Top Ten

October 28, 2022

ON introduces legislation strengthening institutions’ ability to address staff sexual misconduct toward students

The Government of Ontario has announced the introduction of new legislation, the Strengthening Post-secondary Institutions and Students Act, 2022. If the new act is passed, ON states that it would provide “measures for postsecondary institutions to address faculty and staff sexual misconduct toward students on campus." The act would amend existing postsecondary acts – namely the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act and the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 – to prevent the use of non-disclosure agreements, require institutions to have employee sexual misconduct policies in place that include disciplinary measures, and enable institutions to address instances of sexual misconduct through measures such as dismissal. The legislation also includes amendments related to Toronto Metropolitan University’s name and senate. ON | The Star (ON)

ULaval launches $80M fundraising campaign for Francophone international relations studies hub

Université Laval has launched the Carrefour international Brian-Mulroney major fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $80M to create a Francophone international relations studies hub. The 5-year campaign is chaired by former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the funds will be used to create new research chairs, recruit experts for ULaval’s Graduate School of International Studies (ESEI), endow academic scholarships, and support access to careers. About $40M has already been raised toward the project, including $27.75M from the Government of Quebec and a donation from Mulroney. Newswire | CBC | Brandon Sun (Sub. Req.) (QC)

Canada, MB announce ECE tuition reimbursement initiative

In order to help cover the costs associated with training to become an early childhood educator, the Government of Canada and Government of Manitoba have announced a $4M investment into an early childhood education (ECE) tuition reimbursement initiative. The funds will be used to provide up to $5K per school year to those who completed ECE courses or graduated from a program in 2021-22, or who will be studying a recognized ECE program in 2022-23. As part of the investment, students must confirm that they will work in the province’s ECE sector for two years. “Today’s announcement with Manitoba is a meaningful step toward growing the number of professional educators in the province, which is critical to expanding access to regulated childcare,” said Canada’s Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development Karina Gould. MB | CBC (MB)

Western, USask, Selkirk researchers explore housing, homelessness prevention, support

Western University, the University of Saskatchewan, and Selkirk College have all recently announced partnerships and research projects focused on homelessness prevention and support. Western has partnered with Youth Opportunities Unlimited and an Indigenous youth council to run the EQUIP Housing Research Project, which will adapt the existing EQUIP model to address homelessness prevention and cultural safety. At USask, Associate Professor Sarah Buhler has received a grant to conduct research on youth evictions, which have long-term consequences for youth who may not be aware of their legal rights as tenants. At Selkirk, Jayme Jones is leading a research project in collaboration with partners such as North Island College and the cities of Trail, Nelson, and Castlegar to investigate rural homelessness and wellbeing. Western | USask | Selkirk (ON | SK | BC)

UBCO joins Age Friendly University network

The University of British Columbia Okanagan has joined the global Age Friendly University Network. The network brings together learning institutions that are committed to age-friendly programs and policies, and provides a set of 10 principles that institutions can use to evaluate their policies. UBCO is the eighth university in Canada and the first in BC to join the network. Through the network, UBCO hopes to further create an inclusive community for older adults and to address accessibility concerns. UBCO (BC)

Centennial launches Anti-Black Racism Task Force Report and Institutional Commitments

Centennial College has launched its Anti-Black Racism Task Force Report and Institutional Commitments and has pledged to address the disproportionate discrimination that Black communities face in Canada. The report was developed through over two years of research and consultation with Centennial students, faculty, and staff. It includes recommendations to address systemic anti-Black racism, including pledges to review curriculum and academic practices, build college leadership anti-racist and intercultural competency, educate employees and students on how to address inequities, and pursue data collection. “These recommendations symbolize hope,” said Centennial success advisor Mede Ovbiagele. “The hope is for these recommendations to materialize into actions, and for these actions to result in transformative changes for us now and for those who are here after us.” Centennial also recently signed the Scarborough Charter. Newswire (ON)

NSCC to launch practical nursing student Mi’kmaw cohort

Nova Scotia Community College has announced that it will be launching a new practical nursing student Mi’kmaw cohort at its Pictou campus. The cohort will have space for 30 L’nu learners, who will use a custom curriculum that is developed using a Mi’kmaq and Indigenous lens with input from Mi’kmaw Kina’matenewey; Tajikeimik; the Dalhousie Indigenous healthcare in nursing team; the Nova Scotia College of Nursing; and the NS departments of Advanced Education, Education and Early Childhood Development, and Health and Wellness. “The interest and commitment from so many within the Mi’kmaw community in support of this new section is a recipe for equitable success – both for the program and the individuals who apply,” said NSCC VP, Academic Jill Provoe. Nation Talk (NS)

MHC, Queen’s celebrate opening of new campus spaces

Medicine Hat College and Queen’s University have both recently celebrated the opening of new campus spaces. MHC officially opened its Co-op Wellness Commons, which includes a new health training centre, a dedicated space for Indigenous teaching and learning, and an expanded fitness centre. Queen’s has unveiled a new Indigenous gathering space in the courtyard of its Albert Street student residence. The centre of the space is shaped like the back of a stone turtle, and the space includes stone benches with a Tékeni Teyohá:te Kahswéntha (Two Row Wampum belt) pattern. MHC | Queen’s (AB | ON)

Memorial food bank closes temporarily amid demand spike

Memorial University's campus food bank has temporarily closed due to a lack of resources amidst surging demand. Volunteer coordinator Matt Pike has stated that they hope to reopen the food bank at the start of November. Students and volunteers speculate that demand has spiked amid high inflation, forcing the food bank to give smaller hampers of food to fewer people. The MUN students' union also stated that trouble finding housing and tuition rate hikes are further impacting students. The Mosaic Campus Church, a campus group, has announced a Halloween "trick or treat" food drive to help support the food bank. CBC (NL)

Financial trends for universities during the pandemic: Editorial

In a recent editorial for University Affairs, Sparrow McGowan discusses a recent Statistics Canada report on universities’ record surplus revenues of $7.3B in 2020-21. The surplus was largely attributed to $5.4B in investment income, and the report noted that universities are continuing to rely heavily on tuition revenue, particularly international student tuition. The Canadian Federation of Students National Treasurer Riaz Nandan has stated that the surplus should go into student services such as food banks and mental health. McGowan also reports that universities cut their expenditures by 3.8% in 2020-21, largely through salary and benefits decreases for non-academic, part-time academic, and contract academic staff. University Affairs (Editorial)