Top Ten

December 17, 2020

TRC reconvenes to call on governments, Canadians, to renew commitments to reconciliation

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has reconvened for the first time in five years in order to renew the sense of urgency, purpose, and unity in fulfilling the 94 calls to action. The commissioners said that Canadians from all walks of life embraced the calls to action, but expressed concern about the slow and uneven pace of implementation. “This is not just an Indigenous story. This is about us all as Canadians,” said Murray Sinclair, who chaired the TRC. “This is about how we have been educated. This is about how our ancestors acted and interacted and therefore, we need to figure out how our participation will move this conversation forward.” APTN News additionally described the Indigenous collaborative learning bundles developed by Carleton University as an example of how higher education institutions are working to involve their students in difficult questions around reconciliation and preserve the teachings of traditional knowledge teachers. APTN News | Globe and Mail (National)

In celebration of 20th anniversary of CRC program, Canada invests $195M in 259 chairs

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Canada Research Chair program, Canada has announced an investment of $195M to support 259 new and renewed chairs at 47 institutions. The investment is complemented by nearly $14M in funding for research infrastructure provided to researchers through the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Canada states that the total investment made in 2020 marks the program’s largest investment in a single calendar year. “For over 20 years, the Canada Research Chairs Program has been mobilizing Canada’s most esteemed academics to train and mentor the next generation of researchers and pursue groundbreaking research that responds to society’s economic, social and health needs,” said Navdeep Bains, the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Congratulations to the new and renewed Canada Research Chairs! I look forward to seeing where your research and innovation leads us.” Canada (National)

Research Infosource releases Top 50 Research Colleges ranking

Research Infosource has released the Top 50 Research Colleges rankings for 2020. The corporation states that Canada’s top 50 research colleges reported a total of $227.6M of sponsored research income in Fiscal 2019. The top five colleges by research income were Cégep de Trois Rivières, Lambton College, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Mohawk College, and Red River College. Research income increased at 40 colleges and declined at 10 others, resulting in a reported sponsored research income growth of 28.9%. Research Infosource | Ranking (National)

UCalgary announces tuition hike, student union expresses concerns

The University of Calgary has announced that it will be raising tuition for the second time in two years. The Calgary Herald says that students will experience a fee increase and a tuition increase of 0-15%, depending on program. “The pandemic is not always going to be here;” said Dru Marshall, the U of C's provost and vice-president, “we’re planning for the future, and I think it’s the responsibility of the board to do that.” The university’s student union has expressed concern about students facing the tuition hike. “We have a very unique situation in where we face all of the challenges that are hitting us from multiple fronts — the cost of living, the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of employment and now the rising cost of education,” said Marley Gillies, vice-president external for the Students’ Union. Calgary Herald | CBC (AB)

Apprenticeship program registrations, trades certifications fall in 2019, led by AB declines

Statistics Canada has examined registrations in apprenticeship programs and certifications in the trades in 2019 and found that these both fell from 2018. The decline was led by significant losses in Alberta, where the number of registrations in apprenticeship programs fell by 2,832 to 11,607 – the province’s lowest level in a decade – and certifications fell by 1,266 to a low of 7,665 in 2019. This loss offset the gains seen in Ontario and Quebec. StatCan also reports that the percentage of women choosing men-dominated trades has more than doubled over the past decade. StatCan (National)

BCIT launches Centre for IoT to support digital transformation

The British Columbia Institute of Technology has launched the Centre for the Internet of Things to support digital transformation. The centre will allow engagement with the Internet of Things (IoT) through advanced hands-on education and training, industry collaborations, and research. “We are very excited about the Centre for the Internet of Things. It will provide cutting-edge solutions for industry while supporting faculty and students in gaining real-world experience to embrace and explore possibilities existing within this system,” said Kim Dotto, Dean, Applied Research and the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation at BCIT. “IoT is an emerging technology, a future high-demand profession that is now ready to be implemented by BCIT.” BCIT (BC)

CNA partners with eight high schools to pilot career pathway

College of the North Atlantic will be piloting Technology Career Pathway (TCP) programming to eight provincial high schools in the 2021-22 school year as part of a new partnership. The collaboration is focused on creating new pathways for interested high school students to transition to Information Technology programs at CNA. Students participating in the program will begin coursework in Grade 10 at the high school level, before transitioning to postsecondary courses in programming in Grade 11 and 12. “We are proud to participate in every opportunity for our province’s youth to have ways to enhance their learning experiences, and in this case, even before they enter our door,” said CNA President Elizabeth Kidd. CNA (NL)

IRCC clarifies rules for international students taking courses less than six months long

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has clarified the rules for international students applying to study courses in Canada for a duration of less than six months. The Pie News says that though the documentation says that students cannot attain a study permit for courses that are less than six months long, the IRCC has confirmed that students are allowed to do this. “In the meantime, applicants who wish to apply for a study permit for a short-term program can indicate during the eligibility questionnaire that they intend to stay in Canada for longer than six months,” reads a statement by IRCC. “This will generate their document checklist for a study permit application.” The Pie News (National)

McGill faculty express concern about academic freedom at institution

In an article co-signed by 7 other McGill University faculty members, McGill Professor Samuel Veissière and former professor Julius Grey express their “concern about a growing climate of censorship, defamation, fear and erosion of academic freedom at McGill University.” The concern comes in response to a letter published by the executives of the Students Society of McGill University and seven student associations, which called for an overhaul of McGill’s statement of Academic Freedom in the face of concerns about inclusivity. Veissière and Grey argue that, while they do not wish to censor students and encourage them to critique their professors’ views and publications, “handing over the very definition and implementation of academic freedom to student pressure groups, however, violates the mandate of a university and undermines its raison d’être.” Montreal Gazette | SSMU (QC)

La Cité expands automobile technician programming in Hawkesbury to meet skills demand

La Cité College has expanded skilled trades offerings by offering the third level of its Technicien d’entretien automobile program in Hawkesbury, Ontario. The program will be offered part-time and in the workplace in partnership with employers in the region. La Cité states that the program is the only apprenticeship program of its kind offered in French in the province. The program will help to meet the demand for skilled technicians in the region’s automotive industry. La Cité (FR) (ON)