Bing, bong, print media’s dead. Brett Nielsen

Do you hear the stories sing

University of Saskatchewan leads water advocacy group

A Nov. 18 email from the University of Saskatchewan detailed what the campus is doing to support safe water sources through their Global Water Futures program.

“As a proud partner of UNESCO and the UN Water Action Decade, we are continuously looking at ways in which we can lead the country in meeting our sustainable development goals as they relate to water,” said John Pomeroy, USask’s Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change and GWF program director.

University of Saskatchewan department member Corinne Shuster-Wallace said in the piece that “If we are to show the world how to achieve water sustainability, Canada first needs to get our own house in order to achieve the water goal SDG #6.”

The press release also pointed to the issues facing Indigenous communities face as Canada attempts to renew its commitment to water security

“Canada still has not reached universal access to reliable, potable water supplies. While the commitment to eliminating drinking water advisories in First Nation communities will go a long way to achieving this, many more aren’t even served by water treatment systems.”

Below is the full description of the research project from the home of the Huskies.

“The world’s largest university-led freshwater research program, Global Water Futures is a seven-year, University of Saskatchewan-led program established in 2016 and funded in part by a $77.8 million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund to USask’s Global Institute for Water Security. The GWF research goal is to transform the way communities, governments and industries in Canada and other cold regions of the world prepare for and manage increasing water-related threats. The program is developed and funded in part with three key partners—the University of Waterloo, McMaster University, and Wilfrid Laurier University—and includes hundreds of faculty, researchers and support staff, hundreds of partners, and 18 Canadian universities.”


Security password changes

Last week, an email was sent to campus advising students that they will be required to change their university passwords, except for those on banner, as they do not allow for the needed security. The new policy, dated Feb. 26, 2018, means that passwords can only be the same for a full year before needing to be changed. The email detailed the reason for the change.

“Information Services at the University of Regina is pleased to announce the University Password Management Policy effective February 26, 2018. The new policy applies more stringent security controls for passwords based on information sensitivity of IT systems accessed by University of Regina users. This policy consolidates password management controls to encompass all University applications and is applicable to all faculty, staff, students, and affiliates.”

These requirements were described, both in the email and on the related website, as providing more security for campus users

“At a high-level, this policy brings new requirements in terms of minimum password complexity, maximum password age, limits on how passwords can be transmitted and other important changes to improve security.”

“University of Regina uses passwords as the primary authentication method for users to access IT systems in the conduct of University activities. The goal is to reduce the probability of compromised accounts being used to access University IT systems. The policy and associated standards are designed to ensure passwords are managed appropriately, both from the end user and system administrator roles, in order to minimize risk to University information assets. Information security is a shared responsibility; strong passwords are a critical part of this responsibility.  External research, such as Verizon’s Data Breach Report, have shown that more than 80% of hacking-related breaches used either stolen and/or weak passwords.”

The email comes after the vendor used for the University of Regina’s bookstore, now renamed the campus store, was breached twice last year, exposing the data of a number of students.


Queen City for All hosts meeting

Full disclosure: the author attended the event, but it’s too important to care about a tad bit of nepotism

On Nov. 21, members of the Regina community met at the United Way of Regina to discuss the current municipal election cycle, including the races for city counsellors, public school trustees, and the position of mayor.

In a Nov. 20, Kent Peterson, spokesperson for the group sent a press release detailing part of the reason for the meeting.

“After receiving a petition with over 5,000 signatures calling on Katherine Gagne to be removed as Chair of the Regina Public School Board, Katherine Gagne has so far refused to resign or formally respond to the petition. If Katherine Gagne won’t resign, a community conversation is required about taking steps to defeat her in next year’s school board election and create a more inclusive city.”

On Nov. 26 an email was sent by the group highlighting a homophobic petition being supported by Gagne in a bid to keep her in her role as trustee and as the key figure in the lack of support  for 2SLGBTQIA+ students in Regina’s public schools.  The petition compares supporting LGBT students to Sharia law or forcing Christian doctrine on students [EIC’s note: Got to love the hypocrisy of these people]. In response, Eric Bell pointed to this as just another reason why Regina’s citizens should be concerned.

“If Katherine Gagne condones and supports this disgusting petition, then it’s another example of her saying one thing in public, but saying something different in private. Gagne needs to use tomorrow’s [Nov 26] school board meeting to finally tell the truth: does she support LGBTQ+ kids in schools, or does she support the bigots who signed this horrible petition in her name?”

Regina next goes to the polls to choose its city representatives on Nov. 9, 2020.


CNIB searching for temporary homes for guide dog trainees

The CNIB Foundation has put out a call for puppy raisers. These are people who set the needed foundation before the dogs go off to be trained in supporting those who require a guide dog. In an email to press, the specifics of the program, described as a “interesting opportunity,” were set out.

“CNIB is seeking animal lovers in Regina who would like to be Puppy Raisers by taking a puppy into their home from the age of eight weeks to about 12 to 15 months of age, when formal guide dog training begins. The Puppy Raiser’s role is to provide a loving home to a puppy in training and to help prepare the pup through supervised obedience and socialization skills program overseen by CNIB. All costs will be covered by CNIB.”

Applications can be found on foundation’s website at


SCEF looking for applicants

The University of Regina’s Sustainability and Community Engagement Fund is now accepting applications. The campus program offers $2,000 to successful candidates who offer programs that relate to the fund’s mission, as stated on their website, “to build a culture of sustainability among the University of Regina campus community while fostering positive impacts in the surrounding community environment.”

The website also lists the how the program came to be.

“In 2014, eight Partners from our campus joined their efforts to create the Sustainability Community Engagement Fund. Since then additional Faculties and Units, as well as the University Leadership Team (ULT), have provided their support and invested in the SCEF. By investing in the Fund, the ULT have agreed to recognize the leadership of higher education institutions and the importance of working collaboratively and responsively toward our social and environmental sustainability. The Fund will support students in becoming more active citizens, by funding projects that will shift business as usual and foster a stronger engagement for sustainable and socially responsible practices and actions on campus.”

Applications opened on Nov. 18 and close on Dec. 11. The application form is available at sustainability/Sustainability-Awards/index.html#fund

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