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July 26, 2021

Beyond good intentions to action

Did you know that McKinsey & Company’s widely-cited 2015 Diversity Matters report found that companies with greater gender or racial and ethnic diversity among employees were more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians? McKinsey’s 2018 follow up, Delivering through Diversity, confirmed the correlation. The point is that committing to structures that empower diverse groups isn’t only an ethical and moral imperative, it’s also a good business decision. Win-win, right?

Pathways to many professions begin with post-secondary education, and so must the commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). In fact, many colleges and institutes stand out as leaders in the sector on policies, programs, and initiatives that foster an institution-wide culture of EDI:

Leaders in the field, these four institutions have also been instrumental in laying the foundation of our new national initiative sharing best practices and promoting a coordinated approach to a culture of inclusion specific to colleges and institutes: ImpAct-EDI!

  • As the national association with a mission to strengthen the system, we aim to bring together colleges and institutes from across the country in collaboration, sharing, learning, and amplifying in everything we do.
  • We also know many other colleges and institutes are already leaders in their communities. Stay tuned for more on this initiative to learn from each other and strengthen EDI at the national level, and for an opportunity to be a part of our new EDI Community of Practice and National Advisory Committee!
  • In case you missed it: Watch Perspectives LIVE “Amplifying BIPOC voices : representation, visibility, and opportunity,” for a look at the role of post-secondary institutions in addressing systemic racism in Canada and the steps that institutions can take to move from celebrating diversity to driving meaningful change.

We’re also proud to have marked a major milestone in diversity and concrete steps towards gender equity and greater inclusion at the highest level within our association. We’ve surpassed our goals as part of 50-30 Challenge!

  • The challenge encourages Canadian organizations to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplaces, while highlighting the benefits of giving all Canadians a seat at the table.

We’re serious about EDI, not only as an ethical and moral responsibility, but also as necessary for sustainable recovery. We have an opportunity now as individuals and as a sector to address structural and systemic barriers to inclusion in ways that move beyond good intentions to action.

Information session: Support for students facing barriers to post-secondary education

Back this year! Nominate a student for the CICan Paul and Gerri Charette Bursary providing support to college and institute students who face challenges, especially financial needs, to participating in and completing their post-secondary education! Deadline: September 17.

New eligibility criteria this year! Students enrolled full time in the first or second year of a multi-year program at a CICan member institution are now eligible. Last year, one in three applications were successful!

Students from or attending colleges or institutes in rural, remote, or northern areas will be given preference for the 20 bursaries of $5,000 each.

Showcase your institution and initiatives on the world stage!

Is your institution leading best practices in global professional and technical education, training, and research outcomes, skills development, and economic and social development? Submit a nomination for the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) fifth annual Awards of Excellence. All CICan member institutions are eligible!

New this year: the Awards recognize excellence of both individuals and institutions in 12 categories reflecting core values and strategic objectives of WFCP and its member institutions.

  • Recipients will be announced during WFCP’s 10th Bi-Annual World Congress in Donostia-San Sebastián. Deadline: November 1.

WFCP also recently launched its third best practices guide featuring last year’s Awards-of-Excellence-winning institutions, individuals, and projects in professional and technical education and training. Volume 3 includes four Canadian institutions: Collège La Cité, Red River College, Sheridan College, Lakeland College!

Reminder: Get students and grads working with Career Launcher

Did you know that Career Launcher provides wage subsidies to create jobs and meaningful work experiences for students and recent grads? New subsidies are available to fund internship opportunities!

How can you benefit? Your research centre or employment partners can access funding to help address labour shortages, diversify your workforce, and strengthen your industry:

Help mobilize an inclusive and skilled workforce! Career Launcher gives job seekers access to training and meaningful employment, and employers access to subsidies for training and salary costs. Learn more about additional resources available to ensure equitable access to opportunities!

For students: Help shape Canada’s environmental policy!

Are you a young Canadian who wants to help shape policies to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050? Are you leading the charge to create a healthier planet, with cleaner air, cleaner water, and good jobs for now and for generations to come? Have your voice heard on Canada’s first Environment and Climate Change Youth Council!

The new Youth Council will create meaningful opportunities for dialogue between young Canadians and the federal government on the key challenges of our time: fighting climate change, stemming rapid biodiversity loss, better protecting our natural environment, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and zero plastic waste by 2030.

Did you miss our Annual General Meeting?

Far from business as usual, this past year was filled with many challenges and many opportunities. At our Annual General Meeting at the end of June, we presented the key facts and figures in our Annual Report for 2020-2021. Check it out online!

Highlights! We also presented our annual awards for Distinguished Service and for Outstanding Partnership:

Towards a net-zero carbon future with C2R2

In the face of a climate emergency and pandemic recovery, leadership in sustainability is more important than ever. CICan and Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2), a coalition of 15 CICan members leading skills development for the green economy, share the commitment to environmental sustainability and resilient recovery!

  • Together we can better position all colleges and institutes as key players in resilient economic recovery that will benefit all Canadians.

Don’t forget: Our paper, Leading the Way to a Net-Zero Carbon Future” presents the role of colleges and institutes in four pillars: green skills for a net-zero future, applied research and living labs, Indigenous and nature-based solutions, and leveraging campuses.

With their extensive footprint, expertise in equipping learners with job-ready skills, and an applied research innovation pipeline to small and medium-sized businesses, colleges and institutes are ideally positioned to support Canada’s transition to a net-zero future!

New program: Supporting NEET Indigenous and newcomer youth

To better support Indigenous and newcomer youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) in periods of economic instability, we launched a new three-year initiative funded by the Government of Canada under the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. Skills Compass will improve access to education and training, wrap-around supports, and career pathways for Indigenous and newcomer youth between the ages of 15 and 30 who are NEET, in line with our commitments to the SDGs! 

On design, implementation, and delivery, five colleges and institutes across Canada are collaborating to support up to 150 NEET youth:

  • Douglas College, Bow Valley College, andCollege of the North Atlantic will implement and deliver the program for Newcomer youth, and Red River College and Collège d’Alma will focus on tailoring the program for Indigenous youth.

Reminder: Our environmental scan highlights college and institute programs, program components, tools, and resources designed to support Indigenous and newcomer NEET youth and identifies both facilitating factors and barriers to the uptake of these resources.

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Fanshawe College is launching a new modular and immersive program in Oneida language, culture, and teaching? The new three-year program will take in about 20 students a year from all walks of life, with a curriculum designed to help graduates become teachers, translators, and storytellers. A first, the program is an important step in the movement to preserve the Oneida language and reverse its decline!


Cégep de Shawinigan appointed Nathalie Houle as director of student affairs and communication. Houle has nearly 20 years of experience in the education sector.

Yukon University appointed Lesley Brown as its new president. Most recently vice-president of academics at Mount Royal University, Brown will take on her new role effective August 16.

Camosun College appointed Dr Lane Trotter as the college’s new president, effective January 2022. Trotter is currently president of Langara College.

Douglas College appointed Leonel Roldán-Flores as its new associate vice-president, International Education. Roldán-Flores comes to the college with over 10 years of experience in post-secondary education.

Confederation College appointed Richard Gemmill as its new vice-president, Academic effective July 26. Gemmill has been with Confederation College for almost nine years.


Nov 30 - Dec 1st, 2022
CICan on the Hill + Student Showcase
Ottawa, National Arts Centre
Dec 5 - 9th, 2022
Leadership Institute for French-speaking Managers
Quebec City, Château Laurier
Dec 5 - 7th, 2022
Perfectionnement pour les responsables internationaux
Québec, Hôtel Château Laurier
View more


Visit Wellness Together Canada for free online mental health and substance use support.

Help get Canadians back together, FasterDownload promotional materials in support of vaccination.

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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.