Top Ten

December 6, 2021

Events and vigils held in remembrance of women murdered at École Polytechnique

Several organizations in Canada will be observing the 32nd anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre today. Polytechnique Montréal hosted White Rose Week last week to raise money for the next generation in engineering, and will be laying wreaths made of roses in front of the commemoration plaque this morning at 8:30AM. The City of Montréal and Comité Mémoire will shine 14 beams of light into the sky as part of an event that will be broadcast on the Polytechnique’s social media accounts. The University of Windsor will be observing the day with an in-person event at 11 AM EST at the Memorial of Hope on campus. The vigil will also be live streamed online. Okanagan College’s campuses will be holding a candlelight vigil as a symbolic commitment to end violence against women. Polytechnique Montréal | UWindsor | Castanet (National)

Trent receives largest estate gift in history in support of Indigenous graduate students

Trent University has received a $1M estate gift – the largest in the university’s history – from Indigenous art collector Bill Reid in support of Indigenous graduate students. The gift will help endow the William B Reid Scholarship, which provides over $30K each year to fund the research expenses, hands-on learning opportunities, and conference attendance of Indigenous graduate students at Trent. “Bill was a passionate individual who listened to Indigenous people’s stories, wanted to make a difference, and created a fund that encourages many young Indigenous students in their pursuit of higher education so that they, in turn, can better support their communities,” said Sherry Booth, Trent AVP of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement. Trent (ON)

CICan shares federal updates impacting international student travel, PGWP eligibility

Colleges and Institutes Canada has shared several announcements from national government departments with direct relevance to international students. For students who are currently outside of Canada, time spent studying online will continue to count toward Post-Graduate Work Permit eligibility until August 31st, 2022. Also, CICan reports that, effective last week, Canada has expanded the list of COVID-19 vaccines that count towards full vaccination status for travel to Canada. Until January 14th, 2022, foreign nationals who do not qualify as fully vaccinated will also be allowed to take connecting flights or travel by rail to their final destination within 24 hours of the departure time of their flight into Canada. Effective January 15th, international students will be expected to be fully vaccinated to enter Canada if they are over 18. CICan (1) | CICan (2) (National)

SK releases guide to support micro-credential development, adoption

The Government of Saskatchewan has released a new, brief guide: Saskatchewan’s Guide to Micro-credentials. In the province, postsecondary institutions and employers are collaborating on the creation and use of micro-credentials to provide flexible, innovative learning opportunities to workers. “Saskatchewan's Growth Plan has identified micro-credential programming as an opportunity to advance our post-secondary education and labour market priorities,” said Advanced Education Minister Gene Makowsky. “Micro-credentials enable learners to gain new skills quickly to meet the workforce needs of employers and industry partners.” SK | SK (Guide PDF) (SK)

ON invests $24M in skilled trades training facilities, equipment

The Government of Ontario has announced a $24M investment to improve and modernize equipment and training facilities for students and apprentices in the skilled trades. “By 2025, one in five jobs in Ontario are expected to be in the skilled trades,” said ON Minister of Labour, Training, and Skills Development Monte McNaughton. “This investment will give students and apprentices the learning experiences they deserve in the classroom, so they are set up for success on the job site.” Interested postsecondary institutions can apply for funding until December 21st. ON (ON)

St Clair, Prep Doctors partner to prepare internationally-trained dentists for work in Canada

St Clair College and Prep Doctors have signed an agreement to train internationally-trained dentists in the essentials of Canadian dental business practices as they prepare for the National Dental Examination Board equivalency process. Over the course of two years, students will attend St Clair and learn about accounting, business communications, economics, Canadian culture, and more. “If we look at the number of dentists graduating from Canadian schools, I don’t believe it is sufficient for the population,” said Prep Doctors co-founder Dr Marwan Al-Rayes. “I think the collaboration between St Clair and Prep Doctors is mixing healthcare with business, which is a unique aspect in dentistry.” St Clair (ON)

CCNB, Holland College bolstered in cannabis research activities with new designation, license

Two institutions in Atlantic Canada have received new licenses and designations to support research in the area of cannabis. Holland College has been issued a cannabis research license, which will allow the research arm of its Culinary Institute of Canada to support the development of safe, reliable edible products for the cannabis industry. Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick's CCNB-INNOV has been designated as a cannabis research establishment by Health Canada. For both colleges, these changes open up new research and development possibilities and will help to advance science in a relatively young industry. Holland | CCNB (NB | PEI)

ULethbridge, MHC announce new supports for WIL programs

The University of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat College have both announced new partnerships and initiatives supporting work-integrated learning (WIL) programs. ULethbridge’s Dhillon School of Business and the Agility Program have partnered to offer a WIL initiative that would provide payment to over 500 students if they participate in the Service Learning Program. The program is partially funded by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning program and CEWIL Canada's iHub. MHC has signed on to the Rural Roots WIL initiative, which was created through a partnership between Riipen and the Rural Development Network. The partnership will allow MHC students to complete WIL internships with up to 2,000 rural employers. ULethbridge (1) | ULethbridge (2) | Medicine Hat News (AB)

Former UPEI prof brings up concerns regarding use of NDAs in response to harassment allegations

CBC reports that a former professor has raised concerns about the University of Prince Edward Island’s alleged use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to silence harassment allegations in 2013, creating “a culture of silence and fear” on campus. Kate Tilleczek, who was the Canada Research Chair in Child/Youth Cultures and Transitions at UPEI until 2018, stated that NDAs were used in three cases where individuals came forward with sexual harassment complaints. CBC reports that a new law passed in PEI will limit the use of NDAs, but that there are still concerns about how NDAs prevent victims from alerting others to potential issues with an individual and interfere with healing. Tilleczek has called for UPEI to reach out to those who signed NDAs saying they will not pursue legal action if the individuals choose to tell their stories. UPEI did not provide comment to CBC. CBC (PEI)

ON needs Francophone universities rather than bilingual ones where students must “pass”: Opinion

Joel Belliveau, Professor Emeritus at Laurentian University, writes that French-language universities that are located in minority settings provide a “litmus test” for Canadian diversity. Belliveau reflects on his own experience studying and living in a French setting at the Université de Moncton, and notes that, in Ontario, French-speaking students at bilingual universities are not experiencing this “affirmative culture shock.” Belliveau says that Franco-Ontarian students need institutions where they can live and learn in French without having to blend in. “[W]e require more institutions of higher learning where Franco-Ontarians of all origins can learn while getting to know and value each other and other francophone cultures,” writes Belliveau. “Ontario needs to adopt the norm of education ‘by and for’ the official minority language community at the postsecondary level.” University Affairs (Editorial)