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February 24, 2020

Gender equality: a new program and renewed call to action

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is also a call to action to accelerate progress on gender equality. On March 8, #IWD2020 is about collective individualism for action – how each one of us can help raise awareness about issues impacting women’s equality, take a stand to call out inequality, and applaud important gains being made.

This year, #IWD2020 is asking us how we can all support #EachForEqual – all day, every day. On campuses across the country, colleges and institutes spearhead innovative programs and initiatives to help their communities make progress towards a gender equal world. For example, Confederation College’s Women in Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Carpentry program is completely free and encourages women to build careers in the trades, and BCIT’s Trades Discovery for Women programs are designed to prepare women to successfully enter and complete technical training. Similarly, the Cégep de Trois-Rivières recently produced a video highlighting woman in its Electrical Technologies program. NorQuest College’s 1000 Women, A Million Possibilities campaign recently celebrated ten years of providing bursaries to improve access to education for women and NSCC launched a marine bursary program for women and Indigenous Canadians and offers further opportunities through its Women in Entrepreneurship program!

Many colleges and institutes are also involved in our Education for Employment programs abroad, one of the important ways we are working to advance women’s equality. All of these programs aim to help vulnerable populations achieve parity, women in particular. In fact, all EFE programs directly support Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and are globally contributing to Sustainable Development Goals 5, 4, and 8! EFE projects are currently operating in 15 countries:

To mark IWD, we are thrilled to announce our brand new program in Senegal, Mille femmes: Je suis femme, j’existe, je participe (One Thousand Women: I am woman, I exist, I participate), which will facilitate access to professional and technical training for Senegalese women. The new initiative was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a visit to Senegal and will adapt training to the needs of women working in numerous sectors! Learn more about Education for Employment, skills development, and gender equality in our “Skills Development as a Means to Women’s Empowerment,” report.

Coming up to #IWD2020 let us know what you, your staff, faculty, and students are doing on campus to accelerate gender equality. Share your stories, programs, and initiatives on social media so we can amplify your success!

Women’s equality can’t wait; collectively we all play a part in making gender-equal boardrooms and workplaces, government and media, and thus gender-equal prosperity a reality.

See you in Montreal!

Did you know that our Connection Conference is in less than 70 days? This is the largest event of its kind in Canada, so be sure to register and book your travel! This year, the event is set to engage and challenge you with diverse keynotes including:

  • Bina48, one of the world’s most advanced social robots;
  • Ollivier Dyens, leader in artificial intelligence and founder of Building 21, an open lab dedicated to rethinking higher education in the 21st century;
  • a panel including Indigenous Advocate and founder of Uniting Our Voices, a platform for Indigenous voices to be heard, Nikki Fraser and John McArthur, senior fellow in the Global Economic and Development program at the Brookings Institution;
  • Janet Bannister, entrepreneur and founder of; and,
  • Thomas Frey, futurist and founder of DaVinci Institute, a not-for-profit networking firm and think tank. 

Join us May 3 to 5 – early bird registration ends on March 15!

On top of the main event, we are also hosting a pre-conference forum for colleges and institutes serving rural, remote, and northern communities that will gather leaders to explore best practices in sustainability of regional campuses and look at how colleges and institutes support the social, cultural and economic development of rural, remote and northern communities! A call for proposals is now available.

We can’t wait to see you in Montreal!

Take advantage of fair dealing resources for teachers

Did you know that teachers and students today have greater opportunities for learning as a result of a Supreme Court of Canada 2012 decision clarifying how fair dealing applies in the classroom?

The decision permits teachers to use short excerpts from copyright-protected works in their classes without needing to obtain permission from the copyright owner or paying copyright royalties, provided the dealing is for an educational purpose and is “fair.”

With this in mind, the Copyright Consortium of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) has developed an online Fair Dealing Decision Tool to inform educators of their rights and obligations to ensure compliance with copyright law.

This #FairDealingWeek, we encourage you to take advantage of CMEC’s online tool to support further learning, foster innovation, and drive knowledge in your classrooms! Be sure to join the conversation on Twitter during #FairDealingWeek, from February 24 to 28.

Canadian colleges and institutes to support the green economy in the Caribbean

On February 11, we were in St. Lucia with Global Affairs Canada and partners from 10 Canadian colleges and institutes and 12 Caribbean institutions to celebrate the official launch of the Skills to Access the Green Economy (SAGE) program! SAGE is a new Education for Employment (EFE) program supporting demand-driven technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in key economic sectors vulnerable to the impacts of climate change in Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.

Following official launch activities, SAGE program partners participated in a three-day orientation session which provided an opportunity to develop a shared understanding of the program. Presentations focused on gender analysis, projection of green skills, development of occupational standards, the awarding of Caribbean vocational qualifications, and curriculum development.

Take a look at this video compilation of the SAGE Launch Week events.

Leaders come together to discuss lifelong learning

On February 6 and 7, over 140 Canadian college and institute leaders, government officials, and stakeholders came together for our National Symposium on Continuing Education! The two-day event in Toronto brought participants together to explore how we can better collaborate and build partnerships to meet the skill needs of the labour market.

The event featured excellent presentations from keynotes Pedro Barata, inaugural executive director of the Future Skills Centre; and The Honourable Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; as well as sessions and roundtable discussions with industry experts. The insights and perspectives shared sparked fruitful and lively exchanges on anticipated disruptive factors impacting workforce needs and the role colleges and institutes can play in addressing the skills gaps and ensuring inclusive growth for all Canadians.

Photos from the event are available online.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Durham College recently became the first college in Canada to provide college courses in prison through the Walls to Bridges (W2B) education program? W2B facilitates for-credit post-secondary courses taught within correctional settings, and each W2B classroom sees equal numbers of incarcerated and non-incarcerated students learning together as peers. Durham College currently offers W2B for students enrolled in Mediation – Alternative Dispute Resolution and Victimology programs.


Coast Mountain College announced the appointment of Justin Kohlman as the college’s new president. Kohlman has been a part of Coast Mountain’s leadership team since 2015.


Jun 20 - 24th, 2021
CICan Leadership Institute for Leaders in International
Toronto, Toronto Marriott City Centre
Jun 20 - 24th, 2021
CICan Leadership Institute for Leaders in Applied Research and Innovation
Toronto, Toronto Marriott City Centre
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