The Government of Canada announced $29M in funding to address the gaps in scientific understanding of Post COVID-19 Condition (PCC). $20M will be used to create the Long COVID Web research network, which will be co-led by Dr Angela Cheung (University of Toronto and UHN), Dr Simon Décaray (Université de Sherbrooke), Dr Adeera Levin (University of British Columbia), and Dr Piush Mandhane (University of Alberta). $9M will be used by McMaster University’s GRADE Centre and Cochrane Canada to develop, disseminate, and evaluate clinical practice guidelines on PCC. “Today’s announcement of the Long COVID Web research network offers hope—and real solutions to come for those living with post COVID-19 condition,” said federal Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos.
Memorial University President Vianne Timmons has reportedly taken a voluntary temporary leave of absence after a CBC investigation scrutinized her statements regarding Mi’kmaw heritage. CBC drew attention to a previous iteration of Timmons’ resumé, which reportedly indicated that she was a member of the Bras d’Or Mi’kmaq First Nation, an unrecognized band in Nova Scotia; her previous statements about a Mi’kmaw ancestor; and her receipt of an Indspire award. Timmons released a statement through Memorial apologizing for any hurt or confusion that may have stemmed from her sharing her family background and explicitly stating that she is not Mi’kmaq and does not claim Indigenous identity. Memorial’s Board of Regents will be engaging with the issue and seeking guidance through an Indigenous-led Roundtable while Timmons steps back temporarily.
The University of British Columbia and Teck Resources Limited have partnered to create a new professorship and support lab-based research focused on mine tailings management. The professorship will focus on enhancing the safety and sustainability of tailings management through knowledge exchange and the development of innovative approaches to tailings storage facility design, operation, and closure. The investment will also fund undergraduate and graduate level research. Teck’s $2M endowment will be matched by UBC for a total investment of $4M. “There is a global shortage of educators in this field and an important opportunity to build capacity and knowledge retention around safe and responsible tailings management,” said UBC Faculty of Applied Science Dean James Olson.
A recently released report from the Government of Quebec’s higher education ministry has found that one in four students fail their first French cégep course. The report also found that French proficiency is directly related to the rate of students obtaining their diploma. The authors note that French proficiency must be improved and make 35 recommendations, including encouraging cégeps to teach French. Organizations such as Fédération des cégeps and Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec expressed their support of the report, but several cégep instructors expressed frustration to Radio-Canada about being tasked with teaching fundamental French language skills.
At the University of Waterloo, master’s student Monika Mikhail and university researchers worked together to improve the energy efficiency of an on-campus office building. The National Observer reports that the evolv1 building was designed to be an energy-efficiency showpiece that relied on minimal fossil fuels and contributed extra power to the electrical grid with its solar panels. Mikhail and university researchers worked to take the building a step further by commissioning the building’s heating equipment to reduce its energy consumption by 15%. Rather than beginning to heat the full building each day at 7 AM, the team staggered the heating schedule and began heating each floor at an earlier, off-peak time. “When the building is coming out of weekend mode, making sure that it’s starting up gradually reduces peak demand,” explained Mikhail, who added that “all of these tiny decisions” can add up to make a significant difference.
Colleges & Institutes Canada recently released an updated version of its SDG Toolkit. The toolkit is an open-educational resource that offers practical guidance on the SDGs and how to implement them in postsecondary contexts. The latest iteration also includes 11 new case studies from nine institutions: Canadore College, Collège Ahuntsic, Confederation College, Fanshawe College, Langara College, New Brunswick Community College, Nova Scotia Community College, Selkirk College, and Vancouver Island University. “We hope that others in postsecondary will use this resource to advance the SDGs on more campuses across the country, and that others beyond will be inspired to take their work even further,” said CICan President Denise Amyot.
Sheridan College has unveiled its Honours Bachelor of Science – Osteopathy degree, which it says is the first program of its kind to be offered by a public Canadian postsecondary institution. The program offers a competency-based education that covers the broad scope of osteopathy and includes a 1,000-hour experiential learning component. “We are thrilled to shine a spotlight on this important profession and train the next generation of osteopathy manual practitioners,” said Dr Maryam Niapour, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies (FAHCS) at Sheridan. “The popularity of osteopathy is growing in Ontario and around the world, presenting numerous employment and career growth opportunities.”
Several universities and colleges have raised security in response to rising incidents and unsafe behaviour near campus. Providence College has hired additional security for its satellite campus in downtown Winnipeg after four international students were assaulted in a random attack. The University of Winnipeg and RRC Polytechnic have also increased the security presence on their campuses in response to the rise in incidents nearby, and students at the University of Alberta have called on the university and City of Edmonton for increased safety and security measures at and around the north campus. At Simon Fraser University, the SFU traffic teams and Burnaby RCMP handed over 500 tickets to drivers over a five-month period as they cracked down on unsafe driving in the university area. A statement from the RCMP suggests that the partnership will continue in the future.
McGill University’s new Chair in Business Law will be named after Elizabeth Carmichael Monk, one of the first women to be called to the Quebec Bar. Monk was a McGill alumna who was the first woman recipient of McGill Law’s Elizabeth Torrance Gold Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement. McGill’s Faculty of Law announced that it would be establishing the Elizabeth Carmichael Monk Chair in Business Law on International Women’s Day 2023 and fundraising efforts to permanently establish the chair are underway. “The [chair] will serve as a pillar in creating a hub of excellence in business law at McGill,” said McGill Dean of the Faculty of Law Robert Leckey. “We will be proud to honour an alumna who so strongly exemplified core McGill Law values.”
Demand for wind turbine technicians in Alberta’s energy sector is reportedly outpacing the workers available, but enrolment at the only related program in the region remains low. While there is high demand for workers in the field and graduates enjoy strong employment prospects, Lethbridge College instructor Kelly Norgard told CBC that registrations have declined for the college’s wind technician program. Donna Wesley, a program developer from the non-profit Careers The Next Generation, explained that the trades suffer from a negative perception and low awareness among youth. “We need to get across to parents, families, students, teachers and schools the fact that a trade is a postsecondary opportunity and that we should be very willing to let our children and our youth pursue those opportunities,” said Wesley.