Yukon College, in partnership with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN), has launched a new Interpretive Guiding course named, Dän Dákeyi Uyenjì, or ‘that person knows our country.’ The program, which began in September, equips students with skills and certifications to work as wilderness guides and interpreters, and maintain land-based, culturally focused employment on their traditional lands. The five-month program is based in a wall tent on Yukon’s Ayamdigut campus and features regular backcountry excursions in CAFN Traditional Territory. “Our land holds our stories and our identity as a people,” said CAFN Chief Dän nätthe äda Kaaxnox. “Having guides who have roots in our Traditional Territory brings a whole new dimension to interpretive guiding and also provides opportunities for our student experts to showcase their knowledge.” NationTalk (YK)

Funding renewal supports Conestoga delivery of training in long-term care

Conestoga College has announced that it will continue to offer its Excellence in Resident-Centred Care (ERCC) course in partnership with the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (CLRI), thanks to the extension of $4M in funding provided to the Personal Support Worker Education Fund. The training will allow the college to continue to provide support to long-term care homes through the ERCC course, which provides personal support workers who complete the ERCC training course with the skills and information necessary to deliver the ERCC Team Member Course to their colleagues. “We are thrilled the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long-Term Care continue to invest in ERCC and see the value this training brings to long-term care organizations across Ontario," said Conestoga Director of Seniors Care, Schlegel Centre for Advancing Seniors Care Michelle Heyer. Conestoga (ON)

UoGuelph renews, creates new partnerships with four Indian postsecondary institutions

The University of Guelph has renewed one and created three new agreements with postsecondary institutions in India to expand agricultural, technological, and animal science research. UoGuelph renewed its formal relationship with Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, and created a new partnership with Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, to facilitate research and initiatives regarding animal health. In addition, UoGuelph signed a new agreement with Haryana Agricultural University to further strengthen research on crop development and animal science, while the institution’s partnership with Guru Jambheshwar University will build upon the institutions’ strengthens in marketing and nanotechnology. UoGuelph (ON)