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February 5, 2014

January 31, 2014

CEO on the Move

Starting the week in Barbados at the Skills for the Future Barbados Conference 2014: “Build, Innovate, Transform”, I gave a keynote presentation on “Building Skills for the Future” and participated in a 3-hour panel discussion on “Building Industry-Education Synergies”. Before returning to polar vortex 2.0, which seems to have Ontario firmly in its grip, I visited Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, a college working in partnership with Sault College on renewable energy within the ACCC CARICOM Education for Employment program, and met with High Commissioner Robert Ready, Louise Clement, Development Director for the Caribbean, and officials from funding agencies to explore potential funding prospects for additional partnerships. 

I also attended the Economic Club of Canada’s luncheon on The Economics of Healthcare and the Need for Innovation, featuring The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, as the guest speaker. It was great to hear her talk about the federal government’s desire for innovation in healthcare. If your college has stories to share about healthcare innovation, please send them in. I will follow up with Minister Ambrose to brief her on the work colleges are doing in this area.

Budget 2014 – What We’re Hearing

Recent media speculation and political rumours about an early federal budget rang true this past week, as Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, announced that the 2014 Budget will be tabled on February 11. The Harper government has been signalling to Canadians not to expect significant new investments this year. ACCC has heard this message, but remains optimistic. Minister Flaherty says Ottawa will “remain focused on the drivers of growth and job creation—innovation, investment, education, skills and communities.” Shortly after the Minister’s announcement, ACCC was quick to highlight the Budget 2014 priorities of colleges and institutes in Canada. We urge our member institutions to share this link with their local media ahead of the Federal Budget.

A small group of senior representatives from ACCC and myself will participate in the government’s stakeholder budget lock-up. ACCC will prepare a summary of Budget highlights affecting post-secondary education for members and will articulate the Association’s position and reactions to national and regional media. ACCC will also be engaging and sharing information online, via the Association’s Twitter account: ACCC_Comms.

Surprise Guest

We had the unexpected pleasure of welcoming Glenn Blackwood, Executive Director of the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, to the ACCC offices.  It was really amazing to hear about the evolution of the Institute over the last ten years, as it is becoming a world class Marine Institute.  I cannot wait to visit it!


This week, I explored areas of mutual interest and potential collaboration with various organizations on your behalf, including:

  • Vanessa Schneider, Director, Strategic Planning & Stakeholder Relations for the Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
  • Richard Paton, President and CEO of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC).  CIAC is the voice of Canada’s chemistry industry, representing the interests of Canada’s leading chemistry companies – from petrochemical, inorganic and specialty chemical producers, to bio-based manufacturers and chemistry-related technology and R&D companies. Richard is interviewing association CEOs for an upcoming book on leadership transition.
  • In anticipation of the Budget, we met Andrew Saxton, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, to highlight the work and accomplishments, with a particular focus on applied research and the need for federal investment in infrastructure. Why not invite him to visit your college or institute, or suggest the use of college facilities for announcements?
  • Raj Narula, President and Co-Founder of TaraSpan, a multinational company that accelerates and helps de-risk India market entry, enhances software product engineering, and maintains global support for technology companies.

Industry College Coalition

A number of national industry organizations were invited by ACCC to take part in the first meeting of a new industry college coalition, which stems from a commitment made during the recent National Skills Summit.  The coalition will work to enhance the collaboration and synergies between colleges and industry, across sectors, to address ongoing skill challenges. For more information on the start of this new coalition please read this ACCC News release. A big “Thank you” goes to Paul Charette, Board Chair of Bird Construction Company Ltd and member of ACCC’s Board of Directors, who agreed to act as co-chair for the coalition along with Denise.

ACCC 2014 Conference | May 25-27, 2014 | Ottawa, ON

Co-hosted by Algonquin College and La Cité, the 2014 ACCC Conference “Collaboration. Innovation. Transformation” will showcase innovations, spotlight exemplary practices, get participants talking and spark new ideas. The conference takes place in the nation’s capital at the Ottawa Convention Centre. We’re also pleased to offer the following pre-Conference events on Sunday, May 25:

  • Rural:  College Empowerment: Building 21st Century Success in Small Towns and Rural (begins on Friday, May 23rd at 7:00 pm) – at the Algonquin College Pembroke Campus
  • Senior Finance Officers Network
  • Serving Impoverished Urban Communities
  • Professional Board Staff Network (PBSN) and Professional Network of Presidential Assistants (PNPA) AGM
  • HR Professionals Forum 
  • Spotlight on La Cité (site visits of Orleans and Ottawa Campuses)

This year, the Conference will also feature a Business and Industry-College Power Breakfast on Tuesday, May 27.

Please visit the Conference website for all the latest information on keynotes, registration and accommodation!

WFCP Partnership Agreement

As chair of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP), ACCC President and CEO Denise Amyot is pleased to share that WFCP has signed a unique partnership agreement with Getenergy to foster technical and vocational education and training (TVET) for the oil and gas industry.  Getenergy brings together providers of education and training (colleges, universities and private providers) with national and international upstream oil and gas companies, governments and service providers.  Getenergy designs and operates events that create and develop links between education provision and the needs of the oil and gas industry.

Through this partnership agreement, WFCP and Getenergy will develop opportunities for WFCP members to build partnerships with the oil and gas industry and network with other professionals in this sector.

FREE Mental Wellness App for Students

ACCC joined The Royal, one of Canada’s foremost mental health care and academic health science centre, and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), to launch and promote the HealthyMinds app. HealthyMinds features a daily mood tracker, a journaling feature, a problem-solving tool, coping and stress buster strategies and much more. The app is currently available through the Apple App Store or at for iPhone, iPad or iPod products, and is expected to be available for Android users next month.

A fun fact from ACCC’s partnership with The Royal is that our CEO, Denise Amyot, came up with the app’s French name, Toute ma tête.

Let’s Talk Energy

The Let’s Talk Energy program at the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation (CSTMC) has launched an online tool, the Explore Energy map. The interactive map features sites from across the country, such as colleges, institutes, research institutions, energy production sites, and green buildings, where Canadians can learn about energy.

If your college or institute offers energy-related programming, CSTMC encourages you to visit the website to add your location/site to the map by clicking on “Add your site”.  You can include a description, photos, videos, links and more.  With your help, the Explore Energy map will reflect the diversity of sites of energy interest across the country


Congratulations to Sault College President Dr. Ronald Common on being awarded the Order of Ontario, in recognition of his impressive 46-year career in education. Ronald’s roles have ranged from teacher, principal, professor at five universities in three provinces, dean at two post-secondary institutions, to president of Sault College.

Congratulations to Dr. Anne Neufeld who was appointed to the position of SIAST Provost and Vice-President, Academic, effective January 29. Anne joined SIAST in January 2012 as the Associate Vice-President, Strategy Management before moving to the role of Vice-President, Strategy and Advancement (interim).  She has a Master of Health Science (Health Administration) from the University of Toronto and a Doctor of Philosophy (Interdisciplinary Studies) from the University of Saskatchewan. Anne’s previous experience includes the areas of strategic development, health research and innovation, and finance and administration.

Congratulations to Margaret Dumkee on being named Dean of Applied Science and Management at Yukon College. Margaret was most recently Head of the Business Administration program at Aurora College. She holds a Master of Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University and a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University. As Dean of Applied Science and Management, Margaret will oversee the schools of Science, and Management, Tourism and Hospitality.

Congratulations to Andrew Richardson, the new Dean of Applied Arts at Yukon College, where he has been serving as Chair of Liberal Arts and acting Dean. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in English from Dalhousie University, a Master of Arts in English from Leeds University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Allison University. Andrew will oversees the schools of Liberal Arts, Visual Arts (Dawson City), and Health, Education and Human Services.

Congratulations to Mark Evered, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Fraser ValleyKathryn Laurin, President of Camosun College, and Don Lovisa, President of Durham College on the renewal of their terms.  We look forward to continuing to work together!

Eureka! Moment

Cégep Marie-Victorin (CMV) is the only college in the world to be named a UNESCO Chair, and their work the UNESCO Chair in Applied Research for Education in Prison is truly remarkable. The Chair’s mission is “to promote, stimulate and encourage applied research on various aspects of correctional education and to foster more in depth consideration and concrete actions in this matter on an international level.”  The College is building on its 40 years of partnership with Correctional Service of Canada and Quebec’s Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (MELS) in providing college-level education in the prison environment. CMV offers diploma programs in Quebec’s federal penitentiaries as well as informal programs such as “preparation for release” and “support in the community.

Did You Know?

College applied research may have an impact on the performance of Canadian athletes at the winter Olympics in Sochi. Members of the Canadian skeleton team will be using custom-engineered sleds, designed by SAIT Polytechnic.

Working within the strict rules and restrictions of the sport, SAIT Polytechnic has been working on creating ways to cut down on friction between the ice and the sleds used in skeleton. The Globe and Mail recently sat down with Alex Zahavich, Director of Applied Research and Innovation, to learn more about SAIT’s research in this area, which is supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Go Canada go!!!

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