By Brenlee Coates
Neechi Commons, a community-owned restaurant, supermarket and artist market in the North End, just celebrated its second year of operation.
Receiving the Excellence in Aboriginal Business Leadership Award last year, positive response surrounds the co-operative that gives hiring priority to Aboriginal youth and area residents, while helping to foster the neighbourhood’s economy and revitalization.
The concept itself is a noble one, but a hard one to put into practice.
General Manager Frank Parkes has been fielding questions about inner-city hiring from all over the world since guiding the organization through its successful preliminary years.
The business complex, located at 865 Main St., is deliberately positioned in a community that faces tough socioeconomic problems and barriers of employment to offer them opportunities.
Since opening, some 50 jobs have been created, with most of the jobs being granted to people who live a stone’s throw away from the building.
Many of the community members face challenges with literacy and numeracy, many have addictions issues prevalent in their families, some have intellectual or physical disabilities, and some are even transitioning out of homelessness.
But every person who walks into Neechi Commons has the chance to secure employment. Continue reading
The liberal arts have received sharp media scrutiny lately, and the value of such an education in today’s world is clearly at issue. In recent years, universities and colleges have developed specialized programs specific to different career paths, all theoretically designed to equip students with the requisite skills to seamlessly merge into the workforce upon graduation.
So, why should students study history, literature, philosophy, theology, or music at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU)? Why study a subject that does not train for a specific job? Why study biology when you will never be a scientist? Why study logic when you want to go into business? Is there really any point to a Bachelor of Arts?
Lately, students and educators alike have ceased to view a skillset like a toolbox that can be applied to a variety of problems; instead, we now view every problem as needing a specific tool.
Nonetheless, a 2013 survey of 320 business leaders by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 74 per cent recommend a modern liberal arts education for a more dynamic worker. Many employers report ranking skills honed through a liberal arts education at the top of their list for hiring. Continue reading
By Janice Desautels
To save or not to save – the choice is yours. But when time is on your side, saving for the future can be accomplished easier than you think.
A simple, fast and doable strategy helps form a habit of saving so that the money won’t be missed and a routine can be established.
Pay yourself first
One example of a strategy is to pay yourself first. What this means is that every day you work, put aside the first hour of pay toward your savings strategy. For minimum wage, which is about $10 an hour, saving that first hour (paying yourself first) can amount to $2,400 to $2,600 a year. Could this help you with your goal – be it buying a car, paying for tuition, or moving out on your own?
The routine of paying yourself first can be relatively painless by setting up pre-authorized transfers to a savings vehicle as soon as your paycheque is deposited. As time progresses, your attention goes elsewhere and your spending behaviour will have adjusted to accommodate the difference.
Moving on to more substantial goals requires more planning. In my last column, I spoke about financial literacy being the ability to understand, analyze and use financial information. This understanding is integral to making the right decisions when it comes to saving for a future goal.
To increase our net wealth over time, there are a number of variables that must be considered, like putting money aside and not spending it, and saving consistently even if it’s a small amount at first. This strategy will give you the discipline needed to save more over time.
Another variable is time; the longer you wait to save, the more it will cost to meet your future goals. If you start earlier, your money has more time to compound in growth, and you’ll have less to contribute to reach the goal you’re working toward. That growth will come in some form of a rate of return achieved on that savings, and over time, should increase your net wealth.
The next variable is the rate of inflation. Is the investment in which you’re saving at least providing a rate of return that exceeds inflation? This is key to preserving your net wealth, and will ensure that in the future, your money will have the same purchasing power as it does today.
The last variable that affects your net wealth is taxes. This is often overlooked, but taxes will most likely be the largest bill you pay in your lifetime, so you need to ensure that you only pay what is required.
Since there are many factors that affect our savings success, don’t go it alone. Gather the expertise to help you. Look for a financial services representative that listens to your needs, what your goals are, and then most importantly, helps you understand your options.
Don’t be sold on a one-size-fits-all concept. It should be tailor-made for you so that you understand all the information and see the value in the savings plan. Over time, this will have a very positive impact in reaching your financial goals.
Janice Desautels has been working with families and individuals for the last seven years helping educate in the field of financial literacy. She is a Certified Financial Educator with over 15 years experience in teaching and training adults.
In 1997, French for the Future founders John Ralston Saul and Lisa Balfour Bowen imagined a future in which all young Canadians feel pride in their country’s linguistic duality, and enthusiastically pursue and embrace their own bilingualism.
Almost 20 years later, the national not-for-profit organization remains faithful to this vision and continues to be a key player in promoting the French language among students from Grades 7-12.
This fall, French for the Future launches its 10th annual National Essay Contest offering winners a share of $215,000 in scholarships at eight Canadian universities that offer French language and French immersion programs.
From Oct.1 to Dec.19, students from Grade 10 to Grade 12 from across the country (Secondary IV, V, and CEGEP 1 in Quebec) are invited to submit a 750-word essay in French exploring their take on the value of sports, arts and culture on communities. This year’s theme was inspired by the words of Michaëlle Jean, the former Governor General of Canada: “Sports culture and arts are necessities that bring together communities and give youth a way to express themselves.”
Participating universities include:
• Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta (Alberta)
• French Language Centre, University of Lethbridge (Alberta)
• Glendon College of York University (Ontario)
• Laurentian University (Ontario)
• Université de Moncton (New Brunswick)
• University of Ottawa (Ontario)
• Université de Saint-Boniface (Manitoba)
• Université Sainte-Anne (Nova Scotia)
Scholarships range in value from $1,000 to $12,000 and can be applied to first-language French or French immersion programs depending upon the university and student preference. A full list of scholarships can be found on the French for the Future website.
The goal of the contest, as with all other French for the Future programs, is to encourage students to explore their French language skills. The contest can also provide teachers with a great classroom activity that has the potential to really shape a student’s post-secondary experience.
Essays must be submitted through French for the Future’s website by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Dec.19. Judging is conducted in a blind fashion by a group of teachers from across the country.
Interested students, teachers and parents are encouraged to visit the French for the Future website for full details and insight into how judges evaluate submissions.
“Writing the essay itself was a great experience. It gave me an opportunity to refine my French skills and expand my vocabulary,” says Winnipeg’s Elizabeth Roberts, who won a $3,000 scholarship to Université de Saint-Boniface. “While I am very grateful to have received a scholarship, seeing my grandparents so proud of my essay and having their seal of approval was the best reward I could have had.”
French for the Future executive director Danielle Lamothe reports: “teachers who use the essay contest as a class assignment have told us that it’s a great way to connect schoolwork with students’ future goals. The possibility of a scholarship motivates many to invest more time and energy into their work and that’s great for everyone.”
Beyond the essay contest, French for the Future delivers three additional core programs all similarly targeted to youth and teachers. For more information on French for the Future’s programs, please visit http://www.french-future.org.
-French for the Future
By Stephan Bazzochi
With fall upon us, it’s time to look forward to chillier weather, snow – more snow – and cold. (At least the mosquitoes are beginning to migrate south.)
It’s time to put away the summer toys and hunker down for a good season of gaming to keep ourselves nice and snug indoors.
We’ve covered some casual and fun games in the past months – now it’s time to get serious. And there is no game more serious than the addiction I have spent the last eight years trying to shake.
I have spent months trying not to write about it. Alas, I ended up hitting that subscribe button, transferring the funds from my bank account and diving back into the world of wonder, beauty, and unbelievable levels of treachery.
With the new update of Hyperion just being released, there really was no better time. Being a lifelong fan of science fiction, artful trolling, scamming, espionage, and many things that almost all other games frown upon, it’s no surprise that my love of EVE never dies.
You’ve seen the ads – read countless articles about the massive battles, the unbelievable thefts of player assets, the scams, the spreadsheets, and the beauty of the graphics.
EVE delivers on all these things and then some.
There is no other game I have played for this length of time. I leave for months on end, then every time, get sucked back in. There is no escape. Continue reading