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Yukon passes bill to create first university in Canada’s North

Bob Weber, writing for the Canadian Press »

Once the college is transformed, it will become the first institution in the territories to grant a degree under its own name. Diplomas the first graduates of the governance program get next spring will read “Yukon University.”


Research is to centre on issues around environmental conservation and sustainable resource development. It will be conducted in a new, $26-million science building funded by Ottawa and currently being designed.

Read the Canadian Press article via The Winnipeg Free Press »

The Inuvik–Tuktoyaktuk Highway » A new road in the north

Crystal Gail Fraser, writing in The Walrus »

Our truck wasn’t the only vehicle bouncing up the road. We passed several RVs, likely those of tourists from down south. The government of the NWT markets the highway as a “milestone” and “the first road in history to reach the polar shore of North America.” The federal government, for its part, has linked the road’s opening with persistent and troublesome narratives of nation building, heralding it as connecting all Canadians “from coast to coast to coast.” I wondered how many of those tourists saw the highway that way—as simply an avenue to the Arctic Ocean, a handy bucket-list adventure. To me, and to those who live on either end of the highway, the new road is about connecting with ourselves.


Our first stop in Tuktuyaaqtuuq was the beach at the end of Beaufort Road, also known as The Point, where the landmark Arctic Ocean sign stands. There were a dozen or more rented vehicles and tourist buses parked and a long lineup at the latrine. Megan and I hoisted ourselves out of the truck, still stiff from driving 3,300-plus kilometres. Quinn, now untethered, sprang from her car seat and sprinted toward the water—an act to get any parent’s heart pounding. I chased her down the beach, fighting through a thick cloud of mosquitoes that dissipated once I reached the water’s edge.

Read the whole article in The Walrus »

Nine out of 10 Canadians who switched careers say they are happier

Some are looking for better pay, for others the motivation is opportunity for growth, or a better quality of life, and for others it may be for more corny reasons.

Brandie Weikle, writing for CBC News »

The Indeed research found that better pay was the most common reason respondents changed careers, with 63 per cent citing it as their main motivation. But 57 per cent of those who switched said they did so because they wanted more opportunity for growth.

Like Norton, 47 per cent said they enrolled in education and training programs to execute their career transformation.

Because of his long tenure as a teacher, Norton’s job as a firefighter came with a 30 per cent pay cut. But after about 3.5 years, Norton will move up pay grades and match his previous compensation.

Navarre Bailey also took a pay cut with his career change in 2017. After 13 years in corporate marketing roles, Bailey no longer felt good about how he was making a living.

Angus Reid poll » 68 percent of Canadians would support electoral reform

Levon Sevunts »

Seven-in-ten (69 per cent) Canadians who voted for the CPC in October say they would change the electoral system, compared to just 28 per cent of Tory supporters who supported the idea in 2016.

There is an even higher level of support for the electoral system reform among left-of-centre voters.

Eighty-six per cent of New Democratic Party voters and 83 per cent of Green Party supporters want to change the electoral system.

Fifty-five per cent of Liberal voters also support the idea.

“Increasing approval across all parties has transformed this – at least for now – from a divisive to a consensus issue,” said Shachi Kurl, executive director of the institute.

Read the whole article at RCI »


Prime Minister Trudeau reassures Ukrainian president of Canada’s ‘steadfast’ support

Levon Sevunts »

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy who called on Friday to congratulate the Liberal leader on his re-election.

Trudeau reaffirmed Canada’s “steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said a readout of the call released by the Prime Minister’s Offices.

The two leaders discussed progress in the implementation of the Minsk Agreement to end the conflict in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine, as well as recent confidence-building measures such as prisoner exchanges between Russia and Ukraine.

Read the whole article at Radio Canada International »

Canada is becoming a start-up mecca rivalling Silicon Valley

Since 2015, Canada has become a lot more hospitable to start-ups. Big tech companies now have a presence. Corporate investment is flowing in across the country.

Elaine Pofeldt, writing for CNBC »

Innovative business ideas are bubbling up in this emerging start-up mecca that is now rivaling Silicon Valley. It’s not surprising that five Canadian companies made the 2019 CNBC Upstart 100 list unveiled on Tuesday. The ranking of the world’s most promising start-ups included Deep Genomics [Toronto]; Attabotics, Calgary; Nobul, Toronto: Cmd, Vancouver and; RenoRun, Montreal. Collectively these fledglings raised over $77 million in venture capital.

Their funding success is indicative of a broader phenomenon. Canadian venture capital funds poured about $2.2 billion into 249 financings in the first half of 2019, according to the Canadian Venture Capital Report, published by CPE Media Analytics. The growth has been driven by scale-ups like Sonder Canada, an Airbnb partner, which raised the equivalent of $250 million in funding this past summer, the report found.

Video » The Remarkable Economy of Canada

Quebec denies a French citizen—who completed a PhD in a French-language university—residency for failing to show command of the French language

Leyland Cecco, writing in The Guardian »

A French doctoral student has been denied residency in Quebec after officials in Canada’s francophone province ruled that she had an inadequate command of her mother tongue.

Emilie Dubois, a graphic designer who has lived and studied in Quebec City for eight years, was stunned to find her recent residency application denied on the grounds that she failed to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of French.

CBC » Quebec denies French citizen’s immigration application because chapter of thesis was in English

Émilie Dubois, a French citizen, applied to settle in Quebec after completing a PhD at a French-language university, but the province turned her down because part of her thesis was in English.

More »

NY Times » For Quebec, a French Woman May Not Be French Enough


Canadian GDP grew 2.0% in 2018

Statistics Canada is reporting that in 2018 real gross domestic product (GDP) rose in all provinces and territories except Newfoundland and Labrador.

Nationally, real GDP grew 2.0%, after increasing 3.2% in 2017.

Increased exports from most regions and a modest rise in household spending contributed to the growth. These increases were partly offset by declines in business investment in non-residential construction resulting from the completion of major construction projects in several provinces and territories. This coincided with downward pressure on housing activity following the implementation of tightened mortgage rules and higher interest rates.

Full report is available from Statistics Canada »

Lights to go out on Little Bay Islands as locals agree to resettle

Tracey Lindeman, writing in The Guardian »

By New Year’s Day, Mike and Georgina Parsons – and their dog – will be the only permanent residents of Little Bay Islands. At 53 and 44 respectively, they are the island’s youngest full-time residents.

They moved to the community a few years back, attracted to the idea of living off the grid in Mike’s hometown, and have spent the last couple of years preparing for a life of solitude on the edge of the Atlantic.

As winter draws near residents have been slowly filing out, each weekend bringing more farewells. At least half the numbers in the phone directory have been disconnected. Many residents intend to return to their homes in the summers, but for others this may be goodbye.

Watching his parents and other residents pack up and go is tough, said Parsons. “In spite of the fact that 100% of the permanent residents here voted to leave, I know that to actually do it, to pack up their things and leave, is just heartbreaking.”

Read more »

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