News Release from the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta
ASET waives fees for refugees, offers fast route into tech careers locally
Through two initiatives, the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) is making it easier for engineering technology professionals who are refugees from war-torn countries to earn their professional designations and find work in their field without having to return to school.
Effective immediately, ASET is waiving all application fees for refugees seeking to become members and attain their designations (e.g. certified engineering technologist). These fees, which include the application fee, prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) fee, ASET professional practice exam fee, and certification exam fee, can cost up to almost $1,000 per member over time. ASET recognizes that many applicants who are refugees from countries in crisis are also suffering significant economic hardship.
ASET’s fee waiver for refugees reflects its overall commitment to welcoming and supporting newcomers. In 2016, it launched a program designed to offer foreign-trained and other engineering technology professionals a faster route to establishing careers: the competency-based assessment program. The first of its kind in Canada and pioneered by ASET, it enables them to gain purchase in their career fields without having to return to school full-time. ASET eliminated the Canadian work experience requirement, making it one of the few regulatory bodies in Alberta to do this.
After Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, single mother Mila Wagner made the difficult decision to leave her home and job in Ukraine and move to Alberta two years later with her three-year-old son, Nikita. When she arrived in Alberta in 2016, she discovered that her multiple engineering technology-related degrees from Ukraine did not translate in the Canadian employment market and no one would hire her. She had to take on menial work until she was able to earn a civil engineering technology diploma at Lethbridge College.
Had she known about ASET’s competency-based assessment program, she could have been fast-tracked into earning an ASET designation – subject to having the required application documentation – and ultimately working in a career-related job in half to a quarter of the time required to complete an additional engineering technology diploma in Canada.
While she praises the excellent civil engineering technology education that she received at Lethbridge College where the instructors are top-notch and go above and beyond to help their students, she wishes she’d known about the ASET program.
“If I could have been accredited through ASET from my previous schooling in Ukraine, I could have been positioned in a job in my field sooner,” said Wagner, now an ASET member. “I think the competency-based assessment program combined with application fee waiver will be a game changer for refugees from Ukraine and other countries.”
“With our application fee waiver for refugees now in place and our competency-based assessment program already established and proven to help newcomers, ASET is making it easier than ever for refugees with tech backgrounds to get on the career paths for which they were educated in their home countries,” said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh. “Alberta and Canada as a whole need more people with the technical knowledge and experience to contribute to our province and nation and we value what these newcomers bring.”
How the competency-based assessment program works:
Foreign-trained professionals who have passed an ASET-approved English language proficiency test and are seeking certification and an ASET certified engineering technologist (CET) or certified technician designation (CTech) now undergo a competency assessment. This includes submitting academic credentials, work experience documents – such as CV, competency summary, job descriptions, and references – confirming their work experience locally and abroad. They then complete a professional practice exam that tests them on Alberta-specific legislation and professional ethics, and the ASET certification exam (if applying for the CET designation) that tests them on their technical competency.
In some cases, foreign-trained professionals are not able to access academic documents. For example, if they are refugees from a war zone, their academic institution may have been destroyed. ASET’s PLAR model allows foreign-trained professionals who are unable to produce academic transcripts to complete a work portfolio to demonstrate equivalency to the academic requirements. Skills and knowledge obtained outside of an academic program are evaluated for the purpose of recognizing professional competence, and certification exams test for the educational standard.
ASET is the professional self-regulatory organization for engineering technologists and technicians in Alberta. ASET currently represents over 16,000 members, including full-time technology students, recent graduates and fully certified members in 21 disciplines and more than 120 occupations across a multitude of industries.
‘I am sorry’: Man convicted in stabbing of Calgary chef apologizes at sentencing
By Bill Graveland in Calgary
A man convicted of killing a chef apologized Monday and expressed dismay that no one with the victim’s family was in court to to hear it.
Tommie Holloway was convicted of manslaughter while his accomplice, Anthony Dodgson, was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Christophe Herblin.
Herblin was stabbed to death in a parking lot outside his soon-to-be opened Calgary café following a break-in in 2020.
Holloway, 33, told his sentencing hearing that he hoped his words would get through to Herblin’s wife, who wrote in a victim impact statement last December that the killing had left her broken and struggling “to make sense of this tragedy.”
“It got to me. Got me emotional,” said Holloway.
“I just wish they were here today so I could look at them eye-to-eye, apologize for my actions. I know no amount of words that I’m going to say is going to bring back their loved one, but I do want them to know that I am sorry.”
The Crown has recommended Holloway serve 12 years in prison. Defence lawyer Kim Ross said his client had no previous criminal record, has made efforts to turn his life around and should serve three to five years.
“I’m not standing here saying that imprisonment is not appropriate here. The issue is how long,” Ross told Court of King’s Bench Justice Blair Nixon.
“Mr. Holloway has clearly learned his lesson … and I submit with some degree of confidence that this court will never see Mr. Holloway back here again.”
Herblin was a longtime executive sous chef at the Glencoe Golf and Country Club, and his new restaurant was weeks away from opening.
Court heard Dodgson and Holloway broke into the restaurant with plans to get through a wall into an adjacent cannabis shop. They fled when a car drove by and returned later to continue their robbery attempt but became frustrated as Herblin had showed up.
Holloway smashed Herblin’s car windows in order to lure him into the parking lot. Dodgson attacked him and stabbed him nine times.
Herblin staggered to a nearby gas station for help and died shortly after police officers came to his aid.
Ross said Holloway had no knowledge of what was going to happen and immediately ran off after smashing out the car’s windows.
“Mr. Holloway at that point did not know what had happened. He did not know that Mr. Herblin was in the state that he was in and that he had gone to the Shell looking for help,” Ross said.
“He was leaving the scene of a possible break and enter. Certainly at the time of his leaving he did not know.”
Dodgson receives an automatic life sentence for the murder conviction. When the sentencing hearing began for both men in December, the Crown argued that Dodgson should not be eligible for parole for 15 to18 years. His lawyer asked for a range of 10 to 12 years.
The judge is scheduled to deliver his sentence for Holloway and Dodgson on Feb. 24.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2023.
This is a corrected story. A previous version said lawyers were recommending the time Holloway should serve before he is eligible for parole.
Feds will increase annual health transfer and offer targeted funding with conditions
By Mia Rabson, Laura Osman and Mickey Djuric in Ottawa
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will offer the provinces a “significant” increase to the Canada Health Transfer and additional money if they agree to one-on-one deals targeting specific problem areas in the health-care system.
A senior government official with knowledge of the plan said Trudeau will lay out a 10-year offer when he meets with the country’s 13 premiers in Ottawa on Tuesday.
The Canadian Press agreed to grant the official anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
They said the offer will include a top-up to the annual Canada Health Transfer, which Ottawa sends to the provinces each year with very few strings attached. This year Ottawa transferred $45 billion, which amounts to 22 per cent of what the provinces budgeted for health care.
The premiers want Ottawa to fund 35 per cent, which this year would have required $26 billion more.
Trudeau will offer more money to provinces that make one-on-one deals in specific areas, and with accountability measures attached such as setting targets for improvement and data sharing.
Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos has previously said the federal government’s priority areas include improving access to family doctors, better mental health care, cutting surgical backlogs and a massive improvement to data collection and sharing.
The government’s offer will be made public but not until after it’s given to the premiers on Tuesday.
Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson, who is currently the chair of the premiers’ group known as the Council of the Federation, said the fact premiers haven’t seen any details yet is frustrating.
“If we had it ahead of time we could have had a more fulsome discussion tomorrow,” she said. “There’s no question about that.”
She wouldn’t say if the premiers are flexible on the 35 per cent ask, or what concessions or strings they are open to.
“We want to see what the proposal will look like,” she said. “We’ll go in with an open mind and then we’ll go from there.”
Trudeau said his government doesn’t expect to sign the same deal with every province.
“We recognize that different provinces have different needs and different priorities, and that flexibility is an important part of our responsibility,” he said Monday.
After Tuesday’s talks, Duclos and the provincial health ministers will meet to keep working out the details. There is no specific deadline but the hope is that a new deal will be in place before the next federal budget, which is generally tabled in the early spring.
The federal official said one of Ottawa’s key asks is that the provinces agree to common indicators and the collection and sharing of data, both with other provinces and with Canadians. They said it’s needed to better understand the extent of the problems and to be able to measure progress.
Former health minister Jane Philpott, who was in charge of the file in 2017 when the last federal-provincial health talks took place, said Monday that is a critical element of any successful plan.
In 2017, Ottawa signed bilateral deals with each province and territory to flow $11.5 billion over 10 years to improve mental health care and home care. The deals included an agreement that the provinces would annually report some common indicators. While that has happened, the data is often incomplete and assessing progress is difficult.
“As I look back on that, I would say that the agreements were not as specific as they could have been, and I think that’s the lesson to be learned on this round,” Philpott said.
“When the federal government puts more money on the table, there needs to be accountability for how that money is spent. I think this time I would advise being much more specific about those expectations and potentially even using legislative tools to be able to ensure that the outcomes will be what they need to be.”
She said that could include clawing back money if provinces don’t meet their obligations.
Philpott said the lack of information about how the health-care system is performing is a major issue, as is the lack of hard targets for progress.
An estimated six million Canadians don’t have access to a family doctor or primary care team, and Philpott said a hard target should be to make sure every Canadian has access within five to seven years.
But to do that we’d need to know a lot more about the doctors we have, where they are, and how many hours they work.
“We don’t actually know how many practising family doctors there are in the country, which is a shocking thing,” she said.
Health workers’ unions and associations began ringing alarms about the dwindling number of health-care professionals in the early days of the pandemic. Since then, worker burnout has turned a bad situation into a crisis. They say without a long-term plan to shore up their ranks there is little that can be done to improve the state of health care in Canada.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said Monday “any agreement that does not include clear commitments to hire more front-line health care workers would be a failure.”
The Conservatives have been hesitant to comment before seeing Trudeau’s offer but are concerned about the cost.
“What we’ve seen over the last eight years is that Justin Trudeau has thrown money at all kinds of different challenges and, in general, things are getting worse,” said Conservative MP Garnett Genuis Monday.
“When we see a proposal from the government we’ll review it, we’ll see whether the government’s actually going to get us out of the failures they’ve caused.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2023.
‘The eyes of the world’: Trial starts for Calgary pastor charged in border blockade
Overdose prevention services in Red Deer will soon transition to a mobile site operated by Alberta Health Services
Writer opposing Free Alberta Strategy in national article confuses chartered banks with financial institutions
Senate passes Liberals’ controversial online streaming act with a dozen amendments
Alberta12 hours ago
Hudson’s Bay to close two Alberta department stores this summer amid ‘market changes’
Health1 day ago
Governments in UK and Europe starting to demand investigations into excess death crisis
Brownstone Institute2 days ago
How the “Unvaccinated” Got It Right
Top Story CP1 day ago
CP NewsAlert: Drake wins Grammy for best melodic rap performance
Top Story CP2 days ago
Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan martial ruler in 9/11 wars, dies
Alberta2 days ago
RCMP say man dead after police fired during confrontation on an Alberta First Nation
Crime8 hours ago
Boy who shot teacher allegedly tried to choke another
International2 days ago
Defence minister says Canada supports U.S. downing of suspected Chinese spy balloon