The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has partnered with the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association on a multi-year retrofitting project that will lead to more energy efficient Friendship Centres around Alberta. The partners will also hold a series of summits, as well as educational, training, and engagement events to build awareness of the need for climate action. “This series of summits not only aim to bring awareness to the building retrofitting needs, but to create lasting connections between communities, industry, and professionals,” said SAIT Green Building Technologies Scientific Strategy Lead Melanie Ross. “It’s our hope that these relationships will provide lasting positive impacts beyond the project’s timeline, creating valuable building and retrofitting resources for Centres and the communities they support.”
A student hunger strike at McMaster University has come to an end, but has sparked a broader discussion about sustainability and the road to reach net zero carbon emissions. The hunger strike targeted the university’s planned natural gas power generators, which the Toronto Star explains would be used during peak usage times to reduce the university’s energy costs. CBC states that the university plans to use the savings generated from the project to support future carbon reduction projects such as the installation of electric boilers. McMaster published a letter to the community outlining its broader goals and efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. Researchers and members of industry weighed in in The Star and CBC to discuss alternative technologies that institutions and organizations are using to reduce their energy usage and carbon emissions.
On a recent visit to Japan, Northern Lights College signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and renewed its relationships with international partners. The college signed MOUs with Kansai Gaidai University and Jumonji University and built the foundation for a future MOU with Tezukayama Gakuin University. The agreements are focused on ESL education at NLC and study abroad opportunities in Japan, which the college hopes to see return to pre-COVID-19 levels. “The university partners we have in Japan are our oldest international institutional partners,” said NLC Acting VP Student Services & Community Relations Scott Clerk. “Their students coming here have had such an impact on our campuses and communities.”
The University of Waterloo recently issued a memo to students, staff, and faculty about how to respond if they are approached by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. CTV News reports that the email was intended to prepare the community for interactions that may jeopardize the safeguarding of research and that it includes guidance on researchers’ rights. “As a standard part of their work, security agencies will sometimes reach out to faculty engaged in sensitive areas of research,” explained the university. “This memo was created to help researchers understand their rights in such instances and create a transparent process of engagement.” While the message raised confusion among some students, others praised the institution for “making sure people know how to protect themselves.”
Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Portage College are both offering no-cost training programs to fill gaps in the labour market. Sask Polytech has partnered with Lighthouse Labs to offer free web development and data science training to learners from equity-deserving groups. Participants will also receive mentorship, essential skills and non-technical training, tech stipends, and career services from Lighthouse Labs. Portage College is offering the Class 3 Driving to Work program where participants will gain the skills they need to work on a variety of work sites and polish their resumes and job search skills. Qualifying students will have their tuition waived and receive wrap-around supports.
York University has received a $1M donation from the Mackenzie-Papineau Memorial Fund to create an endowed professorship in Spanish history. The Mackenzie-Papineau Memorial Professorship in Modern Spanish History will support scholarship, research, and teaching in modern Spanish history. “This gift strengthens York’s existing expertise in Modern European History and aligns with the larger strategy and the priorities of the department, the Faculty and the University,” said YorkU LA&PS Dean JJ McMurtry. YorkU’s ELLA accelerator program also recently received $3M from Women Entrepreneurship Strategy to expand its entrepreneurship support services across Canada.
Concordia University has announced the launch of the UNIVER/CITY 2030 initiative to help Montréal reach its ambitious climate goals. The initiative is intended to mobilize Montréal’s universities to achieve the municipality’s goals in socioecological transitions, such as reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change. The three components of UNIVER/CITY 2030 are the Climate Colab, which is mapping climate-related research capacity and building a shared research and development agenda; the Data Studio, which is exploring data-related tools and methods for the advancement of climate action; and the City School, which is focused on hands-on learning experiences for students, citizens, and professionals. UNIVER/CITY 2030 is supported by a $1M, five-year grant from the McConnell Foundation.
Humber College has partnered with Siemens Canada to create a Sustainable Microgrid and Renewable Technology Lab (SMART Lab). Humber explains that microgrids provide a decentralized energy source using energy sources such as wind or solar photovoltaics, which dan be connected to the grid or disconnected during threats or natural disasters. Students and professionals alike will be able to conduct research in the SMART Lab and learn about microgrid system use. It will allow Humber a place to offer microgrid and renewable energy micro-credentials, develop new curriculum, and achieve its sustainability goals while also helping to fill skills gaps.
Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick and Cégep de Lanaudière have announced a formal extension of their partnership on several fronts. The two institutions will work together on initiatives such as sharing horticultural and agricultural programs, conducting research and innovation related to the agri-food and industrial research sectors, and exploring opportunities related to student mobility and international development. CCNB states that the two institutions have been collaborating since 2019.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond returned the honorary degrees that were granted by Simon Fraser University and Brock University. The Vancouver Sun reports that SFU was proceeding with a review of an honorary degree granted to Turpel-Lafond in 2016 and gave her the option of “[making] representations on the issues at hand,” or returning the degree. Turpel-Lafond chose to return it. The Indigenous Women’s Collective has reportedly raised its concerns about the university allowing Turpel-Lafond to return the degree without completing the review of her claims of Indigenous identity. Brock also recently accepted Turpel-Lafond’s decision to voluntarily relinquish an honorary degree that she received from Brock in 2010.