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Newsletter. Issue 2010-03. January 30, 2010

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Canada's well-educated workforce lacks much-needed physical capital to improve productivity


OTTAWA, Jan. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada has a well-educated workforce that has not been given the required physical capital-machinery and equipment, infrastructure and buildings-to maximize output. This helps to explain the country's sluggish productivity growth over the past 25 years, the Conference Board argues in a new report released today.

"Canada's slow productivity growth over the last 25 years cannot be attributed to its labour force," said Alan Arcand, Principal Research Associate. "Labour quality has improved steadily since 1961. However, capital intensity, which grew rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s, slowed between 1983 and the mid-2000s. Essentially, we have under-invested in physical capital.

"It's therefore no surprise that Canada's productivity growth also began to slow around the same time and pales in comparison to other developed countries."

The Conference Board has argued for more than a decade that Canada's poor productivity performance has been hurting its ability to compete globally. For that reason, the Conference Board created the Centre on Productivity as part of its Can Compete research program. The Centre on Productivity's first report, Sluggish Productivity Growth in Canada: Could the Urbanization Process Be a Factor? (published in December 2008) identified physical and human capital as the two most important factors affecting productivity growth. This new publication, Canada's Lagging Productivity: The Case of a Well-Educated Workforce Lacking the Much-Needed Physical Capital, analyzes the evolution of Canada's human and physical capital from 1961 to 2008 and compares the relationship between the two.

The report shows that this overall result is fairly widespread among the country's industries and provinces. At the provincial level, seven provinces saw productivity growth slow since 1983.

Canada has a very high proportion of college and university-educated workers in the labour force compared with other developed countries. The Conference Board's recently published How Canada Performs-Education and Skills report card, gives Canada a second place ranking and an 'A' grade in educational outcomes. How Canada Performs does, however, point to the fact that Canada is posting a very low rate of graduation at the doctorate level.


U of T appoints new Vice President and Principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga

TORONTO, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - Professor Hargurdeep (Deep) Saini, Dean of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, has been appointed the new Vice President and Principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga, UofT announced today.

The appointment, a five-year term, begins on July 1, 2010. "I'm delighted that Prof. Deep Saini is joining us as Vice President and Principal of the University of Toronto Mississauga," said President David Naylor. "A fine scholar and generous mentor, Deep Saini has a very strong record of innovative leadership at the Universite de Montreal and more recently the University of Waterloo.

"I am confident that Prof. Saini will provide outstanding leadership for our dynamic west campus."

Saini is an experienced administrator, researcher and teacher who has been Dean of Waterloo's Faculty of Environment since 2006. A professor in the Faculty's Department of Environment and Resource Studies, he also holds cross appointments in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and in the Department of Geography & Environmental Management, Faculty of Environment.

"I am thrilled to be joining the leadership team of an institution I have always held in the highest esteem," said Saini, who is fluent in English, French, Hindi and Punjabi. "As Canada's largest university and a preeminent research institution, the University of Toronto has a unique responsibility of nurturing the brightest minds of our nation - indeed the world.

"I am particularly excited to be taking on a leadership role at UofT Mississauga, a truly dynamic and innovative campus."

Under Saini's strong leadership, the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo has experienced a substantial growth in enrolment. He introduced a number of innovative new degree programs and added two unique academic units - the School of Environment, Enterprise & Development and the Centre for Knowledge Integration. Saini also has broad experience in university administration and government matters, and has been an effective advocate for Waterloo, attracting millions of dollars in infrastructure and operating funding from the federal government, private sector and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

The University of Toronto Mississauga is one of three campuses at the University of Toronto. Established in 1967, it is UofT's second-largest division with 14 academic departments, an Institute of Communications and Culture, 149 programs and 90 areas of study. It is academic home to about 11,000 undergraduate students, 430 graduate students and 700 faculty and staff. UofT Mississauga is known for its vibrant research environment and many of its faculty and researchers are recognized internationally for their innovative work. Most degrees are at the undergraduate level; however, UofT Mississauga is increasingly emphasizing its graduate studies and the school is known for its interdisciplinary graduate programs designed to give students an edge in the workplace.

"The University of Toronto Mississauga is located amidst one of Canada's fastest growing urban centres, with tremendous entrepreneurial zeal and cultural diversity," said Saini. "It is uniquely positioned to respond to the area's burgeoning demand for high-quality education.

"I am looking forward to leading the continued transformation of UofT Mississauga into an outstanding comprehensive campus within a strong UofT system."

Prior to joining the University of Waterloo, Saini taught at the Universite de Montreal in the Department de sciences biologiques, Institut de recherche en biologie vegetale (Plant Biology Research Institute). He served as the Institute's Director General from 1996-2001, leading it through a period of significant change guided by strategic planning exercise.

He holds a doctorate in Plant Physiology from the University of Adelaide, Waite Agricultural Research Institute (1982); an M.Sc. (Honours) in Botany (1977); and, a B.Sc. (Honours) in Botany (1975) from Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, India. He began his Canadian academic career in 1982 at the University of Alberta as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Plant Science. Saini has served as President of the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists from 2003-05, and President of the Federation of Canadian Plant Science Societies from 2005-07. In 2009, he was appointed to Export Development Canada's Advisory Council on Corporate Social Responsibility and recently represented the University of Waterloo as a member of the Ontario Premier's "2009 Clean Tech Mission to India."

He is currently a member of the NSERC's 'Biological Systems and Functions' grant selection panel, the Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Botany (since 2003), and has also served as Consulting Editor of the Journal of Crop Production (1997-2000).

For further information: or a photograph of Prof. Saini, contact: Laurie Stephens, University of Toronto, (416) 500-0064, (416) 978-0100,  

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO - More on this organization
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(24) CNW Group Photo Archive | CNW Group Photo Archive | @ 2009


Fewer Americans think Obama has advanced race relations, poll shows
By Jennifer Agiesta and Jon Cohen | Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 18, 2010; A03

Soaring expectations about the effect of the first black president on U.S. race relations have collided with a more mundane reality, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

On the eve of President Obama's inauguration a year ago, nearly six in 10 Americans said his presidency would advance cross-racial ties. Now, about four in 10 say it has done so. The falloff has been highest among African Americans. Last January, three-quarters of blacks said they expected Obama's presidency to help. In the new poll, 51 percent of African Americans say he has helped, a wider gap between expectations and performance than among whites.

Although most of all those polled view Obama's election as a mark of progress for all African Americans, three in 10 say it is not indicative of broader change. About two-thirds see Obama's election as a sign of progress for all blacks in the United States, a figure unchanged from last year, but about half say his time in office has not made much difference in race relations. One in eight say it has hurt relations.

The new poll showed little change in the views of African Americans' current standing in society. About seven in 10 say blacks have already reached or will soon attain racial equality, about on par with the share saying so last January and during the 2008 presidential campaign. About two in 10 say equality will not happen in their lifetimes, and about one in 10 believe it will never happen.

African Americans' views on achieving racial equality have become more pessimistic since the inauguration, returning to their pre-election levels. The share saying blacks have reached racial equality dropped 9 percentage points, to 11 percent, and the percentage saying equality will not be achieved in their lifetimes climbed 9 points, to 32 percent. About one in five blacks say they will never achieve racial equality. Among whites, four in 10 say African Americans already have it and 31 percent say it will happen soon.

The political polarization that drives much opinion about Obama's presidency carries over to perceptions of his impact on race relations as well. Among Democrats, about six in 10 say his presidency has helped race relations, compared with about four in 10 independents and just a quarter of Republicans. Expectations were high across party lines a year ago, with 75 percent of Democrats, 53 percent of independents and 43 percent of Republicans predicting that Obama's would help relations.

There is less of a partisan divide on whether Obama's election itself was a sign of progress for all blacks: 72 percent of Democrats say so, as do majorities of Republicans (59 percent) and independents (63 percent).

The poll was conducted by telephone from Jan. 12 to 15 among a random sample of 1,083 adults. The full results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. For the 153 African Americans polled, the results have an 8 percentage point margin of error.

Click here for the complete poll


UK - 'Deep impact' of downturn on jobs

The impact of the recession on unemployment is deeper than headline figures suggest, a report suggests.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) say that 1.3 million people were made redundant during the recession.

The study says that is double the fall in employment and equivalent to 4.4% of people in work before the downturn. It also says that two-thirds of people made redundant were paid 28% less when they managed to find another job.

The report also highlights the difficulty of getting full-time employment.

It says that there were 6.2 million fresh claims for jobseeker's allowance between April 2008 and November 2009. That is seven-and-a-half times the rise in the unemployment claimant count during the recession. The CIPD's economic adviser, John Philpott, said: "Although the scale of job loss in the recession is much less than originally feared... it is evident that the direct experience of redundancy, repeat spells of unemployment and pay penalties has nonetheless been widespread."

"This is likely to have a much greater impact on perceptions of job security and consumer confidence during the recovery than the simple 'unemployment situation is better than feared' story of the moment would suggest," he added.

"Every job loss is a tragedy," said employment minister Jim Knight. "What the figures in this report highlight is that thousands of people have found work very quickly through jobcentres, with 70% of people leaving unemployment benefit within six months."

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2010/01/25 00:18:35 GMT | @ BBC MMX


New Tool for Canada's Charities makes CRA Reporting less "Taxing"

Imagine Canada launches Charity Tax Tools website!

TORONTO, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - This morning Imagine Canada, along with supporters and sponsors, unveiled and celebrated the launch of the fully bilingual Charity Tax Tools website.

Charity Tax Tools ( is a free comprehensive information website with easy-to-understand content developed by Imagine Canada that will provide Canadian charities with timely information and tools to ensure they have the resources to meet Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requirements. The website is most advantageous for small and medium-sized charities, as well as the many legal and accounting advisers/practitioners who do not specialize in the sector, but nevertheless support charities.
The overall goal of the Charity Tax Tools website is to provide support to Canadian charities in the areas of receipting fundraising activities, maintaining books and records and reporting to the CRA. "We are really pleased to be launching this new tool to support charities who work in every community across the country," says Marcel Lauziere, President & CEO of Imagine Canada. "We believe the Charity Tax Tools website will demystify much of the CRA reporting process, save them time and make it easier for them to meet their compliance obligations, thus ultimately allowing them to focus on their missions at hand."

Complementing the website will be a series of supporting resources that are under development to further assist charities. A webinar series called Charity Tax Tuesdays rolls out in February and will offer an opportunity to delve into specific topic areas and is a chance to dialogue with subject experts in an online format. Later this winter, charities with limited Internet access will be able to access the Charity Tax Tools information in CD-ROM format and through various print publications for a nominal fee.

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