#Quebec; #WQTA; #5DayStrike; #LowPay; #HeavyWorkload
Quebec/Canadian-Media: A growing threat has emerged from the English teachers in western Quebec to walk off the job as early as the middle of next month after voting in favour of striking over a year of negotiations with the province for more investment recently failed.
Western Quebec Teachers Association. Image credit: Website
Members of the Western Quebec Teachers Association (WQTA) voted on Thursday evening, 95 percent in favour of a five-day strike mandate.
Heidi Yetman, president of the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers, which encompasses the WQTA said the major sticking points being salary and workload.
Other local unions across the province are also set to vote by the end of the month on whether to strike.
#LibraryofCongress; #Presidentialnaugurations; #RichPrimarySources; #Students; #Teachers
Washington/Canadian-Media: Although Presidential inaugural ceremonies date back to the beginnings of the republic, yet every inauguration has been unique, Library of Congress (LoC) reported.
Library of Congress. Image credit: Twitter handle
Inaugural ceremonies have taken place indoors and outdoors, in private and in public, in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The arrival of the president-elect at the inauguration site was on foot, in a horse-drawn carriage, or an armored limousine.
New presidents in their inaugural ceremonies have used lengthy inaugural addresses, or a few terse remarks, and in their speeches have professed optimism for the future of the United States or challenged Americans to confront difficult circumstances.
Teachers and students are provided with an opportunity to investigate inaugurations past through a newly updated teacher resource from the Library of Congress named Inaugurations: Stepping into History by using rich primary sources from the Library’s online collections.
The Inauguration of President McKinley. Chief Justice Fuller administering the oath of office in front of the senate wing of the Capitol. Image credit: LoC/ drawn by T. de Thulstrup.
Created / Published 1897 March 13.
Different aspects of these key moments of transition, from the inaugural oath, site, and address to the issues and expectations that each president faced are presented in each section of the presentation.
During examination of these inaugural primary sources facilitates exploration of the different moments in the nation’s history, and the very different presidents, that these unique artifacts illuminate and reflect the ways in which they underscore the nation’s long history of orderly transfers of presidential office.
#InternationalStudentsInCanada; #JerinRaj; #SenecaCollege; #Petition; #IRCC; #Covid19Pandeimc; #ExpiredPGWP; #permanentResidence
Toronto/Canadian-Media: A petition started by Jerin Raj, who was an international student, and currently President of the Canadian International Youth Organization who also serves as a Professor at the School of Business and a member of the Board of Governors of Seneca College initiated a petition to prime minister Justin Trudeau and immigration minister Marco Mendicino seeking a reasonable accommodation to support millions of International students currently on post-graduation work permits from all over the world who have come to Canada to build a better future and are affected by the pandemic had been supported by Government of Canada.
Petition by Jerin Raj and two others. Image credit: change.org
Jerin organized a team of students and virtually connected with student groups around the province and other parts of the country to encourage them to come forward to voice their concerns and file petitions to the authorities. They also worked with Social, cultural organizations, and community and political leaders including Dolly Begum MPP, and worked closely with them to press for the needs of those students affected. Dolly begum MPP and her NDP counterparts wrote a letter to Minister Mendoccino and stood firmly with the International student community from the very beginning.
Jofin Lawrence came to Canada in 2017 on a Student Visa to study at Centennial College. When he completed his 2 years academic program, he was offered a 3 years Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) which was meant to acquire substantial work experience in the field of his studies. It was stipulated that the permit holder should complete the required minimum hours within the validity period making him qualify for applying for permanent residence (PR) in Canada. When Covid 19 hit hard, in March 2020, Jofin’s work was affected, and eventually, he lost his job, making it impossible for him to gain the stipulated Canadian work experience and apply for PR. Along with Jofin, Anu Shinto (Durham College graduate), Madonna Sebastian (Seneca College graduate), Jeril Jose (St Lawrence college graduate) are among the thousands of International youth across Canada who are affected but thankful to the Prime minister and immigration minister for the timely decision to support their future prospects in this country.
Thanking Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for supporting the international student community, Jerin said that he wished to highlight some of the key concerns of International students from all over the world who have come to Canada to build a better future.
IRCC. Image credit: Facebook page
The petition which made change with 3,792 supporters is as follows:
"International students contribute $6 billion a year just in tuition at Canadian universities, but their economic impact extends beyond the campus. Government figures show that in 2018 they pumped $21.6 billion into schools, communities, and the broader Canadian economy. As of Dec. 31, 2019, there were 498,735 post-secondary international students in Canada, a 14.5 percent increase from 2018" (Toronto Star, Apr. 8, 2020)
International Students in Canada. Image credit: immgration.ca
"The post-graduate work permit (PGWP) program in Canada allows international students who graduate from eligible Canadian institutions to get an open-work permit to gain Canadian work experience. It helps graduates who meet the requirements of the permit to qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Express Entry system. PGWP is issued for a very limited duration (for 1 to 3 years depending on the length of the course.), and is issued only once to a student, leaving them under strict time pressure to accumulate skilled work experience to apply for permanent residency.
The situation that International students are facing right now is even worse. Due to COVID-19 and the crunched job markets and the economic downturn, most of the students find themselves severely restrained to find NOC skill level jobs to accumulate the required hours to apply for Permanent residency. Many got laid off, many who traveled to their home countries got stuck due to travel restrictions and there are only fewer new hirings happening now, all contribute to the loss of precious hours of work from their already limited PGWP duration. This puts students under severe stress, leading to anxiety and other mental distress.
Therefore, I am earnestly requesting the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to offer reasonable accommodation for the time lost, by extending the work permit or by allocating concession points while processing their permanent residency application or by any other suitable means that would support the student community whose work experience accumulation is negatively affected by COVID-19."
As part of the Government of Canada’s efforts to support international students who contribute over $21 billion annually to our economy to support the vitality of our communities through this challenging time, Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of IRCC, announced on Jan 8 that former international students with an expired Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) will have the opportunity to apply for an open work permit valid for 18 months allowing them to remain in Canada, and gain sufficient experience needed to apply for permanent residence.
Marco E. L. Mendicino. Image credit: Facebook page
Decisions of More than 58,000 graduates to stay in Canada, who had successfully applied to immigrate permanently in 2019 will help to address our demographic challenges.
As part of its central plan, Canada helps skilled immigrants to fill pressing needs in areas like health care, technology, and more during the second wave of the pandemic’s course of recovery.
“Whether as nurses on the pandemic’s front lines or as founders of some of the most promising start-ups, international students are giving back to communities across Canada...contributions of international students are lasting...ensuring that Canada meets the urgent needs of our economy for today and tomorrow. Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here,” said Mendicino.
IRCC estimates that as many as 52,000 graduates with expired or expiring PGWPs could benefit from the public policy.
Applications for an open work permit under the public policy will be open from January 27 to July 27, 2021, details of which will be posted on IRCC’s website on January 27, 2021.
#Canada; #OnlineEducation; #StruggleForParentsandStudents; #StudentSaety; #HealthExpertsAdvice
Canada/Canadian-Media: Parents of students attending virtual classes offered in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario are facing additional challenges this week to manage kids' studies along with their work, media reports said.
Online classes. Image credit: Pixaby
Teachers who are also parents are overwhelmed with tasks of trying to teach students while also attending their own kids learning from home.
A spokesperson for Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said to keep students safe, the government will continue to follow the advice of the chief medical officer of health and medical experts to guide decision-making.
"As the numbers in the community increase, we have to kind of adjust our recommendations, but at that same time, I do know that kids do need to be in school ... so we have to balance that. I think that, at least for January, it's going to be a tricky balance," said Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious disease specialist at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, Ont., west of Toronto and added that any decision regarding opening or closing schools will require consideration of many factors.
Although schools have not been a driver of COVID-19, rather they are more a reflection of what was happening in the community, said Chakrabarti on Monday and added,
"when you get to a point where you have such high amounts of transmission, all in the community, that can certainly change. I think that this is part of what is underlying us having an extra week of online learning. Maybe it might be even a bit longer."