The Government of Canada has awarded over $200M through the New Frontiers in Research Fund for 195 high-risk, high-reward research projects. 128 research projects will bring disciplines together to bring new perspectives to projects; 61 research teams will mobilize efforts to address UN Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery priorities; and six large-scale, interdisciplinary research projects will address major challenges in areas such as health and renewable energy. “Through the New Frontiers in Research Fund competitions, we are fostering world-leading discovery and innovation and encouraging Canadian researchers to take risks, meet new challenges, push disciplinary boundaries and lead transformative projects across the country and abroad,” said SSHRC President Ted Hewitt.
The University of Toronto and the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in France are expanding their existing partnership to create a joint International Research Centre (IRC). The IRC builds upon the seven-year collaboration between the two institutions and provides a hub for further U of T-CNRS collaborations. It will also facilitate global network-building and provide strategic guidance on joint projects. U of T Professor Marc Johnson, who worked has worked on a joint project with CNRS since 2019, said: “This type of partnership is essential for creating the next generation of leaders – these are the people that are going to be leading science and policy and our economy for decades, and we need to invest in them properly.”
The University of Regina has officially opened its new Centre for Socially Engaged Theatre (C-SET), a space that brings together scholars, artists, and community partners to engage in intellectual discussions on pressing issues facing Saskatchewan. Using theatre and the performing arts, C-SET hosts workshops, podcasts, livestreaming events and more to address the social dimensions of policing, racism, the immigration experience, and other issues. “Saskatchewan is becoming really more and more diverse,” said C-SET Director Dr Taiwo Afolabi. “But with that comes its own responsibility, with that comes its own reality of how do we bring people together? What does it mean to belong?”
The Government of Ontario has announced that it wants to eliminate the $15,450 tuition fee for basic Constable training at the Ontario Police College, as well as the postsecondary education requirement to become a police officer. CBC reports that the proposed changes are intended to help police forces across the province, which are currently struggling to recruit new officers. If the legislature is passed, recruits will only be required to have a high school diploma or equivalent to become a police officer. The province would additionally cover the tuition fee for basic constable training and increase the number of recruits trained each year at OPC. “We listened to the concerns about recruitment shortfalls and training limitations and have taken steps to remove barriers and expand the possibilities for those considering a career as a police officer,” said ON Solicitor General Michael Kerzner.
Cégep Édouard-Montpetit recently broke ground on a new modular building which will house 16 classrooms for Fall 2023. At the recent ground-breaking ceremony, the Government of Québec’s ministre de l’Enseignement supérior Madame Pascale Déry said that the new spaces would support the needs of the school’s growing student community, particularly its programs in nursing, early childhood education, and computer techniques. This construction is the first in a series of transformations that Édouard-Montpetit is undergoing to increase its student population, modernise its spaces, and enhance efforts towards sustainability on its campus. The building is supported by a $14M investment.
Capilano University has announced that its School of Animation and Visual Effects has become an authorized training centre for Unreal Engine by Epic Games. As an Unreal Engine Academic Partner and authorized training centre, Capilano will help students, faculty, and others in Western Canada to build their skills in digital media. Capilano students will be able to access training through their course work and non-enrolled students will access training through workshops and training modules. Capilano says that it is the only institution in Western Canada to achieve this certification.
Medical schools are working to address the shortage of family physicians in Alberta, but their efforts must be accompanied by wider primary care reform, write Brenda Hemmelgarn (University of Alberta) and Todd Anderson (University of Calgary). In an op-ed for the Calgary Herald, the authors explain that Alberta’s universities have taken several steps to increase the number of medical student positions and encourage applicants from Indigenous and rural communities. However, “simply training more doctors will not resolve” the ongoing issues within the primary care system, they write. Strategic partnerships and primary care reform must accompany higher education’s efforts to make the province’s healthcare system truly sustainable.
Concordia University has celebrated the opening of its Core Technical Centre (CTC) facilities. The centre includes woodworking, metalworking, and digital fabrication facilities that are equipped with cutting-edge tools. There is also a lounge area and kitchenette near the CTC for students who are spending extensive amounts of time in the shops. The CTC will host two linked summer residencies where students and alumni will have the opportunity to create and show their work.
Memorial University has announced that its doctor of medicine (MD) program has been accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools for a full eight-year term. The accreditation provides an assurance that the program is up to national standards and that graduates have had a complete educational experience. “At a time when our communities have a great need for health-care professionals, the Faculty of Medicine continues to demonstrate its delivery of a strong medical program where graduates can have confidence in the education they have received,” said Memorial President Neil Bose.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, who has returned her honorary degrees to several universities in Canada since her claims of Indigenous ancestry were discredited, recently returned an honorary degree from St Thomas University. STU Acting President Kim Fenwick said that the degree was “voluntarily relinquished” after a university committee reviewed documents and gave Turpel-Lafond the opportunity to respond to questions about misrepresentations of her heritage. Turpel-Lafond chose to return the honorary degree.