Last week, several universities – including McGill, Concordia and the University of British Columbia – confirmed that fall classes will be mainly online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before those announcements, there were concerns that enrolments could drop if students weren’t able to experience in-class instructions.
However, the fears of some university leaders might have been premature as enrolments in spring and summer courses has jumped at many Canadian schools. The increase likely reflects a depressed summer jobs market, but may also raise hopes that online learning won’t produce a steep enrolment drop this fall.
At UBC, enrolment for its two summer terms is up 32 per cent at the Vancouver campus and 45 per cent at the Okanagan campus. At the University of Toronto, registration for summer courses is up more than 20 per cent compared with a year ago, and the university is adding classes to meet demand. Dalhousie is up 8 per cent.
Applications data for Ontario universities also suggest that interest in fall entrance remains steady, despite the uncertainty surrounding whether in-person classes will be possible.
- A recession is a great time to go back to school. Governments must help make that possible.
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Captain Jennifer Casey, killed in Snowbirds crash, was an 'all-rounder’
Captain Jennifer Casey, who was killed when the air-show plane she was flying in crashed shortly after takeoff in Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday, is being mourned in her native Halifax and beyond for her cheerful patriotism, sense of humour, professional skill and electric energy.
She was an “all-rounder,” said her university friend Nick Logan.
The former journalist turned air-force officer was 35.
During a brief update on the crash from Moose Jaw, Sask., Monday afternoon, Lieutenant-Colonel Mike French, commanding officer of the Snowbirds, said the jet carrying Capt. Casey and piloted by Captain Richard MacDougall crashed around 11:45 a.m. on Sunday. He confirmed that Capt. Casey and Capt. MacDougall ejected as the jet crashed. Lt.-Col. French told reporters that “the precise circumstances leading up to the crash are not known.”
Food supply faces stress in New Brunswick
In late April, New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs abruptly announced that temporary foreign workers would be banned from entering – the only province in Canada to initiate such a restriction.
The move occurred just as the planting season was about to begin.
Fruit and vegetable farmers, along with lobster processors who use temporary foreign workers, say New Brunswick’s decision is catastrophic and that the move was made without consultation. Some farmers say this will result in lower production, less variety and higher prices of local food.
Across Canada, seasonal workers, a crucial fixture in the country’s farming and food-processing sectors, have been arriving, but at a slower pace and not in the same volumes as in previous years.
One mother’s quest to open a shelter for women
The federal government has called intimate-partner homicide a“shadow pandemic,” and, since April 1, at least 10 women and girls have been killed in such homicides across Canada – four of them in Alberta.
On Tuesday, Jessie’s House will open in Morinville, Alta., the province’s first new emergency women’s shelter in more than 20 years.
The shelter is the dream of Lynne Rosychuk, the mother of Jessica Martel, who was killed by her partner 11 years ago.
WHO Director-General promises review of global pandemic response: The leadership of the World Health Organization will face a review into its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic – though it remains unclear when an inquiry might happen, and how independent any investigation would be.
China’s jobless rate likely much worse than official numbers say: Judging by the official numbers, China’s vast work force has escaped the novel coronavirus relatively unscathed. But China’s unemployment rate only measures certain people in cities, and there are signs that the real situation is far worse. Economists have estimated China’s job losses at 20 million – and perhaps as high as 70 million.
Italy reopens, with restaurant owners wondering if survival at half-capacity is possible: Italy’s restaurants and bars and almost all other shops, including hairdressers, opened for business Monday, two weeks after factories and parks reopened. While Italian restaurants have reopened, physical-distancing requirements mean they can only operate at about one-half to one-third capacity, if they can operate at all.
Massive fentanyl seizure in Myanmar points to new international source of deadly synthetic opioids: Between Feb. 20 and April 9, Myanmar authorities raided four drug-manufacturing laboratories under the control of an armed group called the Kaung Kha militia. By the time the raids were finished, officers had arrested 33 and seized 18 tons of methamphetamine, nearly a ton of heroin and opium, and 3,748.5 litres of methyl fentanyl.
ALSO ON OUR RADAR
Accountability urged for Correctional Service after former officer charged: An Ontario senator is calling for additional accountability of the Correctional Service of Canada now that a former correctional officer in Nova Scotia is facing more than a dozen criminal charges after a year-long investigation.
Fertility clinics begin phased reopening: Fertility clinics across Canada that shut down services in March because of COVID-19 are beginning to resume treatments now that concerns about overwhelmed hospital systems and protective-gear shortages have started to fade.
Infrastructure Bank moving ‘as quickly as we can’ on hunt for new CEO, Sabia says: Canada Infrastructure Bank chair Michael Sabia says the bank has identified candidates in its hunt for a new CEO as it prepares to play a key role when governments shift to stimulating the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asian shares extended gains on Tuesday as more countries emerged from their economic lockdowns and a successful early-stage trial of a coronavirus vaccine cheered sentiment. Europe’s STOXX 600 index gave up an early rise to slip 0.4% after surging 4% in the previous session, and oil began to tread water and safe-haven U.S. government bonds were making ground in debt markets. Early Tuesday morning, Wall Street’s S&P 500 futures were down 0.4% after Monday’s strong rally.
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WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT
We must speed up the recovery to avoid a depression
Leonard Waverman: To navigate this reopening, we need a balance between the advice of health professionals, who understand the mortal dangers of this virus, and the alarm of economists over the long-term social and economic costs of cratering the economy.
The pandemic is forcing us to recognize the brutal cruelty of nature
Paul Abela: The idea that nature itself is the origin of our feeling of being adrift is deeply disconcerting, and this pandemic should serve as a poignant reminder of something we’ve really known since the time of Darwin: In honesty, nature is a blind, mindless slaughterhouse.
The death of cash is a problem for the Bank of Canada
Barry Campbell: The Bank of Canada will need to launch its own digital currency – and soon – or risk losing control over monetary policy. It isn’t a computer virus disrupting private digital currencies that will force the Bank’s hand, but an actual virus changing our relationship to cash.
Pretending oil is dead makes bad climate policy
Campbell Clark: The coronavirus crisis made it clearer that people campaigning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should focus their attention on demand. A lot of activism in Canada has focused on supply – on bottling up the supply of oil by blocking pipelines and projects. But crisis has shown us demand is king.
TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON
Ask a design expert: I’ve noticed some designers are offering virtual services – is it worth a try?
We’re starting to book online appointments with our doctors and attending virtual dance classes, so why not get design advice through digital means, too?
Designer Olivia Botrie, principal of Toronto firm Dart Studio, recently started offering e-design services, and says business is booming. “People are home more now, so inevitably they’re focused on the things that aren’t functional or that frustrate them,” she says. “We’re getting enquiries about everything from kitchen renovations to additions, along with decorating ideas.”
MOMENT IN TIME: May 19, 1935
Lawrence of Arabia dies in a motorcycle accident
It was a prosaic death for a man lionized for exploits of derring-do in the desert. The Welsh-born, Oxford-educated T.E. Lawrence became a fluent Arabic speaker during four years as an archeologist in the Middle East before he volunteered for war service in 1914. Stationed in Egypt and acting as a liaison between Britain and Arab leaders, Lawrence played a pivotal role in the Arab Revolt, conducting intelligence work and marshalling disparate factions to repel Ottoman forces. The popular press romanticized him as Lawrence of Arabia. After a brief postwar stint as an adviser to Winston Churchill at the Colonial Office, Lawrence enlisted in the RAF in 1922. In 1935, he retired to the English countryside, where he indulged his passion for fast motorcycles. Two months later, Lawrence had to swerve his Brough Superior SS100 at high speed to avoid two boys on bicycles. He was thrown over the handlebars onto the road, fracturing his skull. He died six days later, on May 19. His death prompted his doctor, neurosurgeon Hugh Cairns, to study motorcyclists’ head injuries, which eventually led to the development of the motorcycle helmet. Ian Morfitt