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January 8, 2018

10 Things to watch in 2018

10 Things to watch in 2018

2018 is here and there are a lot of things on our mind! In no particular order, here are the top 10 to watch in the coming year:

  1. Cannabis legalization

With July 2018 looming, Canada’s provinces and territories are working hard to ensure everything necessary is in place in advance of the legalization of cannabis. Recognizing a new skills gap to be filled, colleges and institutes like Niagara College, CCNB and Loyalist College have quickly developed and launched programs like to train students and conduct research in the burgeoning industry – becoming the first post-secondary institutions in the country to offer programs in areas ranging from cannabis production and cultivation, to facilities and business management. This year, we’ll be watching to see how colleges and institutes continue to partner with industry to develop programs in response to increasing demand, as well as to adapt programming in other areas affected by cannabis legalization, such as healthcare, law enforcement, and social services.

  1. Trade and manufacturing

The future of trade is definitely on Canada’s radar in 2018. The implementation of Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will significantly liberalize trade between Canada and the European Union. Meanwhile, Canadian and US diplomats are in active discussions to renegotiate NAFTA, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team recently embarked on a mission to open trade discussions with China. Amazon also recently launched a bidding process to find its new headquarters, with several Canadian cities attempting to woo the tech giant. This year, we’ll be looking at these changes through a jobs and skills lens. Trade renegotiations could mean big changes in the flow of goods and labour with big implications for sectors like advanced manufacturing. We’ll be watching to see how colleges and institutes step up to partner with industry, adapting to changes and training local workforces accordingly.

  1. #MeToo #NowWhat

Towards the later part of 2017, brave individuals began speaking out using the hashtag #MeToo to describe their experiences of sexual harassment and violence. The campaign grew to such heights that TIME magazine named the Silence Breakers – the women and men of the #MeToo movement – its 2017 Person of the Year. Colleges and institutes have worked hard to address sexual harassment and violence on their campuses. In Quebec, for example, Ni viande, ni objet, a multiplatform campaign conceived by the Cégep de Sherbrooke and its student association, and aimed at preventing violence of a sexual nature, has grown quickly since its inception in 2016. It is now present in various forms at cégeps across the province. This year, we’ll be watching to see how colleges and institutes tackle #NowWhat, incorporating sexual harassment and violence prevention into their curriculum, in order to train future executives, managers, and labourers to identify, report, and prevent sexual harassment and violence in the workplace.

  1. New priorities in health care

In 2017 we saw the federal government sign individual health accord agreements with provinces and territories, which included new funding for homecare and mental health care. Colleges and institutes have long worked to tailor their programs to industry demand in collaboration with various stakeholders, so this year we will be watching to see how colleges and institutes evolve their training to meet the needs of the mental health workers and home care deliverers of tomorrow.

  1. Innovation potential

Innovation was the big buzz word of 2017, with the Government of Canada committing to a review of its business innovation and clean technology programs, expanding the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program, creating Innovation Canada as part of Budget 2017, and announcing the shortlist of applicants for the Government’s Supercluster Initiative. As partners and leaders of many of Canada’s most innovative projects, colleges and institutes will be well positioned to bring the federal innovation focus to life in 2018. We’ll be watching to see where college and institute innovation takes us in the coming year, particularly in terms of inclusive economic growth.

  1. New infrastructure projects

With details of Canada’s new Infrastructure Bank coming to light towards the end of 2017, we can expect to see investments in several large public infrastructure projects over the next few years. This could mean big changes for cities, rural areas, and isolated communities; but it also begs the question of where the skilled workforce needed to complete these projects will come from. We’ll be watching to see how colleges and institutes, as the key providers of training in the skilled trades professions, respond to the challenge!

  1. Transportation revolution

In 2017, UPS, PepsiCo., Wal-Mart, and Canadian chain Loblaws Companies Ltd. were among the first companies to pre-order Tesla’s new all-electric semi-truck which is expected to revolutionize the shipping and cargo industry with lower-costs and cleaner operations. We also saw the first Canadian test-drive of an autonomous car on a public street in the west end of Ottawa – partners on the project included the City of Ottawa and Algonquin College. Technology could soon be changing how we get around in our day-to-day lives. Red River College has long been conducting research into the future of transportation at its Advanced Transportation & Energy Centre, notably with the use of Hybrid Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines (HHICE) in public buses, which they have been cold-weather testing to ensure that the vehicles are adapted to cold Canadian climates. This year, we’ve got the future of transportation, and what it means for the climate, manufacturing, geography, and access to services for isolated communities on our mind.

  1. Changing media landscape

Media and news have taken on a very different face in the past few years. Print media is in decline as readers move online and to social media to find up-to-the-minute developing stories. This has many people questioning the reliability and relevance of traditional mainstream media outlets, though in the era of “fake news” we are seeing a renaissance for some trusted outlets. A recent deal between Postmedia and Torstar saw the closing of dozens of local newspapers, mainly across Ontario. It seems everybody is asking, what’s next? For colleges and institutes training media, communications, journalism, and public relations, we’ll be watching to see how curriculums are adjusted to prepare students for the current and future media landscapes.

  1. The future of work

From Canada’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth recommendations to the Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) Jobs Strategy forum, many conversations were had this year on what tomorrow’s jobs might look like and how to best prepare a skilled workforce. By offering valuable hands-on learning experiences, developing programs in collaboration with industry, focusing resources on reskilling and life-long learning, and ensuring that vulnerable populations are equipped with soft or foundational skills, colleges and institutes are cementing their leadership, ready to ensure that Canadians are equipped with the skills to succeed amid labour market disruption. This year, we’ll be watching to see how Canada’s gig economy changes and what micro-credentialing could look like in formal post-secondary institutions. 

  1. Canada’s linguistic profile

New data from Statistics Canada, tells us that Canada is becoming more linguistically diverse, with 19.4% of Canadians reporting that they speak a language other than English or French at home in the 2016 Census. The data also indicated that the number of people speaking Indigenous languages in Canada has grown by 3.1% since 2006. Following an extensive national consultation, the federal government is expected to launch a new Action Plan for Official Languages in the coming months, to increase and promote bilingualism across the country, and support the vitality of official language minority communities. Colleges and institutes make important contributions to Canada’s linguistic diversity by not only providing instruction in both official languages, but also by being among the few providers of Indigenous language education in the country. We’ll be watching to see what progress can be made at these institutions to not only promote bilingualism, but also to incorporate Indigenous languages in education delivery.

No matter which way you look at it, 2018 is sure to be exciting. Stay tuned for the college and institute spin on Canada’s trends.

Call for Talent: CICan’s 2018 Art Showcase

For the fifth year in a row, Colleges and Institutes Canada is looking to showcase student talent on the walls of the association’s national office at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa! For the 2018 Art Showcase, CICan invites students from colleges and institutes across the country to submit their artwork.

This year, CICan will be selecting a winner from the following six categories:

  • printmaking, including etching, lithography, relief, silkscreen-printing, or papermaking;
  • textile, mixed media, or sculpture, from stitching rich tapestries to molding clay, carving wood to unique dyeing techniques;
  • photography;
  • digital Illustration or animation, including comic strips, posters, or multi-dimensional living images;
  • painting; and,
  • drawing.

Each winner will receive a monetary prize of $350!

The winning artwork will be displayed at the CICan offices, and will receive recognition on CICan’s website and in various association publications. The final voting will take place during CICan’s annual conference, April 29- May 1 in Victoria, BC!

Click here for more information and to submit your artwork! The deadline for submissions is March 9, 2018.

New work placement opportunities available for ICT sector through ITAC Career Ready Program

In August, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), Canada’s business association for the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector, was pleased to launch its work-integrated learning Career Ready Program with funding through the Government of Canada’s Student Work Integrated Learning Program (SWILP).

The Career Ready Program aims to help both students and employers bridge the school-to-work transition by increasing access to incremental and sustainable work-term placements, and by continuing collaborative partnerships between employers and post-secondary institutions across the country.

Over the next four years, the program will match current post-secondary students studying in Business Technology Management, Computer Science, Computer Systems Technology, Computer Engineering, or similar programs with job placements, and provide employers with wage subsidies of up to 50% (to a maximum of $5,000) of a student’s work-term pay. Employers that hire students from underrepresented groups including women in STEM, indigenous students, recent immigrants, persons with disabilities, and first-year students may also qualify for additional funding (up to 70% or $7,000).

The program applies to a continuum of learning opportunities ranging from structured work experience to instances where the employer engages directly with the post-secondary education institution to address a particular challenge. It can include co-op placements, internships, field placements, or applied projects to solve particular problems for employers.

ITAC is also interested in connecting with post-secondary institutions across Canada to establish collaborative partnerships that result in systemic and sustainable change for the institution, such as a partnership with Red River College to assist in the expansion of their ACE Project Space Program.

For more information about participating in the program or about connecting with ITAC, please contact Gina van Dalen, Executive Director, ITAC Talent at or at (905) 602-8345 ext. 2010; or Marc-André Léger, Quebec WIL Placement Officer at or (514) 824-6302.

Montreal Holocaust Museum offers students a thought-provoking experience

January 27th, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is an excellent opportunity to invite students to reflect on the Holocaust.

The genocide of the Jews is a defining event in human history and one that shook the foundation of Western society. Studying it provides insight not only into current society, but also into what citizens can do to preserve democracy.

The educational resources and training provided by the Montreal Holocaust Museum allow students to develop a historical and critical approach; Exploring the Evidence: The Holocaust, Cambodian Genocide, and Canadian Intervention is one example. By analyzing and interpreting primary sources and following a comparative approach, students can reflect on potential interventions by governments and civil society during a genocide.

An exhibit entitled United against genocide: Understand, question, prevent allows students to understand how history affects individual lives. By viewing testimonials about resistance during four genocides, students will discover how citizens can have a positive impact on history. This exhibit also examines four precarious contemporary situations, including that of the Rohingya people, and explores methods currently used to prevent genocide.

If you would like to host this exhibition at your college or institute, consider reserving the travelling exhibition.

Studying the Holocaust stimulates reflection on the power of the citizen and the role of the State in protecting human rights, both yesterday and today.   

Take part in CICan’s Career-Launcher Internship webinar

Career-Launcher Internships logo

Mark your calendar for the upcoming rescheduled Webinar on: Help your grads access valuable career opportunities!

Join us to discover how CICan’s Career-Launcher Internships offer grads paid internships in clean technology and natural resources. In this webinar, you will learn how your institution, your grads, and your local employers can benefit from up to $15,000 in wage subsidy from the internship program.

Date: Wednesday, January 24 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EST)

Attending is easy! No registration is required. Simply join the webinar by clicking here.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that students from the Cégep Marie-Victorin participated in a project with Radio-Canada to promote science among primary-school students in North Montreal? The students presented scientific concepts in short clips on the radio to encourage disadvantaged youth to persevere and continue their studies. Read more at Les années lumière or from the cégep here.


North Island College was pleased to announce that John Bowman will renew his contract and serve as President and CEO for a second term until June 2022

University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) and Vancouver Island University (VIU) were pleased to announce the appointments of new Chancellors. Andy Sidhu was appointed UFV’s third Chancellor; while Louise Mandell was reappointed Chancellor of VIU for a second three-year term.


Conference 2018

Registration for CICan’s 2018 Conference is currently open. Click here for more information and to register.

Send Us Your News

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.