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Survey discovers what questions hiring managers ask the most

September 28, 2016

A job interview can be nerve-racking, but add curveball questions to the mix, and you have a formula for a challenging discussion. The good news for Canadian jobs seekers is that many employers prefer to stick with standard inquiries, according to a survey by staffing firm Accountemps. Questions about the applicants' interest in the position and company were most frequently cited as senior managers' favourites (45%), followed by asking about candidates' previous experience (20%). For some of the most popular interview questions, click here.



Vic De Zen Family pledges $10M donation to future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital

September 28, 2016

Vaughan citizen and entrepreneur Vic De Zen and his family have pledged $10 million to help build and equip the future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital – the largest donation to date from an individual to Mackenzie Health Foundation's $250-million Exceptional Care Belongs Here campaign. The main lobby at the new hospital, slated for completion in 2020, will be named the Vic De Zen Family Welcome Centre in recognition of the transformative gift pledge to Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital.



Canada Revenue Agency begins online consultation on charities' political activities

September 27, 2016

The Government of Canada has committed to modernizing the rules governing the charitable sector. This includes clarifying the rules governing political activities. Registered charities are allowed to engage in non-partisan political activities within certain limits. They are not allowed to engage in partisan political activities. As announced in Budget 2016, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will collaborate with the Department of Finance to engage with charities to clarify the rules governing political activities. As part of this engagement process, the CRA is collecting feedback from charities and the public. To help with its policy development efforts, the CRA wants your feedback. Respondents should feel free to answer the questions asked on the CRA website or to address any other issues related to charities’ political activities. These consultations are open to everyone. Please email your comments to: consultation-policy-politique@cra-arc.gc.ca. All comments are requested by November 25, 2016.



Federal funding available for innovative solutions to prevent and reduce homelessness

September 27, 2016

Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced two calls for proposals under the Innovative Solutions to Homelessness funding stream of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS). The two calls for proposals are seeking projects with innovative approaches and ideas that aim to prevent and reduce homelessness, particularly among Indigenous Canadians, youth, women fleeing violence and veterans.

The call for proposals for Microgrants is open until October 21, 2016. Stakeholders and organizations are invited to apply for small-scale project funding of up to $25,000. Projects will focus on exploring effective and innovative practices, tools or initiatives that prevent or reduce homelessness in Canada.

The call for proposals for Contribution Projects is open until November 14, 2016. Stakeholders and organizations are invited to apply for funding of between $25,000 and $500,000 for large-scale pilot projects that aim to test innovative and promising interventions and practices to prevent or reduce homelessness in Canada.



Most organizations have substance misuse policies in place, but few measure their effectiveness

September 26, 2016

Substance misuse and abuse has been linked to absenteeism, lost productivity, on-the-job accidents and injuries, and workplace violence and harassment. While the majority of Canadian employers have a formal drug and alcohol policy in place, few evaluate their effectiveness, according to a new Conference Board of Canada report. Highlights from the report include:

  • Nearly all employers offer their employees at least one drug and alcohol support program.
  • A majority of Canadian organizations do not evaluate their substance misuse policies and programs.

Among the employers surveyed, 72% reported having a formal drug and alcohol policy. However, only 32% of employers surveyed reported that they evaluated the effectiveness of their drug and alcohol support programs and policies. Most employers take actions that support, rather than discipline, employees requiring treatment for a substance use issue. In fact, only 3% of the employers surveyed indicated they would suspend or dismiss an employee with a substance use issue. The top three drug and alcohol programs implemented by organizations were: EAP/EFAP, return-to-work support and wellness/health promotion/prevention programs.



Government of Canada launches call for proposals to support social inclusion of Canadians with disabilities

September 22, 2016

The Government of Canada is working to ensure greater accessibility and opportunities for Canadians with disabilities in their communities and workplaces. To this end, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities today invited national not-for-profit organizations with a focus on disability to apply for funding through the 2016 Social Development Partnership Program – Disability Component (SDPP-D) call for proposals. Under this competitive process, eligible national disability organizations are invited to submit funding proposals over a six week period until November 3, 2016 for innovative projects that identify, develop and test promising practices and tools that promote the social inclusion of people with disabilities. The practices and tools may be new or build on existing programs and services.



Free consulting services available from the UBC Sauder School of Business

September 22, 2016

The Community Business Project at the UBC Sauder School of Business gives not-for-profit organizations and social enterprises across British Columbia access to free consulting projects from teams of Master of Management students. Organizations get the chance to tackle key challenges, while giving students the opportunity to hone their business skills and gain real-world business experience. Over a period of six months, teams of 3-4 UBC Sauder Master of Management students apply their expertise and knowledge in business and marketing to tackle key challenges for a variety of community organizations. In the past, Sauder students have produced a business plan that won the BC SPCA an $180,000 grant, developed an international expansion strategy for JusTea, and helped SkyHarvest carve out a plan for the first rooftop greenhouse in Vancouver. Applications are due on September 30, 2016.



UBC Arts Internship Program now accepting proposals for 2017 projects

September 20, 2016

The UBC Arts Internship Program provides nonprofits in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland the chance to host undergraduate students from the Faculty of Arts as interns at no cost. Students are available for internships beginning in January and May and are eligible to volunteer with you for 8-12 hours per week for a duration of 4-8 months. As a host organization, you are expected to prioritize the student's learning and provide strong mentorship and support. In exchange, your organization will benefit from added energy and opportunities to expand programming and services. For more information see students.arts.ubc.ca/internship or contact Allison Mander-Wionzek, Program Coordinator at arts.internship@ubc.ca. The proposal submission deadline is October 3, 2016 for internships that will begin in January 2017.



Work stress and job demands keeping Canadian employees up at night

September 20, 2016

A new Conference Board of Canada survey finds that 27% of Canadian workers report being fatigued most days or every day during a typical work week. More than 40% of those surveyed reported that their productivity and performance were somewhat or significantly worse when they did not get enough rest. Work stress and job demands topped the list as the main cause of fatigue. Of the employees surveyed, 28% identified it as one of the biggest factors contributing to their lack of sleep. Other leading factors included stress from home demands (26%) and physical health problems (9%). Poor sleeping habits, such as caffeine before bed or too much screen time, also contributed to lack of sleep.



Two-thirds of Canadian workers are prepared to leave their current employer, study finds

September 20, 2016

As back-to-work season sets in, almost two thirds (65%) of Canadian workers are prepared to leave their current employer, according to the latest ADP Canada Sentiment Survey. Compensation is the main reason employees say they would make a move, mentioned first or second by two-thirds of Canadian workers (66%). However, Canadians also cite a variety of reasons related to quality-of-life — "better work/life balance/fewer hours," "less stress" and "better location/shorter commute" — which when combined, are mentioned first or second by 56% of employees. The desire for a higher position is also a key motivator, mentioned first or second by 30% of employees overall, though significant age and gender differences emerge in this area. Specifically:

  • Over one third of men (36%), who would leave their job, say they'd do so for a better position, but fewer than one quarter of women (23%) say the same.
  • Age matters: Four out of ten employees (39%) ages 18-34 who say they might leave their jobs would do so for a better position, and an almost equal segment of those ages 35-44 (32%) agree. The numbers drop at 45-54 (21%) and 55-64 (7%).



Canada seeks to increase refugee resettlement through private sponsorship

September 20, 2016

The Government of Canada, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Open Society Foundations have agreed to launch a joint initiative aimed at increasing private sponsorship of refugees around the world. Research demonstrates that privately sponsored refugees tend to have relatively early, positive integration and settlement outcomes, thanks in part to the social support provided by sponsors. Coinciding with the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants in New York City, the new joint initiative has three primary objectives:

  1. Contribute to enhanced responsibility-sharing by expanding the use of private sponsorship as a pathway for refugees in need of protection and solutions;
  2. Encourage the expansion of resettlement by building the capacity of states, civil society actors, and private citizens to launch private sponsorship programs; and
  3. Provide a vehicle that mobilizes citizens in direct support of refugees and encourages a broader political debate that is supportive of refugee protection.

The new joint initiative will support two initial activities. First, it will create a series of training modules on private sponsorship, based principally on a careful analysis of the Canadian model and made available to other countries who are interested in private sponsorship. Second, it will build the capacity necessary to disseminate the training modules and offer tailored advice on how to adapt and implement private sponsorship programs. This project will complement other initiatives under development elsewhere in the world also aimed at mobilizing citizens and creating complementary pathways for admission of refugees. The joint initiative will commence its activities at an initial meeting of stakeholders in Ottawa, Canada, in December 2016.



2016 Aviva Community Fund (ACF) competition now accepting idea submissions

September 19, 2016

Aviva Canada is thrilled that its 2016 Aviva Community Fund (ACF) competition opens today for submissions. Canadians with ideas for positive change in their community can submit them for a chance to share $1 million in funding. There are three ACF categories – Community Resilience, Community Health and Community Development – as well as two funding levels – Small Ideas for under $50,000 and Large Ideas for $50,000 to $100,000. New to this year's competition is ACF's partnership with CanadaHelps.org. Idea submission closes on October 6th and voting begins on October 11th, 2016. Finalists are revealed on November 7th and the winners are announced on December 6th, 2016. Canadians can start making a difference in their community today by submitting an idea to the Aviva Community Fund. Visit avivacommunityfund.org to find out more about the competition and download the "Idea Submission Guide".



Google now provides rating system for Canadian museums

September 19, 2016

When you type a museum name into Google, user reviews and an overall rating on a five-point scale may now appear next to the search results. These ratings appear as part of a relatively recent Google update allowing visitors to give businesses they’ve visited a rating out of five, and provide comments about their experience. Google integrates these ratings into its Search and Map functions so that individuals looking for a particular business or institution can learn about other guests’ experiences. This feature is part of Google My Business, previously known as Google Places for Businesses, which consolidates information about businesses such as their Google+ page and other social media profiles, hours and maps, popular times for visits, and guest reviews. In the case of museums, Google may also display events and other details such as an overview of collection items. For example, when you do a Google search for the National Gallery of Canada, a display of some of their most popular artwork appears beneath the guest reviews; similarly, a Google search for the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts tells you which hours of the day are quietest and which are busiest, allowing guests to plan their visits accordingly. Google coordinates this information across devices, and users searching from a desktop have the option of sending the information to their phone. For more information, please visit the Canadian Heritage Information Network.



The Tragically Hip tour inspires more than $1M for brain cancer research

September 19, 2016

With donations coming in from across the country and around the world, Sunnybrook Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society are pleased to announce that through The Tragically Hip's recent tour more than $1 million has been raised so far for brain cancer research in Canada. Moved by the announcement that Gord Downie was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer that currently has no cure, thousands of fans joined together to raise funds through events and donations for the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and for the Canadian Cancer Society. To date, almost $800,000 has been donated to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Sunnybrook. The Canadian Cancer Society has received close to $400,000 in honour of Mr. Downie and The Tragically Hip.



Number of baby boomers accessing food banks in Toronto rapidly increasing

September 19, 2016

The annual Who's Hungry report reveals people 45 and older have become the fastest growing demographic using food banks in Toronto. This is an outcome of unaffordable housing, rising costs of food and insufficient incomes. Many of these individuals have been struggling since the recession, unable to secure a job or living with disabilities, and having to rely on social assistance. The Who's Hungry: 2016 Profile of Hunger in Toronto report was released today, based on over 1,000 comprehensive, face-to-face client interviews in 36 food banks across Toronto. Other notable findings from the Who's Hungry: 2016 Profile of Hunger in Toronto report:

  • 59% of clients have a disability or serious illness in 2016, versus 49% in 2006.
  • More people accessing food banks have post-secondary education – 36% of clients in 2016.
  • Poverty is pushing outwards: inner suburb food bank visits have increased by 48% since 2008.



Study: After-hours email expectations hurt employee well-being

September 19, 2016

A new study authored by Liuba Belkin of Lehigh University, William Becker of Virginia Tech and Samantha A. Conroy of Colorado State University finds a link between organizational after-hours email expectations and emotional exhaustion, which hinders work-family balance. Using data collected from 297 working adults, Belkin and her colleagues looked at the role of organizational expectation regarding “off” hour emailing and found it negatively impacts employee emotional states, leading to “burnout” and diminished work-family balance, which is essential for individual health and well-being. The study is the first to identify email-related expectations as a job stressor along with already established factors such as high workload, interpersonal conflicts, physical environment or time pressure.

The researchers found that it is not the amount of time spent on work emails, but the expectation which drives the resulting sense of exhaustion. Due to anticipatory stress—defined as a constant state of anxiety and uncertainty as a result of perceived or anticipated threats, according to research cited in the article—employees are unable to detach and feel exhausted regardless of the time spent on after-hours emails. According to the study, the expectation does not have to be explicit or conveyed through a formal organizational policy. It can be set by normative standards for behavior in the organization. The organizational culture is created through what its leaders and members define as acceptable or unacceptable behavior.



Ontario Psychiatrists release alarming report on current state of mental health and youth suicide

September 15, 2016

Suicide is the leading cause of death among Canadians age 15 to 34, after car accidents, says an alarming new report from Ontario Psychiatrists. But unlike car accidents, the report identifies that the number of suicides across Canada has remained unchanged for more than four decades, with 70% of mental health issues starting in childhood and suicide accounting for 24% of all deaths among young people. Ontario Psychiatrists are calling for immediate action, releasing a new report that makes strong recommendations and calls on government to mend system gaps and reduce the risk of suicide among Canadian youth.

The report, Stemming the Tide: Strengthening youth suicide prevention in Ontario and in Canada, was developed by Ontario Psychiatrists with input from Ontario policy analysts, national mental health organizations, clinicians, researchers as well as psychiatrists and individuals with lived experience with suicide. Outlining the current state of mental health and youth suicide the report points to system gaps and funding issues as areas in need of improvement.



Health Canada launches consultations on renewal of the Official Languages Health Contribution Program

September 15, 2016

Health Canada is pleased to launch an open consultation process to solicit feedback on the future design of the Official Languages Health Contribution Program (OLHCP). The intent of the program is to improve access to health services to English-speaking communities of Québec and French communities elsewhere in Canada. Health Canada launched this program in 2003 in response to consultations with Canada's English and French minority communities. Input from this consultation will allow Health Canada to put the best possible strategy in place in order to meet the needs of Canada's official language communities.

The information collected will be summarized and used to guide further discussions with government officials, funding recipients and community representatives. This process will help to identify any new measures that should be put forward for the next phase of the program from 2018 to 2023. Members of the public, official language minority communities across Canada, as well as key stakeholder groups such as federal and provincial partners, health care practitioners and administrators, academic institutions, and organizations currently or previously supported by the OLHCP, are invited to provide comments on this consultation either online, by email, or by mail. The deadline for providing comments is November 4, 2016. Please refer to for the consultation questionnaire and accompanying reference document.



First Book Canada sends 22,000 books to Fort McMurray and area

September 15, 2016

At a special reading celebration sponsored by TD Bank Group, First Book Canada presented a book donation to Madison Davis, a grade two student at Beacon Hill Public School in Fort McMurray who lost her home in the devastating wildfires this spring. Over the course of the summer, First Book Canada received brand new children’s book donations from Canada’s top children’s publishing houses. With the financial support of TD, and the effort of all three Fort McMurray area school boards and the Public Library system, over 20,000 books are making their way into the hands of local children — many of whom lost all of their books to the fire. First Book Canada is committed to helping rebuild the library of each child in the community with first-rate, age-appropriate books.



Grant professionals needed to complete job analysis survey

September 15, 2016

The Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI) offers the Grant Professional Certified (GPC) credential to grant professionals and, in order to keep the credential current, they are updating the job analysis that is used to create the certification exam. A major component of this job analysis is issuing a survey for grant professionalsthat includes a list of skills and competencies. Grant professionals are asked to rate the frequency of use and criticality of error for each. The more grant professionals who take the survey, the more accurate the data will be. The survey is currently open through the end of September 2016. Click here for the survey.



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