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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

  • Volunteers invite all to Canada Day
  • 'Women in planning' award to UW prof
  • 'Complex pathways' to education
Chris Redmond

A history of the right to vote in Canada

[Red baseball hat and backpack]

An on-campus voter does his civic duty yesterday at the polling station at Conrad Grebel University College. Local Liberals Andrew Telegdi (Kitchener-Waterloo), Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre) and Lynn Myers (Kitchener-Conestoga) all won re-election to be part of Paul Martin's minority government. Photo by Chris Hughes, UW Graphics Photo/Imaging. And now let's take a break from politics and talk about celebrating Canada itself. . . .

Volunteers invite all to Canada Day

When the flag-waving kids are celebrating Canada Day with music on UW's north campus this Thursday, the biggest share of the credit goes to a volunteer steering committee of 25 Waterloo students.

That's the word from Nancy Heide, associate director of communications and public affairs at UW, and the person most associated with the annual Canada Day party, which is now in its 20th year.

The celebration, co-sponsored by UW and the Federation of Students, will start at 2 p.m. on Thursday and continue until dark, when it winds up with fireworks over Columbia Lake. The event is expected to attract up to 60,000 people to celebrate Canada's 137th birthday, Heide says.

From a publicity release: "Widely recognized as Waterloo Region's premiere Canada Day event, the day's popularity is credited to the exciting selection of free activities and events planned for the entire family. Water relay races, obstacle courses and face painting are just a few of the many activities planned, as well as an arts and crafts fair featuring a wide selection of hand crafted goods."

There will be live musical entertainment throughout the day and evening. While many of the children's activities wrap up at 8 p.m., the main stage performances, the arts and crafts fair, and the Kiddie Fun Trax continue until 10 p.m. Food (and washroom facilities) will be available all day.

Parking is free in all UW lots for the day. Visitors should enter from University Avenue, as Columbia Street will be closed to traffic. "The event is made possible by the generous support of many local businesses and organizations," the news release notes.

It's also made possible, says Heide, by the students who plan it, and others who volunteer for setup, the day itself, and cleanup afterwards. "This event is organized by a steering committee consisting of 25 UW students," she says. "The committee officially starts up in May, and in a matter of eight short weeks, the UW Canada Day celebrations are ready to go! This committee is headed by a student volunteer who is the event manager. This year it's Enam Rabbani, a third-year systems design engineering student who has been doing a fantastic job."

Rabbani is happy to spread the credit: "It's amazing to see the dedication from our volunteers. They have been working really hard to provide a fun-filled day for the community."

About 200 volunteers are expected, says Heide. "It's a huge effort by our students, who do this for the people of Waterloo Region as a way of thanking them for welcoming them into their community." The day's activities are free, but donations are welcome at collection boxes around the grounds.

'Women in planning' award to UW prof -- from the UW media relations office

[Johnston] UW planning professor Laura C. Johnson (left), who has been studying the advantages and disadvantages of "teleworking" for more than a decade, is the recipient of this year's National Women in Planning Award from the American Planning Association.

The social planner and associate professor at UW was given the award by the group based in Chicago and Washington, D.C., for "the contribution she has made to community supports for working women and their families."

In her book The Co-Workplace: Teleworking in the Neighbourhood (2003, UBC Press), Johnson advocates developing telework centres convenient to residential areas to allow teleworkers to reap the benefits of a central office without the social and environmental costs of commuting. Parents of young children, in particular, enjoy the option that telework centres offer: to work near -- but not inside -- the home.

The co-workplace, the term that Johnson coined to refer to these neighbourhood-based telework centres, is an idea synthesized from a survey of successful and unsuccessful collective workplaces all over North America. Most centres have enjoyed limited success, while co-operative artists' studios, business incubators and other community-based facilities have a much better track record, she has found.

A key ingredient to success is the active involvement of the users themselves in the planning and operation of community facilities. Proximity to home is another predictor of success, as walking to work is much preferred to commuting by car.

Child care nearby, well-equipped meeting rooms, state-of-the art office equipment and secure premises available on a flexible "as needed" basis are other features that teleworkers would value in a neighborhood office.

'Complex pathways' to education -- from a Statistics Canada news release

Canada's young people are making the transition from school to the workforce through a complex set of pathways, rather than simply finishing their education and jumping straight into a full-time job, according to new data from the Youth in Transition Survey. The report is now available online.

Opening ceremony for the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders and Disability. 3 p.m., Clarica Auditorium, Hallman Institute for Health Promotion, Matthews Hall.

Mary Anne Jantzi, housing and residences, retirement reception, 4 to 6 p.m., University Club, RSVP ext. 2674.

'Math in the Real World: Confessions of an Engineer Dwelling Among Mathematicians", Tom Lee, Maplesoft, speaks, 4:30, Math and Computer room 5158.

Arriscraft Lecture, school of architecture, Brian Lilley of Halifax, "Of Colour, Codes and Ecology: The Building of GSW-HQ in Berlin". 7 p.m., Environmental Studies II room 286.

Matthews Hall electrical power shutdown, 7 to 9 p.m.

The survey, which tracked movements between high school, postsecondary education and the labour market, interviewed young people at two stages. The first cycle assessed their education and labour market status as of December 1999, when they were 20 years old. Two years later, the same respondents, now 22, were re-interviewed.

YITS shows that finishing high school is a longer process for some youths than for others. Young people who drop out of high school may subsequently return to high school studies. Other dropouts may return to classes, but in some form of postsecondary education. In December 1999, 12% of 20-year-olds were no longer in high school and had left high school without graduating. Two years later, this dropout rate had edged down to 11% as some of these young people had returned to high school.

Some high school dropouts went on to postsecondary studies without having completed their high school diploma. When this was taken into account, by the age of 22, only 9% of youths had dropped out of high school and not pursued any further education.

At the age of 20, dropout rates were much higher for males than for females. This gender difference in dropout rates remained at age 22; 14% for males compared with 8% for females.

More youths moved into some form of postsecondary education as they age from 20 to 22. In December 2001, 76% of young people had taken some form of postsecondary education by age 22. This was up from 70% in 1999, when those same youths were aged 20.

As in the case of high school, pathways through postsecondary education are complex. In December 2001, by the age of 22, about 11% of youths had left postsecondary education without graduating. However, this did not necessarily mean they had called a halt to higher education. Thirty-five percent of those who had left postsecondary education when they were 20 returned to it by the time they were 22. About one-third of youths completed at least one postsecondary credential by age 22.

Youths take a variety of pathways from initial education to full-time work. In December 1999, just over one-quarter of the 20-year-olds were out of school and working full-time. Two years later, the proportion of those out of school and working full-time increased to 34%.

The proportion of youths who were not working and not studying increased from 10% at age 20 to 14% by age 22. However, not all of those who were not in school and not working necessarily experienced difficulties in the transition from school to work. Some youths may choose to leave school and or the labour market to travel, to undertake volunteer activities or to care for family.

This study identified a small group of individuals, about 3%, who were not in school and not working in December 1999 and again two years later in December 2001. Forty-five percent of this group were high school dropouts, 28% were high school graduates and just 15% were postsecondary graduates.


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