All Posts Tagged With: "Ireland"
Experts say more Canadians should consider skilled trades
VANCOUVER – The current shortage of skilled tradespeople in Western Canada is so dire that the B.C. Construction Association is returning to Ireland this month to hire 600 people, said the group’s vice-president.
In fact, even if one-in-five students graduating from high school in B.C. during the next three years were to pursue a trade, there still wouldn’t be enough workers to fill shortages in the province’s construction industry, said Abigail Fulton.
Not everybody agrees with the recruitment drive, especially the province’s labour leaders who argue employers can find skilled, unionized Canadian workers to fill immediate, vacant positions.
Yet, a consensus is developing that there will be a shortage of skilled workers in the coming decade, as proponents of the liquefied natural-gas industry, hydro-electric projects and oil and gas pipelines push their proposals forward.
“There’s lots of evidence to suggest we’re not doing enough to train construction workers in skilled trades in British Columbia, and if even half these projects come through we’re going to have a crisis unless we start now to deal with the problem,” said Jim Sinclair, president of the BC Federation of Labour.
The provincial government’s own statistics indicate there will be more than one-million job openings over the next decade, and more than 153,000 of those will be among trades, transport, equipment operators and related occupations. Retirements will be responsible for two-thirds of the vacancies, and new economic growth will be behind the remaining third, states the British Columbia Labour Market Outlook 2010-2020.
What students are talking about today (February 6th)
1. Olympic gold medal swimmer and dimwit Ryan Lochte has recreated Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover for ESPN The Magazine and everyone’s making the same joke about Kurt Cobain rolling over in his grave. Lochte subs in for the baby in the photo. He told ESPN that, “if you look at the baby, he’s definitely happy in the water. And that’s what I am.” He also noted, “he’s chasing after a dollar bill. So he’s always on the grind.”
2. Eight years after same-sex marriage became legal in Canada, Britain’s House of Commons on Tuesday approved a proposal that will allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales. The vote was 400 to 175. On the topic of gay rights, a photo has emerged of an unnamed West Point cadet escorting his boyfriend to a winter formal. The photo appeared on the Facebook page of Knights Out, the West Point alumni support group for GLBTQ soldiers. If gay couples can be accepted at the most prestigious military academy in America, it seems only a matter of time until the entire country follows.
3. Queen’s University held its first ever Black History Month opening ceremony last week. “I hope [what] Queen’s students take away from this is that there is a big Afro-Caribe culture here at Queen’s,” organizer Stephanie Jackson told The Queen’s Journal. Black History Month, originally “Negro History Week” when it was started in 1926 by black historian Carter G. Woodson, is held each February in honour of President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and Frederick Douglass, the famous anti-slavery activist. Queen’s president Daniel Woolf told the opening ceremony crowd that Black History Month won’t always be needed, but that it is today. Federal Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney honoured black law enforcement officers on Tuesday. Among the participants were Devon Clunis, Canada’s first black Chief of Police (in Winnipeg) and Lori Seale-Irving, the first black commissioned officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The government also drew attention in a press release to the Black History Virtual Museum.
4. “Good men are hard to find—at least on television,” writes Angela Johnston of MacEwan University’s The Griff. “The archetypes of bumbling doofus (for example, Melissa McCarthy’s counterpart in Mike and Molly) and sociopathic jerk (see Alex Karev in Grey’s Anatomy) have been abundant for decades, with few alternatives.” She notes a recent article in the The Atlantic explored this phenomenon and she’s been watching shows that don’t stereotype men, like Parenthood.
5. After a long delay, Concordia University has announced Canada’s first Major in Canadian Irish Studies will go ahead this fall. The bachelor’s degree will allow students to explore the history, literatures and cultures of Ireland and the Irish Diaspora. Courses include James Joyce, Irish Traditional Music: A Global Soundscape, The Irish in Montreal, Irish Mythology and Folklore, Field Studies in Ireland and Cinema in Quebec and Ireland. Michael Kenneally, director of the Centre for Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia, told Maclean’s in 2011 why interest in Ireland is so high in Quebec. “If you’re interested in cultural nationalism, colonialism, post-imperial identities, partition and decolonization, rebellion and independence, Ireland is a case study for all of that.”
Nintendo guns banned, the Turkey Dump & Hipster ads
1. Remember those orange Nintendo Zapper guns from the 1990s? Apparently they were okay for millions of children to use, but they’re too offensive to be viewed by grown-up students at Saint Mary’s University. Citing a postering policy, SMU’s student association told the campus gaming society to take down posters that used the guns to advertise an event.
2. You’ve made it to Thanksgiving in your first year of university or college, but did your relationship survive? On Twitter, students are talking about the Turkey Dump, the annual tradition of first-year students breaking up with their high school sweethearts on their first trip home from school.
3. The winner of a cockroach-eating contest in Florida (where else) has died. The Ben Siegel Reptile Store near Miami, which held the event, had offered the winner a pet python.
Concordia’s new degree will be the first of its kind
Only a tenth of Canada’s 4.4 million Canadians of Irish ancestry call Quebec home. And yet, it’s the epicentre of research on the Emerald Isle.
Concordia University’s School of Canadian Irish Studies—the only one of its kind in Canada—will have more than 700 students enrolled this fall, studying everything from the Great Famine to James Joyce. The first ever bachelor of arts in Canadian Irish studies will begin in January. “The success of Irish studies at Concordia is quite striking,” says Will Straw, director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, “particularly since these kinds of ‘area’ studies programs are having difficulty in other universities.”
Interest in Ireland is especially high in Quebec, says Michael Kenneally, principal of the Concordia school. “Here in Quebec, if you’re interested in cultural nationalism, colonialism, post-imperial identities, partition and decolonization, rebellion and independence, Ireland is a case study for all of that.” And, he adds, “preserving the Irish language has a lot of resonance in Quebec.”
And, it seems, for the government of Jean Charest, who claims Irish ancestry through his late mother; it gave $2.5 million to the Canadian Irish Studies Foundation, which gives all of its money to Concordia. Brian Gallery, former Westmount mayor and chief fundraiser, helped add nearly $7 million to the foundation’s pot of gold.
While no one knows why exactly La Belle Province is so enthusiastic about Ireland, surely their shared history tells part of the story. Both Quebec and Ireland have had secession movements, a history of Catholic-Protestant tensions, and share the same former colonial master.
Multiple daily downloads pushed him over the limit
Irish newspapers have picked up a rather odd warning from a student at University College Cork. The student told the Cork Student News that his peers should be careful about downloading pornographic videos onto their smartphones without have reading the fine print of their mobile contracts. The second-year food business student racked up $2,330 in data charges and subsequently dropped out of school, though he has since decided to return.
“When I signed up, I was misinformed,” the embarrassed student, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the newspaper. “They told me that unlimited internet was part of the deal. I asked the customer service agent repeatedly to make sure that this was the case, and was repeatedly told that it was.” In reality, there was an monthly limit, which he surpassed by downloading “multiple videos” each day during a period when he had no other internet access.
The phone company reduced his charges to $565 as a goodwill gesture.