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June 30, 2014


Happy Canada Day from all of us at Colleges and Institutes Canada! Please note our office is closed on July 1, 2014, but will be open again for regular hours on Wednesday July 2.

CEO on the Move

Canadian Chamber of Commerce roundtable

I had the pleasure of participating in the latest Canadian Chamber of Commerce Industry Association Business Roundtable on June 18. This was a wonderful opportunity to discuss issues of common interest with leaders from a variety of national associations and lay the groundwork for potential new partnerships. As always, Canadian Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Perrin Beatty was a gracious host and proved a great ally to colleges and institutes, in addition to his being a key member of our industry-college coalition.

Visit to College of the North Atlantic

The thing I like most about my job at Colleges and Institutes Canada is that I get to see and learn about so many innovations while I visit some of the finest campuses in the country. This week I was in Newfoundland and Labrador to visit the College of the North Atlantic and toured their Ridge Road Campus as well as the Prince Phillip Drive Campus, both in St.John’s.

At the Ridge Road campus I got to see their state of the art fluid labs and thermodynamic labs that are used for their great mechanical program, petroleum program and manufacturing program. All are very successful in training job ready professionals thanks to very good relationships with various stakeholders. I was also impressed by the number of women taking up trades at CNA. In their petroleum and industrial programs, 35 % of students are women. Some years this number even reaches 50%!

At the Prince Phillip Drive campus I got to meet some tremendously creative people who showed me around their textiles and imaging labs, where students learn to print on any kind of fabric. I also got to sample chocolates that were created by students for a local competition. I tried to choose a favourite, but they were all so delicious I could not make up my mind.

I was also struck by the beauty of the scenery in Newfoundland. I didn’t even have to leave my hotel room in St. John’s to admire a magnificent Iceberg.



Eureka! Moment

I could not resist sharing this touching story coming from Kwantlen Polytechnic University about a wonderful group of instructors and volunteers who helped a young couple in a truly original way.

When KPU student Agathe Savard, approached them to prepare a special welcome for her husband Andrew Tippet, who had just spent months in a Rehabilitation Centre following a battle with Guillain-Barré syndrome, the generous instructors at KPU’s School of Horticulture went above an beyond to help the young man.

Knowing her husband would miss playing his favorite game, Mrs. Savard went to the school for advice on how to transform their backyard into a putting green. The response was more generous then she would have ever imagined.

Moved by the young couple’s situation, KPU turf management instructor Stan Kazymerchyk enlisted the help of local businesses and horticulture graduates to make the request a reality.

Not only did he secure all of the necessary equipment, but a few days later, a group of volunteers descended on the Abbotsford residence to transform Savard and Tippett’s 550 square foot yard (just over 50 square metres) into a surprise putting ground before Tippett returned home.

He will now be able to regain his strength by practicing the game he loves right in his own backyard.

For pictures of the volunteers at work click here.

Association update

National Skills Summit

Colleges and Institutes Canada was invited to participate in the National Skills Summit, hosted by Minister Jason Kenney in Toronto on June 25. Canadian colleges were well represented thanks to the participation of CEO Denise Amyot, along with several member-presidents from across the country including. A few of our friends from the Colleges-Industry Coalition were also in attendance.

We discussed the needs for improved labour market data, as well as training and skills issues with government officials and experts from across the country. There were many opinions about skills gaps, but also about the role of applied education in breaking down barriers to employment and training workers with the skills needed to find good jobs.

We provided the government with useful information and recommendations that would help them tackle barriers to economic prosperity and opportunity.

Pre-budget consultations

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance has launched its pre-budget consultation process for the 2015 Federal Budget. This consultation provides Colleges and Institutes Canada and its members with an opportunity to speak with “one voice” and to advocate for increased recognition and support of colleges in supplying the advanced skills and applied research that are key to Canada’s economic growth.

There are two phases to the consultation: written submissions and appearances before the Finance Committee. The deadline for written submissions to the Committee is no later than Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at midnight EST.

The Committee is also expected to hold hearings in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Yellowknife, and Vancouver.

We strongly encourage all our members to take advantage of this opportunity to promote our common priorities. Colleges and Institutes Canada will provide you with our draft submission around mid-July to assist you in preparing your own submission.

For more info, see the House of Commons news release.

Renewing links with Tunisia’s ISET network

Director General of Tunisia’s Instituts supérieurs des études technologiques (ISET) network, Ali Gharsallah, recently invited VP, Paul Brennan to deliver a speech to ISET director generals during their day of reflection on the future of the network in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Meanwhile, plans were also outlined to renew CÉGEP and college partnerships with ISET network members. These partnerships were established fifteen years ago under the Programme de renforcement institutionnel canadien en Tunisie (PRICAT). The program was created and is managed by Colleges and Institutes Canada (formerly ACCC) with funding from the Canadian governement.

We are also pleased that the ISET network has elected to join the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics and its members are expected to take part in the next world Congress that will be held in Beijing at the end of October.


Barbados Workshop

The CARICOM Education for Employment Program (C-EFE) sponsored a week-long series of activities focused on Essential Employability Skills, in Barbados from June 23-27. In attendance were Caribbean and Canadian representatives from 16 C-EFE Institutional Partners and the Occupational Standards subcommittee members of the Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities (CANTA), C-EFE’s lead regional partner. C-EFE also worked with Douglas College to design and deliver the main workshop.

The workshops that were held will help CANTA develop guidelines for building “critical employability skills” into the regional occupational standards. They will also support the Caribbean training institutions by ensuring tools and resources are available to facilitate embedding of employability skills in curriculum development and program delivery.

Supporting Immigrants

In mid-June, Cynthia Murphy, Director of the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP), was a panelist at the Conference Board of Canada’s Western Canadian Immigration Conference called Enhancing Canada’s Immigration System – from Invitation to Integration.  Fascinating discussions examined the immigration continuum and how best to Support newcomers to Canada from “Invitation to Integration.” Speakers included the Honourable Jean Augustine, Ontario Fairness Commissioner; Fariborz Birjandian, Executive Director of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society; and Wendy Fehr, Director of Immigrant Sector Council of Calgary.

Dave Harvey, Associate Vice-President of Business Development at SIAST also presented at the conference and SAIT was a co-sponsor of the event, which included delegates from colleges, universities, employers, sector councils, settlement agencies, immigration consulting organizations, and governments.

While in Calgary, Cynthia met with Bow Valley College’s Elza Bruk, Dean of the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement, and with Nicole Guyett, CIIP Focal Point Advisor. Bow Valley College’s Directions for Immigrants in Trades and Professional Careers program is an impressive initiative that has a client success rate of 88%!

While touring of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, Cynthia had the good fortune to meet staff members Lucila de la Cruz and Jessica Juen, both are CIIP graduates from the Philippines.

Report from the Commons Finance Committee on youth employment

On June 12, the Commons Finance Committee released its report on youth employment, which outlines recommendations to curb youth unemployment in Canada. Colleges and Institutes Canada (formerly ACCC) was among 36 organizations consulted by committee members and is quoted on several occasions in the final report.

As youth unemployment and underemployment remain a challenge, it is more important than ever to develop employment-oriented training opportunities.


New speaker at International Education Leadership Academy 2014

We are pleased to announce a new speaker at the International Education Leadership Academy 2014, which will be held August 11 to 15 in Montebello, Québec.
Bernard Simon is an esteemed journalist and teacher as well as the author of a recent report for the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and the Canadian International Council titled Time For a Fresh Curriculum, Canada’s International Education Strategy.
For more information or to register, click here.


Statements from Colleges and Institutes Canada


Aboriginal Day

Colleges and Institutes Canada President Denise Amyot issued a statement in recognition of the great contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canadian society and to highlight the role Association members play in supporting education for Indigenous learners in Canada.

We shared our statement in honour of National Aboriginal Day, the annual celebration that sees Canadians come together to celebrate the many outstanding contributions of the country’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. We stressed the importance of culturally-relevant education for Indigenous learners and the need for programs that reduce barriers to education.

To read the full statement, click here.

World Pride 2014

On June 20, Colleges and Institutes Canada issued a statement celebrating the start of World Pride 2014 and supporting diversity. The Association delivered a message of solidarity with Canada’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning and two-spirited communities – the only national educational organization to do so.

Colleges and Institutes Canada stresses the importance of inclusiveness and equality in education, as well as ensuring barriers to academic and personal success like homophobia and transphobia are stopped quickly.

Click here to read the entire statement.




Pete Merlo appointed Chair of Grande Prairie Regional College

Pete Merlo has been appointed Chair of Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) effective July 1. Mr. Merlo has served on the Board of Directors since 2006 and as Vice Chair since last year. He takes over from outgoing Chair Vincent Vavrek, a much-respected leader who served with distinction since 2006 and who oversaw one of the most dynamic periods in the College’s history.

Marilyn Luscombe accepts second term as NBCC President and CEO

Marilyn Luscombe has agreed to a second five-year term as president and CEO of New Brunswick Community College (NBCC). First appointed in 2010, Ms. Luscombe was NBCC’s first president and CEO since its restructuring and transition from a government department to a Board-governed Crown Corporation. During her tenure, the College has increased its number of graduates, the number of students supported through learning accommodations, and seating capacity to meet provincial training demands, among other achievements in support of the College’s strategic plan.

CÉGEP de Sherbrooke’s Martine Robillard wins Margot Phaneuf

At the 28th annual conference of the association representing Quebec’s CÉGEP nursing instructors (AEESICQ), the Margot Phaneuf prize was awarded to CÉGEP de Sherbrooke nursing instructor Martine Robillard. Ms. Robillard won in the Document category for her project Die X 30, an Internet tool that allows students completing their nursing studies to receive 30 days of online assistance to maximize their chances to pass the nursing exam of the Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec. Congratulations Martine!

Dr. Peter Nunoda appointed President of Vancouver Community College

The Vancouver Community College (VCC) Board of Governors has appointed Dr. Peter Nunoda to serve as its new President starting August 18. During the most recent stop of his 27-year career in higher education, Dr. Nunoda served as Vice President, Academic and Research at Northern Lights College in Fort St. John, BC. Dr. Nunoda has also served in academic leadership roles at University College of the North and the University of Manitoba.

Rick Helman of Loyalist College OCASA Volunteer Award

Rick Helman, Director of Financial Planning & Budgets at Loyalist College, was presented with a Volunteer Recognition Award at the Ontario College Administrative Staff Association (OCASA) Professional Development Conference on June 23rd. Rick was honoured for his long history of volunteer activity both provincially and locally. He as also volunteered at Loyalist where he has coached the College cross-country team, and is currently on the board of the Community and Advocacy Legal Clinic (CALC)