Top Ten

August 4, 2021

Access Copyright cannot force tariffs on York, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the Access Copyright collective does not have the legal power to force York University to pay fees for the use of published works in the classroom after bowing out of a formal arrangement with the collective. Access Copyright and York had a license agreement until 2010, after which license renewal negotiations between the two parties “hit a stalemate” and York withdrew from the agreement. When York later introduced its own fair dealing guidelines, Access Copyright took legal action against the university to enforce an interim tariff. In this most recent ruling, Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Abella reportedly made the conclusion that tariffs are not mandatory for users who choose not to be licensed on the approved terms. York has issued a statement indicating that it is “pleased that the Court affirmed the voluntary nature of the tariff and the ability of educational institutions to obtain license rights from other sources.” Times Colonist | iPolitics | York (ON)

Faculty call on institutions, provinces to implement mandatory vaccines, masks

Faculty and faculty associations in several provinces have recently penned letters and articles calling for stronger mandates around COVID-19 for students and staff returning to campus. In a letter to the editor of the Edmonton Journal, University of Alberta professor Dr J Nelson Amaral called for a mask mandate on campus, as “simple measures … could reduce the risk of a critical public health situation before the end of fall.” CBC reports that the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations and the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association have called for mandatory vaccination requirements for postsecondary institutions. In a new Maclean’s article, University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran and Western University professor Jacob Shelley argue that Ontario-based institutions have the legal grounds to require vaccines and assert that those without a vaccine requirement are taking an “anti-scientific” stance that is “palpably inferior to the world’s best.” University of British Columbia Professor Debra Parkes and UOttawa Professor Carissma Mathen penned a letter for the Vancouver Sun also asserting that “there is a sound constitutional basis on which universities can require proof of vaccination status, during a pandemic, as a condition of enrolment." CBC | Edmonton Journal | Maclean’s | Vancouver Sun (National)

Sask Polytech, CFLAA partner to allow members, spouses access to continuing education

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has partnered with the Canadian Football League Alumni Association (CFLAA) to give CFLAA members and spouses access to education through Sask Polytech’s School of Continuing Education. Through the partnership, Canadian Football League alumni and their spouses will be able to access courses and programs such as diplomas, certificates, degrees, and micro-credentials through a tuition benefit program. Eligible individuals will also have access to career counselling and preparedness. “We are ready to assist CFLAA members in moving the chains towards careers beyond the football field,” says Sask Polytech President Dr Larry Rosia. “Our exceptional faculty support and look forward to working with the CFLAA members and their spouses to reach their educational and career goals at Sask Polytech.” Sask Polytech (SK)

OSCC, ULethbridge partner on greenhouse project, sustainable technology

Old Sun Community College and the University of Lethbridge have established a research agreement that will see the two institutions work together for the next two years on opportunities related to science, technology, and sustainable food production. The partnership will include the development of a greenhouse research project, the creation of learning opportunities for OSCC students and Siksika Nation members learning more about science and technology applications, and the potential assessment of renewable energy options for Siksika Nation. “Dr. Byrne and I met with the elders of Siksika and they wholeheartedly endorsed it, and are very happy we are moving forward with the initiative,” said OSCC President Dr Maurice Manyfingers. “This is a true collaboration and Siksika Nation has tremendous confidence in the University of Lethbridge. ULethbridge (AB)

Humber builds addition to accommodate more hands-on training for skilled trades students

A $9.5M addition to Humber College’s Centre for Skilled Trades and Technology will allow more students to get hands-on training as they seek careers in the trades. The 16,620 square foot expansion will allow the college to expand its trades training portfolio and accommodate an additional 500 students each year, reports Daily Commercial News. “There is a trades shortage in particular areas of the province and with a generation of tradespeople getting ready to retire, I think the province is focused on helping fill the gap on those,” said Michael Auchincloss, associate dean of Humber’s Faculty of Applied Sciences and technology. The expansion project is expected to take three years and has received support from the province’s Apprenticeship Capital Grant. Daily Commercial News (ON)

Returning to “normal” post-pandemic would be an injustice: Opinion

A $9.5M addition to Humber College’s Centre for Skilled Trades and Technology will allow more students to get hands-on training as they seek careers in the trades. The 16,620 square foot expansion will allow the college to expand its trades training portfolio and accommodate an additional 500 students each year, reports Daily Commercial News. “There is a trades shortage in particular areas of the province and with a generation of tradespeople getting ready to retire, I think the province is focused on helping fill the gap on those,” said Michael Auchincloss, associate dean of Humber’s Faculty of Applied Sciences and technology. The expansion project is expected to take three years and has received support from the province’s Apprenticeship Capital Grant. Daily Commercial News (ON)

Lambton technology students get access to industrial steam time with onsite boiler, TSSA approval

Lambton College students working to achieve their Operating Engineer status will now be able to qualify for steam time hours while on campus. Lambton recently received permission from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) to utilize its onsite boiler system to provide steam time hours. Lambton’s Chemical Production & Power Engineering Technology and Power Engineering Technology programs currently offer steam time toward graduates’ certifications. “Lambton is fortunate to have one of the best closed looped boiler systems in the province,” said Lambton Dean of Technology & Trades Dave Machacek, “and because we have the facilities, we can offer students what is normally industrial steam time by running our onsite boiler system.” Lambton (ON)

UdeMontréal, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery join forces to support biodiversity of Mount Royal

The Université de Montréal and Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery have partnered to reduce their ecological footprint and contribute to the biodiversity of Mount Royal. The partners originally signalled their interest to collaborate after a meeting of stakeholders in the Mount Royal region in December 2020, and have since embarked on a plan to create ecological restoration zones. Alexandre Beaudoin of UdeMontréal, who is the scientific supervisor for the project, told the Journal de Montréal that biodiversity does not stop at the border of a property, and so efforts to support and manage it must be done in collaboration with regional neighbours. Journal de Montréal (QC)

UAlberta secures new laser equipment to support medical technology developers

Thanks to a new investment from Western Economic Diversification Canada, researchers at the University of Alberta have access to a laser microfabrication suite. The $1.5M equipment will be housed at Smart Technology Innovations, the non-profit business arm of UAlberta’s SMART Network. The suite, which UAlberta says is the only one of its kind in western Canada, can be used to design and test health technology prototypes. “This new equipment allows us to expand our capabilities and the services that we provide,” said UAlberta Professor Vivian Mushahwar, “not only to university entrepreneurs but to local industry in Alberta and across Western Canada to build the health technology sector of our country.” UAlberta (AB)

Charges of attempted murder laid after victim assaulted on Laurentian campus

Three people have been arrested and charged with attempted murder after a man was found unconscious on Laurentian University’s property late last week. Greater Sudbury Police officers responded to an assault complaint and found a 27-year-old unconscious in a wooded area. Police say that the involved individuals were known to each other and that the incident was isolated. Two of the individuals face additional charges, including breaching probation. The victim has been transported to hospital and is expected to recover. CBC | The Sudbury Star (ON)