Monitoring tools for observing the northern polar regions is now available online at http://www.polarview.org (at the top select one of the SERVICES available)
Federal government press release ...
Unique Canadian Satellite Project Contributes to International Polar Year
OTTAWA, Feb. 20 - As International Polar Year (IPY) kicks off on March 1, 2007, a new Canadian project will make a significant contribution to the IPY objective of better understanding polar regions. Polar View, funded in part by the Canadian Space Agency, offers a unique satellite-based service designed to help Canadians identify the impacts of environmental/ human pressures and guide appropriate responses.
Using remote sensing technology, data about ice and snow conditions is gathered and analyzed by an experienced network of experts. Detailed information is then delivered, around-the-clock, to a diverse group of over 40 international users. These include government agencies, research institutes, commercial interests and northern residents.
Polar View's ice information service is being particularly well received in communities such as Pond Inlet on Baffin Island. Inuit hunters and travelers are able to go into the local Parks Canada office and view the latest ice and snow conditions. They can easily locate the changing ice edge and thin ice.
The mayor of Pond Inlet, David Qamaniq, says that that the Polar View information is critical for making travel plans in the north. "Polar View information is very important to us. The elders tell us that it's much harder to predict the ice conditions as well as the weather," said Qamaniq. "There have been a couple of accidents, a couple of hunters went through the ice because they didn't know where the thin ice was."
Polar View services are currently offered free of charge. Most are available in near-real time and easily accessible via the Internet.
"Having this sort of monitoring system is essential if we are going to be able to make the right decisions about environment, security and climate in the future," said Thomas Puestow, Polar View's manager.
Earth observation technologies have long been used to monitor the earth's weather conditions. But this is the first time services have been offered comprehensively by a network of the world's leading cryospheric remote-sensing experts. Polar View service providers are located in nine countries with a management team in each significant polar region - North America, Antarctic, Euro-Arctic and the Baltic. Services can be customized to meet user's needs.
Polar View's contribution to IPY is in collaboration with the world's national ice services. The project, called Polar View: Polar Information Centre (IPY Activity ID 372) will build on the Polar View network and infrastructure. A dedicated web portal will be developed in conjunction with the International Ice Charting Working Group to distribute sea ice information to IPY investigators. Polar View will also offer its integrated monitoring and forecasting services to support scientific expeditions and national science programs operating in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
Detailed information, a full list of team members, high-resolution photos and video clips are available for download at www.polarview.org
For further information: Thomas Puestow, Project Manager, St. John's, NFLD, (709) 737-2586, Thomas.Puestow@polarview.org;. International Organization Enquiries: David Arthurs, Ottawa, ON, (613) 237-2220 ext 331, David.Arthurs@polarview.org;. General Enquiries: Christine Havey, Ottawa,ON, (613) 237-2220 ext 321, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A workshop, hosted by the Sioux Lookout Ministry of Northern Development and Mines team on February 21 brought together funding program representatives from across the region. Presentations about each of their programs that described their priorities and requirements gave Sioux Lookout organizations the information they required to determine how to access these resources. Informal networking between the organizations and the funding program representatives was an important component of the workshop.
A proposal writing presentation was given on Tuesday evening before the funding program presentations on Wednesday.
Economic Development Program Funders' Forum Presentations included:
From the Toronto Star - http://www.thestar.com/article/184016
Poor called key to filling jobs - New labour pools urged in Canada to fill tomorrow's jobs, and support boomers: Report - Feb 21, 2007 - Louise Brown, Education Reporter
They are the Canadians most often forgotten – aboriginal youth, the poor, the uneducated – yet a new report says they hold the key to this country's economic future and could even provide a surprise labour pool to support baby boomers in their old age.
From carpenters to climate experts, Canada needs more educated workers to fuel our economy and compete in the world, concludes the report by The Canada Millenium Scholarship Foundation, to be released today. But given a falling birth rate, sweeping retirements and the fact two-thirds of middle-income kids already flock to college and university, Canada must tap a new source of educated workers from among those least likely to pursue higher learning: low-income students, aboriginal teens and youth whose parents never went beyond high school, said the report by the federally funded research body.
For the complex jobs of the future, these groups hold the key – despite the often staggering roadblocks they face to learning, said policy analyst Joseph Berger, co-author of the study, called "Why Access Matters."
"Nearly 70 per cent of all new jobs will require some level of post-secondary education. But only 53 per cent of Canadians graduate from college or university, so we've got a gap that needs to be addressed," said Berger.
That's exactly the problem Canada's business gurus tackled yesterday as Microsoft chair Bill Gates addressed the annual Can?Win conference in Ottawa on the topic, "Competing to Win in the Global Economy – Creating a Skilled Workforce to drive Economic Prosperity."
"This is the whole theme everyone's facing – how to move from an economy which didn't have enough jobs for everyone, to one in which we will not have enough people to do all the jobs," said David Stewart-Patterson, executive vice-president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. The council represents the heads of Canada's 150 largest firms.
"We know access to education is a huge part of the answer, not only for the economy, but for social equity. We can't afford to waste a single mind we have in this country."
The report noted that more workers will be needed to support those on pension as Canada's working-age population shrinks and the ranks of seniors grow.
Yet while Canada has led most developed nations for years with our level of post-secondary education, today's report cautions this growth rate has stalled at about 4 per cent per year over the past decade. Other nations are catching up, including Australia (which has grown by 28 per cent), Korea (up 59 per cent), Great Britain (24 per cent) and even tiny Iceland, where post-secondary enrolment has almost doubled.
"Canada needs to grow more people with higher education to remain competitive. But in order to do this, we have to encourage more of those people who are under-represented – and they're the hardest ones to encourage because of the barriers they face," said Berger in an interview.
The report echoes business leaders' growing alarm about Canada's looming shortage of qualified workers, from auditors to auto mechanics – a shortage acknowledged by federal finance minister Jim Flaherty in his last financial statement.
Canada is a leader in overall post-secondary education. But this is driven largely by our robust college systems and not by university achievement, where we stand sixth among developed countries.
Moreover, as Canada's young aboriginal population grows faster than any other group in the country, there is growing pressure to reduce their dropout rate and encourage post-secondary learning, said the report.
Provinces such as Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, with their booming ranks of aboriginal children, must improve levels of native education, not only for the students' benefit, but also for the good of the provincial economies and ultimately, Canada's prosperity.
Only about 28 per cent of Canada's aboriginal youth enrol in college or university by age 20, compared to 60 per cent of non-aboriginal youth, said the report. By age 24, about 40 per cent have enrolled in some form of higher education, compared to 68 per cent of non-aboriginal adults at the same age.
But before boosting the number of First Nations students going to college and university, you must help more of them graduate from high school by tackling the estimated 58 per cent dropout rate on First Nations reserves – a dropout rate twice that of the population at large.
Similarly, a recent Statistics Canada study released earlier this month showed low-income students are less likely to go to university partly because they do worse on their high school report cards and literacy tests. This suggests it's a longer-term problem to resolve.
Chiefs of Ontario press release ...
First Nations in Ontario not participating in the federal government consultation process on Matrimonial Real Property on reserves
TORONTO, Feb. 19 /CNW/ - "There is no doubt that Matrimonial Real Property on reserves is an important issue that needs to be addressed," stated Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse. He further acknowledged there is a legislative gap that exists creating unfair situations that must be remedied.
Regional Chief Toulouse stated that "we have made it clear to the federal government that First Nations in Ontario have not, and will not, participate in the current consultation process being imposed by the federal government as it is too rushed and is not reflective of the time required to address the complex issues related to MRP on reserves, nor is it proper consultation according to the law." In November 2006, the Chiefs in Ontario passed a resolution indicating their opposition to the current consultation process. This resolution also called for the process to be "stopped and restructured."
"First Nations have expressed their concerns that the issue of MRP on reserves is complex and will impact on First Nations collective rights, including land rights. This is not an issue that can be addressed without a thorough examination of the many issues, including a review of the potential implications of each option," stated Grand Chief Denise Stonefish, who is chairing a working group for the First Nations in Ontario with regards to MRP.
"I want to be as clear as I possibly can on this matter - First Nations leaders in Ontario support addressing this issue but are seeking to enter into discussions with Minister Prentice, on behalf of the government of Canada, to develop a fair and meaningful consultation process." The Regional Chief indicated that to date, the Minister has refused to meet with First Nations leadership in Ontario with regard to MRP.
The Regional Chief pointed out that there are First Nations in Ontario that have developed their own MRP by-laws but that these are not recognized by the federal government. "First Nations must have the autonomy and jurisdiction to develop their own laws. This is a principle tenet of the right of self-government," said Regional Chief Toulouse.
By opposing the current consultation process, "First Nations leadership are being unfairly characterized as opposing human rights for their citizens, when what they are trying to do, and in fact mandated to do, is protect against the further erosion of First Nation collective rights," said the Regional Chief. He added that First Nations in Ontario will continue to seek a meeting with Minister Prentice in an effort to establish a process that is reflective of the concerns and priorities of First Nations, while at the same time ensuring that the mechanisms are in place to enhance the protection of human rights for every First Nation citizen.
For further information: Kathleen Pilcher, Chiefs of Ontario Political Office, (807) 626-9339