Top Ten

February 17, 2022

UMontréal receives $40M to support entrepreneurship in QC

The Université de Montréal has received a $40M donation from Quebecor and the Fondation Chopin-Péladeau to support entrepreneurship in Quebec. The funds will be used to establish the Millénium Quebecor program and build the Pavillon Pierre-Péladeau innovation hub. Millénium Quebecor will offer students advanced training in entrepreneurship and provide a team to support students and researchers as they develop business ideas. The Pavillon Pierre-Péladeau will be an innovation centre that focuses on accelerating the development of new ideas and supporting the growth of entrepreneurial activity. The centre will house the Millénium Quebecor program and will provide a space for researchers, innovation specialists, and student-entrepreneurs to come together to develop new ideas that will benefit QC socially and economically. UMontréal (QC)

AB invests $2.5M in survey, tools to address sexual violence in PSE

The Government of Alberta has announced that it is investing $2.5M to help postsecondary institutions address sexual violence on campus. Institutions will use the funds to research, develop, and deliver supports and programming that combat sexual violence. The funds will also be used to develop a survey focused on sexual violence and harassment in AB postsecondary communities. AB Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides has requested that institutions review their sexual violence policies and make any necessary updates by the end of the year. Lethbridge News Now | Calgary Herald (AB)

BC introduces legislation to implement skilled trades certification system

The Government of British Columbia has announced the new Skilled Trades BC Act, which if passed, would allow BC to implement a skilled trades certification system. Under the proposed act, skilled tradespeople would be required to register as an apprentice or certified journeyperson to work in 10 initial trades. The recognition is meant to help increase prestige in the trades and support steady employment and higher wages. “When students and apprentices get the certification they need to succeed, it also means they get the training to do their work safely,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “This kind of training prevents injuries and saves lives – it’s good for B.C.’s workplaces.” The legislation would replace the Industry Authority act and transform the Industry Training Authority into SkilledTradesBC. BC (BC)

Brock engineering receives transformative $5M gift

Brock University has received a $5M gift from Dr Yousef Haj-Ahmed through the Haj-Ahmad Family Foundation. Dr Haj-Ahmed was formerly a Professor of Biological Sciences at Brock and is the founder of Norgen Biotek Corp. The funding will support the newly named Yousef Haj-Ahmad Department of Engineering at Brock, which was officially launched in 2021. The department will welcome its first cohort of undergraduate Integrated Engineering students for the 2024-25 academic year, and students will explore topics like big data, artificial intelligence, sustainability and climate change, and more. The gift will also establish the Haj-Ahmad Engineering Scholarship for Women. Brock (ON)

ACC, Brandon Flight Centre launch aviation management certificate program

Assiniboine Community College has partnered with the Brandon Flight Centre to launch an aviation management certificate program. Through the two-year program, students will develop their business skills and obtain a commercial pilot license. The program will prepare students to fill labour needs in a variety of industries, such as agriculture, hydro, and medical transport. “Whether you are looking to see the world, or be home every night with your family, there are many different opportunities to choose from,” said Brandon Flight Centre CEO David Creighton. “We are confident that this will provide the best training to prepare our students for the emerging future of post-pandemic aviation.” Brandon Sun (MB)

Toronto police investigate after racist comments, gun pointed at camera during student Zoom meeting

Toronto police have begun an investigation after receiving reports that an online student meeting was interrupted by racist comments and a person who appeared to be holding a gun. The University of Toronto Ontario Institute for Studies in Education's Asian Student Alliance was hosting a virtual meeting for students impacted by the recent Lunar New Year incident. In the last ten minutes of the meeting, multiple users made racist comments in the voice chat and comments box, and one user turned on their camera and appeared to be holding a gun. “This just proves we have a bigger fight ahead of us,” said ASA founder and U of T Assistant Professor Mary Reid. “We went from the most empowering meeting of cross-racial solidarity, so much ally-ship, understanding how systemic oppression impacts Asian populations, and then we did a 180 and we were re-traumatized again.” The Star (ON)

Key recommendations to support early-career professors in career advancement: Study

In a recent article for The Conversation, University of British Columbia Assistant Professor Jennifer Davis discusses a recent survey of tenured and tenure-track faculty members on the pandemic’s impact on tenure evaluations. Davis says faculty members noted a variety of productivity-related challenges, including a lack of energy, reduced research abilities, increased workload, and increased caregiving responsibilities. Davis used the data to create key recommendations which included changes to tenure and promotion evaluation criteria so that faculty members could describe their adaptations to the pandemic, increases to research support such as help sessions about grants, and modification of metrics used to gauge productivity. The Conversation (Editorial)

“At full throttle:” U SPORTS, AUS, CCAA release new schedules, return to play

After a long hiatus, university athletes returned to their rinks and playing fields in several provinces. U SPORTS announced an updated Winter 2022 schedule for sports such as wrestling, swimming, hockey, volleyball, and track & field at the start of the month, and many athletes returned to play for the first time in over a month. The Atlantic University Sport (AUS) also celebrated a return to play. AUS’s conference games for the winter schedule were slated to resume at the start of January following a five-week break, but a record number of COVID-19 cases in the region pushed back the return date. “We’re back,” said AUS Executive Director Phil Currie. “We are at the start line at full throttle.” The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) also announced its revamped National Championship schedule for the month of March. CCAA President Vince Amato expressed that the organization is “thrilled” that student-athletes will be able to compete on the national stage again. U SPORTS (1) | U SPORTS (2) | Saltwire (AUS) | CCAA (National)

UoGuelph, partners to create micro-credential program for PSWs

The University of Guelph has announced that it is creating a new micro-credential program to train personal support workers to work in long-term care facilities. UoGuelph, St Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph, and the Canadian PSW Network will partner on the development of the program, which will include five 25-hour micro-credentials that students can complete online and at their own pace. The program will cover a variety of skills, such as observation and critical thinking, teamwork and collaboration, communication, and flexible thinking. Students will receive a certificate after completing all five micro-credentials. The program is designed to address work shortages in long-term care. UoGuelph (ON)

UQAM launches DESS program focused on preventing accounting fraud

Université du Québec à Montréal has launched a new DESS program in preventing and detecting accounting fraud. The program will train working professionals to become financial crime specialists who can intervene in fraud, corruption, cyberattacks, and misappropriation of goods and services. Students will take seven courses covering ethics in accounting, fraud risk management, and other related topics. UQAM Professor Nadia Smaili explained that the program will teach practical skills as well as the ability to get into the head of a fraudster. UQAM (QC)