Top Ten

March 22, 2021

AB expects postsecondary institutions to resume in-person learning for fall semester

The Government of Alberta has announced that AB postsecondary institutions are expected to prepare for an in-person fall semester. CBC says that the Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides and the province’s chief medical officer of health Dr Deena Hinshaw will be working together to ensure that the transition back to campus in September is done safely. “I encourage all post-secondary institutions, students and families to prepare for a full return to on-campus learning this September,” said Nicolaides. “As we plan to transition back to in-person learning, the safety of students, staff and faculty will be our top priority.” CBC (AB)

ON announces new supports for PSE, OSAP for micro-credentials

The Government of Ontario has announced a $106.4M investment in Canadian colleges and universities to support the sustainability of the postsecondary sector. This fund will provide immediate, targeted support for the institutions that are most affected by decreases in tuition and ancillary revenues and have incurred expenses related to the pandemic. ON also announced it will be expanding the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to include nearly 600 micro-credentials, ensuring financial assistance for more learners to upskill or reskill to meet the needs of industry. Last year, ON announced it would be investing in the establishment of micro-credentials in the province. ON (1) | ON (2) (ON)

Canada invests $12M in bursaries for Anglophone students studying in French

The Government of Canada will be investing $12M over four years to fund the Bursary Program for Post-Secondary Studies in French as a Second Language. The program gives bursaries to Anglophone students who are pursuing postsecondary studies in French, with students who are facing financial difficulties or who are from underrepresented groups receiving special attention. The program aims to contribute to bilingualism through supporting students in building employable language skills. “Pursuing a post-secondary education in their second official language is a big step,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “The Government of Canada is committed to helping them succeed, because they are laying the foundation for strong and sustainable bilingualism that benefits everyone.” CBC | NewsWire (National)

Addressing false claims of Indigenous heritage: Opinion

False claims of Indigenous heritage that take advantage of postsecondary educational opportunities are becoming increasingly common, writes Sarah Jacknife, and need to be addressed by postsecondary institutions. The author explains that non-Indigenous students are increasingly capitalizing on the opportunity to self-declare a Métis Indigenous identity to gain resources such as academic grants, but choose not to speak out about racism or build the community. The article describes how postsecondary institutions need to develop policies to create guidelines about documentation and Indigenous heritage, and to create a process for complex cases. “[S]elf-identification policies need to be developed to ensure that education is accessible to those who need it the most,” concludes Jacknife. CBC (National)

Laurentian president urges Senate, other parties to work together

Laurentian University president Robert Haché has urged all parties involved in mediation to “come together as a community and find a solution that moves us forward,” and has emphasized that if Laurentian’s restructuring plans are not approved, Laurentian will cease to function on April 30. Elliot Lake Today explained that some Laurentian Senate members have been displeased with the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act’s tight timeline and have attempted to make a motion that would allow more time for discussion of the proposals. “If we are not successful in mediation with all the different parties, including the Senate, if the recommendation to the Senate is turned down, the university will cease to function as of April 30,” said Haché. “There’s nobody out there with a big cheque for us.” Elliot Lake Today (ON)

OCADU launches Centre for the Study of Black Canadian Diaspora

OCAD University has announced the launch of a new Centre for the Study of Black Canadian Diaspora, which will showcase the works of Black artists and craftspeople from across Canada. Dr Andrea Fatona, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Canadian Black Diasporic Cultural Production, is leading the centre. “Anti-Black racism has shaped the way in which Blackness has been present in Canada, and also incredibly absent,” said Dr Fatona. “So, this project is about rectifying that erasure or minimal exposure, and achieving formal recognition of Black folks who have contributed to the sphere of fine arts in Canada.” Work is being done by Dr Fatona and her team to research, identify, and digitize visual artworks produced by Black Canadians from 1987 to the present. A team of experts is serving as an advisory committee to guide the work. OCADU (ON)

DUC, USask launch Ducks Unlimited Endowed Chair

Ducks Unlimited Canada is launching the Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) Endowed Chair in Wetland and Waterfowl Conservation at the University of Saskatchewan. The endowed chair, funded through a $5M fundraising initiative, will focus on research relating to wetland and waterfowl conservation, which will connect to global issues such as water and food security. Mitch Weegman has been appointed chair, and will research environmental issues as well as spend time teaching and mentoring USask students. “In the coming years, Mitch and his students will launch new projects and collaborations to build upon USask’s already established research excellence,” said Peta Bonham-Smith, dean of the College of Arts and Science at USask. “We are proud to partner with Ducks Unlimited Canada on advancing conservation science and creating outstanding new opportunities for our students.” DUC | USask (SK)

Western, Fanshawe partner with LEDC, Knighthunter, OCC

The London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), Knighthunter, and Outcome Campus Connect (OCC) have partnered with Western University and Fanshawe College to support students and recent graduates seeking employment in the region. The partnership will allow local employers to post directly on Western’s and Fanshawe’s job opportunity pages using OCC’s technology. “This first of its kind multi-faceted partnership will make it easier for young talent to find local employment opportunities while giving employers more exposure to a talent pipeline,” said Kapil Lakhotia, President & CEO London Economic Development Corporation. “This strategic alliance incorporates bridging support for young people, employers and industry with leading technology.” LEDC (ON)

UOttawa professor attacks Québec in racial statements on social networks

Journal de Montréal reports that Amir Attaran, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, has made racial statements about Québec and Québec’s government on social networks. The articles state that Attaran refers to Québec as a racist province, calls premier François Legault a white supremacist, and accuses Québec of practicing “medical lynching” in the deaths of Indigenous and Black people. Parti Québécois leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon has told the Montréal Gazette that the party intends to file a complaint with UOttawa over these statements. Journal de Montréal explains that though UOttawa is dissociating itself from Attaran’s comments, it is not able to intervene because of issues around freedom of expression, as the statements were made outside of UOttawa. Journal de Montréal (1) | Journal de Montréal (2) | Journal de Montréal (3) | Montréal Gazette (QC)

Brock’s Goodman School of Business receives BSIS label

Brock University has announced that its Goodman School of Business has received the Business School Impact System (BSIS) label, which recognizes the local and global contributions that the School makes. The BSIS external review highlights Goodman’s economic impact, co-op students, experiential class projects, faculty service hours, and diversity. “The report identifies areas for us to apply our resources to further enhance our local and global impact,” said Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes. “Following through on the recommendations is an important part of attaining the BSIS label and we are excited to move forward on implementing them.” Brock says that Goodman is the third North American business school to receive this label. Brock (ON)