All Posts Tagged With: "Manitoba"
Hint: It’s not schools, and they pay $80k after three years.
Education graduates face a dismal job market. Two-thirds of recent grads in Ontario aren’t working full-time. The University of British Columbia’s teacher’s college recently admitted that many graduates won’t find jobs in teaching.
Things are bad in Manitoba too. The local school boards didn’t even show up at Monday’s University of Manitoba education job fair.
But that same job fair should give education graduates a reason to be hopeful, because it showed how certain other employers value their experiences.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, for example, showed up at Manitoba’s education job fair for the first time Monday. The force is recruiting education graduates for the police academy in Regina.
Tuition is a deal. School spirit is an experience.
For Manitoban students, international study doesn’t require a transoceanic flight.
Manitoba has a 20-year-old reciprocity agreement with the State of Minnesota and at least 21 Canadians are currently studying at campuses of the highly-regarded University of Minnesota.
6.3 per cent dropped
Nearly 200 students, representing six per cent of the student body, have left Brandon University since November. Scott Lamont, the vice president of administration and finance, told CBC News that it’s safe to assume many students dropped because of the uncertainty and missed classes that resulted from the 45-day long professors’ strike. The student’s union called for a refund of tuition paid during the strike. Instead, the deadline for voluntary withdrawal from first semester courses was moved to Jan 6. and professors were told to complete classes. The professors picketed from Oct. 12 until Nov. 26 in order to extract higher wage increases. On Dec. 6, they ratified a four-year agreement that includes an 8.5 per cent wage increase, plus increases to professional development, travel and meal allowances. It was the second strike at Brandon in three years.
Occupy? Demand money back? Transfer to Winnipeg?
As the faculty strike at Brandon University enters its seventh week, students are frustrated. But that doesn’t mean they’ve been sitting on their hands.
For Nathan Layh, a fourth-year student in the School of Music, this is the second faculty strike that has interrupted his studies. He was there when faculty picketed for 17 days in 2008.
It’s an interruption he’s not taking lightly. Layh, along with a handful of other students, has been camped out on campus since mid-October as part of ‘Occupy the Courtyard,’ movement, hoping to raise awareness of the strike’s impact. Aside from leaving to go to work or similar obligations, Layh says five to 10 protestors have been living on the BU courtyard everyday, even in snow.
“It’s been a long month,” he said. “We didn’t expect it to go this long, we thought that both sides would see how detrimental this is to the university,” he added.
Minister takes “extraordinary” step
Manitoba’s labour minister has ordered striking professors to vote on the latest contract offer from Brandon University’s administrators. A strike at the small prairie school has killed classes for six weeks now. If a majority vote “yes,” professors will go back to work almost immediately.
“I have reviewed the circumstances of the dispute and the negative effect of the work stoppage on the students of Brandon University and the city of Brandon,” Labour Minister Jennifer Howard wrote in a letter to university president Deborah Poff and BUFA president Joe Dolecki yesterday. “I am of the opinion that a vote of the employees in (BUFA) to accept or reject the last offer of the employer, respecting all matters remaining in dispute between the parties, is in the public interest.”
The vote is expected later this week. The parties were close to a deal last week. The university offered raises of nine per cent raise over four years, plus an $1,800 back-to-work bonus. BUFA wants 10 per cent over four years, plus $3,000 for each member who goes back to work.
The reason Brandon professors have gone on strike for the second time in three years is that they feel they’re underpaid. Associate professors average $89,000, which is less than the $106,000 nationwide. Still, salaries are very similar to those paid at similar small schools like Nipissing University in North Bay, Ont.
Taxpayer watchdog opposed
Starting next April, foreign students attending high schools or post-secondary schools in Manitoba will get free health care coverage for themselves and their dependents, reports the Winnipeg Sun. That will save them roughly $400 each annually on private health insurance.
But the Canadian Taxpayer Federation’s Manitoba director says it’s “madness” for the province to pick up the tab, citing a growing provincial debt.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health defended the decision, saying that providing free health care to the province’s 3,200 international students and their families will give Manitoba a competitive advantage in recruiting more students, who may eventually settle in the province. The official did not provide an estimate of how much the program will cost, but suggested it will be minimal because most students are young and healthy.
Sticking point is wages, says professor
Staff at Brandon University are on strike. They hit the picket lines at 7:30 a.m. this morning.
Negotiations between the Brandon University Faculty Association and the administration ended at 5 a.m., reports CBC News. BUFA represents 240 professors, instructors and librarians.
The university says that classes for roughly 3,000 students are cancelled until at least Oct. 14. Deandra Tousignant, who speaks for the Brandon Students Union, said the faculty association communicated their support of students who cross the picket line for school work.
Jim Forsythe, a professor, told CBC that faculty asked for wage increases of four per cent for each of the next three years, but that the university offered two per cent in year one, two per cent in year two and no rise in year three. Taking into account inflation, the offer amounts to a pay cut, he said.
A recent Statistics Canada study of 27 universities showed that the median salary for associate professors in 2010-11 at Brandon was $95,220. The highest paid associate professors in the study were at York University ($123,959) and the lowest paid were at Vancouver Island University ($82,946). Brandon’s professors were the 20th best paid out of the 27 schools in the study.
BUFA was last on strike in 2008 for 17 days.
Ontario and Manitoba to vote in October
Students will go to the polls a month from now in two provinces: on Oct. 6 in Ontario and on Oct. 4 in Manitoba.
The Ontario Liberal Party made post-secondary students a big part of their plan, which was released today. If reelected, Dalton McGuinty says his Liberals would give 86 per cent of students substantial new tuition grants next year. University students would get $1,600 and college students would get $730. The grants only apply to those who come from households that make less than $160,000 per year. The promise would cost taxpayers $486-million per year. Ontario’s average annual university tuition fees are $6,000, according to Statistics Canada.
The Ontario PC Party, under Tim Hudak, says it would eliminate a $30-million scholarship program that McGuinty created to attract foreign students. They would also change the Ontario Student Assistance Program to allow more students from middle class families to qualify. “A student whose parents earn $39,000 and $46,000 would get about $2,500 in provincial OSAP support,” they said in a press release, adding: ”Dalton McGuinty gives that family no OSAP.”
The Ontario New Democrat platform does not specifically mention post-secondary students.
In Manitoba, New Democrat Premier Greg Selinger says that his government would freeze tuition, give universities a five per cent annual boost and triple annual student award funding to $20-million.
Manitoba Progressive Conservative candidate Hugh McFadyen’s government would boost training for northerners and aboriginals and also help to fund a new stadium at the University of Manitoba.
The races are tight in both provinces are tight.
In Ontario, the PC Party is leading with 35 per cent support while the Liberals have 30 per cent and the New Democrats have 26 per cent, according to a Forum Research poll released Sept. 1.
In Mantioba, the New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives were tied with 44 per cent support, according to the most recent poll, which was released by Probe Research on June 29.
Both polls had a three per cent margin of error.
Legislation would recognize Manitoba’s only French university
Legislation was proposed in the Manitoba legislature today that would see Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface (CUSB) elevated to full university status. Currently, CUSB is a University of Manitoba college that caters primarily to Winnipeg’s French-speaking population. Under the legislation, the new University of St. Boniface would have an independent senate, and would have greater flexibility in developing relationships with other institutions, though ties would be retained with the U of M. “This new legislation will provide the institution with more opportunities for academic partnerships across Canada, with the potential to offer students more options for graduate programs in partnerships with other institutions,” Advanced Education Minister, Erin Selby said in a government release. Founded, 1871, CUSB is the oldest university in western Canada.
Justice Dewar spared rapist jail time because victim sent signals that ‘sex was in the air’
The Canadian Federation of Students says it will file a complaint against Manitoba judge Robert Dewar over his handling of a sexual assault case. Dewar spared convicted rapist Kenneth Rhodes jail time and commented that the victim had sent signals that “sex was in the air” and further commented on the fact that the woman had been wearing a tube top, high heels and lots of makeup.
Related:Falsies don’t mean yes
While the Crown was seeking a three-year jail term for Rhodes, the judge handed down a two-year conditional sentence, arguing that “Not all guilty people are morally culpable to the same level.” On Thursday afternoon, student and community activists rallied outside the Manitoba Law Courts building, chanting “Yes means yes and no means no,” while demanding Dewar resign his post, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.
The Canadian Judicial Council has received several complaints against Dewar. CFS-Manitoba chair Alanna Makinson said the organization will be filing its own complaint. “These statements by Judge Dewar are reinforcing the myth of implied consent and the myth that the victim of sexual assault is ultimately responsible for their own victimization,” she said.
Manitoba justice was wrong to base ruling on rape victim’s clothing
All you girls out there better think twice before dressing up for a night out. After all, it seems that wearing a braless tube top is now judicially perceived as equivalent to the phrase, “Yes, I would like to have intercourse with you.” Heels mean you’re a harlot, in case you didn’t know, and wearing makeup implies you’re ready for a whole lot of fun. In future, eyes on the floor, skin clear, and for Christ’s sake keep those ankles covered. That way, we won’t have any confusion about so-called “consensual” sex.
These helpful hints are in accordance with a recent ruling by Manitoba’s Justice Robert Dewar, who decided that a man convicted of rape would not serve time in prison. According to Dewar, the victim sent signals that “sex was in the air,” specifically noting her attire which included high heels, a tube top without a bra, and lots of makeup. Commenting on the behaviour of the victim and her friend, Dewar said, “They made their intentions publicly known that they wanted to party.”
The obvious explanation is that Justice Dewar must’ve studied under Toronto’s Constable Michael Sanguinetti, who told a room full of York University students last month that they can avoid sexual assault by not dressing like “sluts.” The onus is on you, girls; make sure you don’t give the impression that you’re some sort of trollop. Because if you do—well, that’s pretty much the same thing as explicitly saying “yes,” right?
Actually, no. The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the idea of implied consent as a viable defense over a decade ago in a ruling involving the case of R. v. Ewanchuk. And before that, in 1992, Canada established rape shield law provisions essentially limiting the extent to which a victim’s sexual history could be brought into a rape trial. Both moves were seen as positive steps forward with regards to altering “blame the victim” attitudes often prevalent in sexual assault cases. But as they say, one step forward…
Rulings such as Dewar’s and comments such as Sanguinetti’s not only reinforce negative stereotypes about rape victims who “ask for it,” but will likely dissuade further victims from coming forward and pressing charges. As is, just one in nine cases of sexual assault is actually reported to police; and I can see why victims may want to avoid having their tube tops as Exhibit A and their flirtatious texts as Exhibit B. As long as we keep blaming the victim, we can expect few to come forward.
So let me reiterate: a tube top doesn’t mean “yes.” Falsies don’t mean “yes.” Nor does a smile, or a wink, or a hair toss or twirl. The clothing of the victim in the Manitoba case shouldn’t have been used as the basis for Dewar’s ruling. Those of us who know that shouldn’t less the grass grow under our feet. And mine, I can assure you, will be wearing some killer heels.
Critics says mandatory program pushes ‘white guilt’
Denise Henning was ousted out of her role as president of University College of the North, for opposing a course that promotes “white guilt,” the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Henning had sided with UCN’s Learning Council, roughly equivalent to an academic senate, which wanted the class on native awareness to be optional. The Governing Council wants to keep the class mandatory for all staff and students. It is the Learning Council that has official authority over course content.
“Right from day one, there were complaints about the course, because it was mandatory and in your face, pushing white guilt,” a source who spoke to the Free Press on the condition of anonymity said. Henning also found herself in conflict with UCN’s elder-in-residence after she appointed two non-aboriginals to senior administrative posts.
In late December, the Governing Council refused to renew Henning’s five-year contract. Despite the fact her term does not officially end until June, UCN has stated that she is a no longer a spokesperson for the college. Henning has since been appointed president of Northwest Community College in British Columbia. Her term starts March 1.
New programs for medical and law students are about getting professionals where they’re needed, not student aid
This summer, Dawson City, the second largest community in the Yukon, lost half its doctors when one of them decided to take a year-long sabbatical. The territorial government is currently building a hospital in the town, since the 1960s anyone who has to be held overnight for medical treatment has to be airlifted to Whitehorse, but many in the community question who’s actually going to work there.
Whitehorse, home to the territory’s only hospital, is facing a severe and growing doctor shortage and specialists only pass through a few times a year. Serious cases requiring emergency specialist care must be sent south, usually to Vancouver.
Throughout Northern Canada the story is the same: shortages of doctors and other professionals, like lawyers.
Certainly, there is a shortage of doctors throughout much of the country but not having a family doctor is one thing when there are hospitals and walk-in clinics nearby; it’s a whole different story when the nearest doctor–of any sort–is a several hundred kilometre flight away.
This isn’t about student aid, it’s about providing incentives to encourage grads to work in places that need their skills.
Some have criticized these programs on the basis that they put pressure on poorer students to work in the North, rather than pursue specialties. While I understand that some people have a sort of moral objection to student debt, if there are any graduates who can handle debt it’s medical specialists who will graduate to high salaries.
Medical students, just by the virtue of being medical students, have access to large loans and lines of credit. Banks are willing to lend because medical students are essentially guaranteed high salaries on graduation.
This new program doesn’t pressure students from poorer backgrounds into choosing the North over a specialty, it gives students a choice between paying off their debt by pursuing higher paying positions or working off their debt by practicing in areas where there is a great need.
If we want to talk about inequality, let’s talk about the fact that the far majority of medical students come from well-off backgrounds. At the Université de Montréal a full 45 per cent of medical students have backgrounds in the richest 20 per cent of the population, only five per cent come from poor backgrounds. The problem isn’t how medical students from poor backgrounds choose to pay off their debts, it’s about getting them in to medical school in the first place.
Or we can talk about the fact that Northern Canadians–a large percentage of whom are Aboriginal–are denied essential government services provided to southerners because few people want to provide them.
Let’s remember that medical education, while it may be expensive, is still funded by society, there’s nothing wrong with the state encouraging doctors to do the right thing and provide medical care to Canadians whose access to proper treatment is severely limited.
Other provinces with large northern regions would be wise to imitate these programs and the federal government should do the same for the territories.
Post-grad obligations for medical students could create a two-tiered system
Is free education worth the years of service students are obliged to pay back? In the past couple of months, two grant programs have emerged in Manitoba with the aim of delivering access to key services in otherwise under-serviced parts of the province.
Both medical students and law students will now be able to apply for grants that will pay for the majority of their education. In return, though, they must spend their first years as doctors or lawyers in remote areas of the province, where access to legal and medical services is hard to attain.
While the government’s and the universities’ hearts are in the right place for wanting to help residents with accessibility issues while helping students graduate debt-free, I have to wonder if the deal will seem worthwhile once students are graduated and working through their contracts. How many students will have to give up great opportunities elsewhere to fulfill their educational obligations?
A program like this can very easily make it more difficult for low-income students to become big players in their field.
For example, if a student takes advantage of Manitoba’s medical grant program to its full extent, they will have paid for a huge portion of their education, but owe two-and-a-half years of service as soon as they finish their residency.
A student who finishes their undergraduate degree at the age of 22, finishes medical school at 26, could very well be over 30 before they finish their residency and begin paying back their time to the province.
A kid with a dream of becoming a thoracic surgeon — a highly-competitive position — will end up taking a break of nearly three years at the exact moment they are eligible to begin applying for jobs in their field. Instead, they’ll spend that time in the outback practicing family medicine. Meanwhile, their peers from wealthier backgrounds who did not require the government’s help to go through school will leapfrog into those jobs.
Family medicine changes lives. It provides extraordinarily valuable services to everyday people. There is also a significant doctor shortage in rural areas and that’s a problem that needs to be addressed. But programs like this, if not properly monitored, could end up creating a two-tiered healthcare system, one where wealthy students get the choice jobs, and poorer students make do with what’s left after their service has been repaid.
Stiffer fines on the way for students who dropout
Manitoba is set to become the latest province to force students to stay in school until they either graduate or turn 18. It’s part of a growing national movement based on the belief that anything less than a high school diploma is not enough in today’s job market.
“We want to raise the bar,” Education Minister Nancy Allan said Thursday. “If you only have a Grade 10 education (minimum requirement), you can be slamming the door for these students, so we want to make sure that we’re preparing our students for the modern economy.” Allan plans to table a bill in the coming days to raise the minimum age for dropping out of school to 18 from 16. Students would only be allowed to leave earlier if they earned their high-school diploma or joined a recognized workforce training program.
Ontario and New Brunswick raised their dropout ages to 18 four years ago and there are signs other provinces may follow. The Toronto District School Board has also mused about paying poor students to attend school and get good grades, although the province’s education minister says she’s opposed to the idea.
The Alberta School Boards Association is to debate the idea this weekend. “High school completion is a minimum expectation for success in our global society,” reads a resolution put forward by the public school division in Edmonton. The idea has also been bandied about in Nova Scotia. The NDP government had been considering a recommendation from a working group that the dropout age be raised to 18, but it was not accepted when the government announced a new education policy earlier this month.
While there is widespread support for keeping teens in school, some question how far courts or schools will go to force kids to attend class. “What if the kid says, ‘I’m dropping out?’ How is this law going to have any teeth?” asked Mike Babinsky, a longtime school trustee for the Winnipeg School Division.
Manitoba’s current law allows school boards to take parents of truants under 16 to court, where judges can impose fines of up to $500. But Babinsky can’t remember any such measure being taken in the 15 years he has been a trustee. “For you to go do the investigation in regards to the child actually dropping out and actually taking it to the courthouse and getting representation … it’s not worth it. I don’t believe any school division in Manitoba has ever done that,” he said. “With everybody trying to stretch the almighty dollar as far as you can, you don’t want to go spend $5,000.”
Allan says the government is considering new enforcement measures, including stiffer fines. “That’s something we’re looking at,” she said. “We will be introducing the legislation in the next couple of weeks. There’s going to be an opportunity for a lot of dialogue with our education partners on this and we want to make sure we get it right.” Currently, one student out of every five in Manitoba doesn’t graduate from high school.
The Canadian Press
Don’t be born in Ontario
For med school hopefuls, Ontario might seem like the perfect province to live in.
There are 17 med schools in the country. Six of those are in Ontario, more than any other province. But as I recently discovered, being born in Ontario is actually a huge handicap.
Most med schools prefer applicants from their own province. It makes sense: if you train local doctors, you produce local doctors. It’s not unusual to reserve 85 percent or even 90 percent of the available seats for in-province applicants. Most med schools even have higher entrance requirements for out-of-province applicants.
Everyone likes their own brand.
Except for Ontario. Not a single med school in Ontario reserves spots for Ontario applicants.
On the surface, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario might seem like exceptions to the rule. On it’s website, Northern says that it encourages applications from “students who are from Northern Ontario and/or students who have a strong interest in and aptitude for practicing medicine in northern urban, rural and remote communities.” Western Ontario gives special consideration to applicants from “rural/regional communities in Southwestern Ontario.”
But neither of these med schools actually reserve spots for in-province applicants. Not to mention, those “rural and remote” communities that Northern Ontario mentions could actually be anywhere across Canada.
McMaster’s policy is a bit more complicated. They don’t actually reserve med school spots for in-province applicants. Instead, they award 90 percent of interview positions for Ontario residents.
Yeah, I know. I had to read that twice, too.
It means that once you reach the interview stage, it doesn’t matter which province you’re from.
Even if McMaster offered a genuine advantage to in-province applicants, it wouldn’t make much of a difference anyway. With over 4500 applicants and a success rate of 4.9 per cent in 2006/2007, getting into McMaster is like winning the med school lottery.
Province lifts decade-old freeze, allows universities to charge students up to 4.5 per cent more
As reported by The Winnipeg Sun:
For the first time since the 1998-99 school year, university and college students in Manitoba will see an increase in their tuition fees this fall.
The provincial government announced this morning that it is lifting its decade-old tuition freeze, and will allow universities to charge students up to 4.5% more for tuition this year. That amounts to an average of about $135 more for a typical arts or science student. Colleges will be allowed to charge students $100 more this year.
Manitoba should still have among lowest tuition fees in Canada: commission
Manitoba should strive to maintain lower-than-average post-secondary education fees and have the best student assistance in Canada as the province slowly lifts a tuition freeze, a commission recommended Thursday.
The commission, which looked at how a gradual increase in tuition will affect accessibility to education, concluded students should help pay for their post-secondary studies, but fee increases should be modest.
The province’s NDP government froze tuition for almost a decade before lifting the ban last year in response to universities who said they needed the cash. Starting in the fall, tuition could rise by $150 for most full-time university students and by about $120 for full-time college students.
The government established the commission last summer to make recommendations on how to keep post-secondary education accessible while thawing the tuition freeze.
Commissioner Ben Levin said Manitoba should set its sights well above the national average when it comes to participation rates, tuition and student assistance.
“Improving the situation is urgent,” Levin said in his report. “Manitoba needs more post-secondary graduates, a change that will require government
The province should be less focused on reducing tuition and concentrate more on ensuring students who need help get it, he said.
“Students ought to pay a share of the cost of their post-secondary education. The main reason is that individuals reap large benefits from this education. There is no justification for this personal benefit to be subsidized completely given the many other pressures on public expenditure.”
About 60 per cent of Manitoba students don’t have to borrow money to pay for their education, the report added. Most students who do borrow are able to repay their debts, it concluded.
Starting this fall, universities could raise tuition by an average of $400 per student
Manitoba should strive to maintain lower-than-average post-secondary education fees and have the best student assistance in Canada as the province slowly lifts a tuition freeze, a commission recommended Thursday. The commission, which looked at how a gradual increase in tuition will affect accessibility to education, concluded students should help pay for their post-secondary studies, but fee increases should be modest.
The province’s NDP government froze tuition for almost a decade before lifting the ban last year in response to universities who said they needed the cash. Starting in the fall, universities will be able to raise tuition by an average of $400 a student.
The government established the commission last summer to make recommendations on how to keep post-secondary education accessible while thawing tuition fees.
Commissioner Ben Levin said Manitoba should set its sights well above the national average when it comes to participation rates, tuition fees and student assistance.
“Improving the situation is urgent,” Levin said in his report released Thursday. “Manitoba needs more post-secondary graduates, a change that will require government action.”
The province should be less focused on reducing tuition and concentrate more on ensuring the students who need help get it, Levin said.
“Students ought to pay a share of the cost of their post-secondary education,” the report stated. “The main reason is that individuals reap large benefits from this education; there is no justification for this personal benefit to be subsidized completely given the many other pressures on public expenditure.”
About 60 per cent of Manitoba students don’t have to borrow money to pay for their education, the report added. Most students who do borrow are able to repay the debts, it concluded.
Freeze was set to end in 2009-10, with increases being “gradually phased in”
From The Winnipeg Sun:
Manitoba’s university students will have to wait a while longer to find out if their tuition is going up.
Many expected yesterday’s budget to include an announcement the decade-old tuition freeze at universities and colleges would be lifted. Last April, Advanced Education Minister Diane McGifford said the freeze would end in 2009-10 and tuition increases would then be “gradually phased in.”
However, during yesterday’s budget speech, Finance Minister Greg Selinger said he expects it will be another 10 days or so before he receives a report from the one-man commission studying the freeze and the implications of lifting it.