The Caper Times, January 2021

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On 8th January 2021, Immigration-refugee and citizenship Canada (IRCC) made an announcement regarding the unique extension of post-graduation work permit (PGWP). International students that are studying in Canada ideally receive a PGWP of study duration plus 4 extra months to gain

a Canadian experience and eventually take the decision to apply for permanent residency. 2019-2020 have been completely unpredictable due to COVID-19 due to which many people lost their jobs failing to procure their permanent


residency. Honorable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship made a decision that the students falling under speci c criteria will be able to apply for an open work permit of 18 months more.

Image source: IRCC twitter handle Who can apply?

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The international student who ful lls the below three criteria are eligible for this extension: 1- Students who have a PGWP that expired on or after January 30, 2020, or a PGWP that expires in 4 months or less from the date they apply. 2- The individual is still residing in Canada.


For the students that are eligible for the given criteria, the application is opening on January 27th and ending on July 27th, 2021. Details regarding how to apply will be available on the IRCC website after January 27th, 2021.

Image source: IRCC of cial website Facts regarding PGWP and permanent residency (PR):

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According to the data provided by IRCC, a total of 61,000 students had a PGWP expiring in 2021 among which few already have their permanent residency certi cate or have applied for it. IRCC expects that a total of 52,000 students will be bene ted from this unique extension

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3- Student must have a valid temporary status, or be applying to restore their status.*


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International students play a major part in the economy of the country. They study in this country and later give back to the community in form of manpower, skilled profession, and entrepreneurship. According to the minister of IRCC, the immigration of international students will not only boost the economy of Canada but will also help to cope up with the retiring population and keep up the retirement bene ts. Through this new policy, the IRCC has emphasized the

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“Whether as nurses on the pandemic’s front lines or as founders of some of the most promising startups, international students are giving back to communities across Canada as we continue the ght against the pandemic. Their status may be temporary, but the contributions of international students are lasting. This new policy means that young students from abroad who have studied here can stay and nd work while ensuring that Canada meets the urgent needs of our economy for today and tomorrow. Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here.” —The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.


SourceImmigration-refugee and citizenship Canada IRCC Twitter account

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importance of international students in economic growth and development of Canada.



You should make your New Year’s resolution to break them. Confused? That’s exactly right. When life gives you lemons, you get a lemon crusher and crush them. The leftover citrus (that ironically obviously lands in your eye) is your fuel, your spite to work on things you never thought you’d work on. For some inspiration, here’s a list of do-able and non-doable (to give you hope to get through the rest of the year) resolutions:

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1. Be sel sh. Be there for others but do not ever forget to put yourself rst. Taking care of yourself is not a sin. If you’re there for yourself, who else will?


2. Take care of your body. For an ideal life, your body, mind, heart, and soul need to be in perfect alignment. Every second moved forward is every second towards perfect alignment.

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3. Watch fewer TV shows. When the screen time usage pops up on your phone and tells you that you spent 6h 20min. watching mindless shows on Net ix, hurts, doesn’t it


4. Be kind. Make checklists – give at least one compliment every day, make one person smile, help someone out in a stitch, etc.


5. Try being sustainable. Support local. Shop thrift. Your Mother Earth will thank you.

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6. Be a plant mom. There’s nothing ful lling enough than to see something grow right in front of your eyes. A good companion. Or get a pet if you can handle the responsibility.


7. Make a bucket list. I know I know, we aren’t living in 2007 but a bucket list is a good way to live your life and combat the feeling that you’re not living your life enough. Unfortunately, FOMO is real.

8. Pick up fun hobbies. Stray away a little from the workschool schedule and enjoy everything that you’re interested in.


9. But if you feel like notdoing any of the abovementioned things, don’t do it. Don’t tell anyone to tell you what to do. Life is too short for that.



Winters in Cape Breton can get extremely chilly, especially for someone not used to typical Canadian winters. If you are planning to travel to Cape Breton in the winter season (December to February) from a relatively warmer region, it's very important to pack accordingly.


Sydney on 3rd January, 2021. Photo Credits: Tom Joseph

Cape Breton often sees temperatures going all the way down to -15°C with abundant snowfall. February is usually the coldest month of the year and had an average temperature of -5°C last year. Winters in Cape Breton are very beautiful and the island is de nitely worth exploring in this season. Not only is it important to keep the weather in mind while pack clothes, but it is also very important to make sure your car and homes are also equipped for the low temperatures. 1) What to Pack While most indoor spaces (including CBU campus, buses, grocery stores etc) are almost always air conditioned, it is still very important to dress warm even when you don't plan on being outdoors for too long. Since the temperature outside is literally freezing cold and you may have to wait for buses, walk from your car/bus to your destination or even if you're going from one campus building to another. Here's how you can ensure you're protected from the cold weather:

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✔ Dress in Layers: For example, your three layers could be a tee shirt as a base layer, a eece or puffer jacket as a second layer and a winter overcoat or jacket as a third layer. If you're planning on going on a trek, hike or skiing trip, you may also want to consider layering up your pants. My personal recommendation would be to wear a pair of warm leggings


(such as the ones sold at Just Cozy in May ower mall in

Sydney) below your regular jeans or tack pants. ✔ Wear a winter jacket: Marks, Winners and Walmart are stores you should consider checking out if you don't already have a winter jacket and want to get a new one. It may also be a good idea to check the temperature range on the jacket to ensure it'll keep you warm when you need it

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✔ Wear Winter Boots: This is an absolute necessity for winters in Cape Breton. In my opinion, you should always step out in winter boots when there's black ice outside- even if you're only planning on taking a few steps outdoors. That's all it takes for a big fall. Call it Spring may be a good place to get


winter boots. You can also check out Walmart and Timberlands. ✔ Gloves, muffs and caps- Getting insulated gloves may be a good idea if you plan on going out in the snow often. You may also need to wear ear muffs and caps to keep your ears and head warm. Dollarama in May ower Mall might be worth checking out 2) If you drive

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✔ Driving lessons: If you've never driven in snow before, it may be a good idea to take a few driving lessons before you hit the road by yourself. (Consider Young Drivers driving school). Snowfall may impair visibility and increase stopping distances and therefore increase the


chance of an accident ✔ Street Parking ban: CBRM has a street parking ban from December 15 to March 31 during 1:00 AM to 6:00AM to allow snow removal vehicles to clear the roads. You can nd the complete list of areas where street parking is banned in Nova Scotia *here*. ✔Fuel ef ciency in winters: Fuel economy usually drops in the winter but there are several tips you can keep in mind to help reduce this: ♦When possible, park your car in a warmer place like a garage. This will help your car reach a fuel ef cient temperature faster ♦Decrease idle time and avoid warming your car up before you start driving. ♦Check your tire pressure regularly. If the tire pressure is too high or too low it can decrease your mileage. 3) Your Home:

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If you're staying in an all inclusive rental accommodation, you may be required to pay higher rent in the winter season. If your heating bill is included in your rent you should consider discussing the winter rent with landlord beforehand


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Irrespective of weather or not your heating bill is included in your rent, In the winter you should ensure that heat isn't escaping from your house from open windows, doors etc You should also ensure that the smoke alarm in your home is working. If you stay in a house (as opposed to an apartment building) and are responsible for your own drive way you may also want to keep a shovel and ice melt handy for your drive way handy



For those of you who are new here, #HumansofCBU is a Caper Times initiative to help deepen the sense of community between CBU students, faculty, and staff. By sharing stories and experiences of a community member each month, we hope to bring about an awareness about the beauty in the diversity of human experiences This month we had the opportunity to interview Tram Le (Grace) Q: Tell us a little about yourself. My name is Grace Le, a student of post-baccalaureate of Business Management at CBU. I am from Vietnam and studying abroad is my dream of life. I am glad that I nally made it after 15 years.

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Q: What do you like the most about Cape Breton and what made you decide to come here? I arrived in Sydney on a sunny summer day on 15 August 2019. The weather was so nice then and it is de nitely one of the reasons I chose NS, or CB, as my destination. Although winter here is cold, I still nd it beautiful here. Other reasons are world-class landscape, friendly locals, suitable studying program, but the most important reason is immigration opportunity, which can give me the life I dream of. There are many organizations that aim to support new immigrants on the way to become the new permanent residents, such as New Dawn and CB Partnerships. I am currently one of 50 selected students of the Atlantic Canada Study and Stay program, the provincial one that equips international students with all the necessary skills networks to work and stay in Nova Scotia.


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Q: Why did you choose to pursue business management? I worked in global advertising agencies for 10 years and the business world has been always attractive to me. So there is no doubt that learning about business from a developed country like Canada would prepare me with the fundamental knowledge then open the gate for me in the professional career in Canada or whenever I am in the future


Pictured: Grace (extreme right) in a group presentation in her business class

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Q: If you could give one piece of advice to the readers of Caper Times, what would it be? Life in a new environment is not an easy challenge for sure, but we are, as newcomers to CB, are so brave to pursue it for a better future. Different obstacles, from small ones such as shopping at supermarkets to big ones like getting a full-time job or PR, require us lots of endeavors and patience. However, Resilience is my keyword. I could not overcome all dif cult times, stay positive, and gain achievements without it. After a hard time, now I am going to graduate, have a good part-time job at hospitals, and wonderful international friends. So you see, everything will be ne after all. I wish you all a lot of resilience on your way to success


Pictured: Grace (front row, center) in a retreat trip sponsored by Atlantic Canada Study and Stay program at Annapolis Valey Q: What was the happiest moment of your life? It is when I stepped out of the plane at the Sydney airport two years ago and took the rst fresh air of the land where I know would be my 2nd home. It was the most meaningful moment in my life.

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Q: What is your most important priority? While a full-time job is my top priority in the next 5 months, like other going-to-graduate students, I remind myself to enjoy every minute of my life. We do not know what happens


tomorrow but we can be happy today. So why not enjoy it fully!

Grace (6th from left) performing in Hello Cape Breton festival

Q: What is your one take away from your time at CBU? International academic environment. I miss our lovely campus so much! Thank you for giving me a chance to share my love with CBU -x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x--x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

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If you would like to nominate someone you know or yourself for the next #HumansofCBU post, please reach out to us at ct_editorinchief@cbu.c



Every year with the help of donors and reserves of the university, CBU offers $2.5 million in the form of various scholarships and bursaries. There are scholarships for almost every eld of study and for various levels of education. Here is the breakdown of all scholarships.

Entrance scholarship (Closes on March 1st, 2021): This form of scholarship is for the students that are entering CBU in September 2021, current students are not considered for this scholarship. It requires you to ll the application form along with the of cial transcripts and nancial need application

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Domestic as well as international students are considered for this scholarship


For high school students, the requirements to qualify are academically driven along with the offer letter granting them admission to CBU

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Articulation agreement students also qualify for the entrance scholarship


There is a wide range of scholarships ranging from $500 to $5000 per year. They are awarded to the students after the careful review of their application

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The application form for this scholarship can be found here


For all Indigenous student scholarships, please contact janice_basque@cbu.ca. In-Course Scholarship: You don’t need to apply for the in-course scholarship they are directly applied to your student account if you qualify for it. For quali cation, you need to be complete one year at CBU (24 credits) while maintaining an overall average of 80%. You will be eligible for it if you are not under any sort of renewal scholarships. They are applied in September. Bursaries: CBU allows students with nancial needs to apply in various form of bursaries program. This can be applied by lling out the entrance scholarship form or by lling bursaries form. There are also general bursaries available for all the students. The requirements for the application are • Should be a registered CBU student. • Fill out the application form. • Provide income tax returns (Students or parents depending on the case)

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Entrance bursaries: students showing a strong nancial need can apply to this form of a bursary. The application opens in January and ends in March and the bursary is awarded in September upon enrolment. Tax information of the students/parents/guardians is required.


In-course bursaries: In-course bursaries application opens in the fall and is awarded in the second semester of study. An in-course scholarship form must be completed for the application (available mid-November to mid-January). They are awarded depending on the nancial needs. Current external award scholarship: Fisheries and Aquaculture scholarship.

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Scholarships are pro-rated and are renewed automatically depending on the number of credits you take in the semester. For more information on Scholarships and bursaries visit the CBU website.



Have you ever seen this mural hanging around at Cape Breton University?


Well, good news. This mural by Shania Boucher rst resided in the Engagement Center, Campus Center. Now that Caper Convenience is being relocated to the old Engagement Centre, Boucher’s Mural was saved by cutting out an entire wall and placing it in the Students’ Union Building.

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Shania Boucher was a Business (accounting and law) student at CBU, from years 2014-2018. After graduating from CBU, she pursued her CPA designation! She’s currently working as a controller in Sydney. Here’s here insight on how the


beautiful mural came into being and what transpired behind the curtains: Boucher says that “the mural stated as a way to mural started as a way to brighten up the room known at that time as the Community Engagement Centre, in the Campus Centre. A staff member, Jennifer Billard, who was in charge of hosting events in that space and encouraging students to utilize the room as a place to hang out, knew that she enjoyed painting and suggested the mural as a focal point in the room. The mural ended up taking almost the entire year to complete from drawing the initial sketch in June 2017, to nishing the nal details in early April 2018, just before her graduation. A fun fact about Boucher - She started drawing and painting as a young kid while sitting in hockey arenas while her brother was on the ice. It turns out her family's way of keeping her quiet and entertained became a lifelong hobby and passion! Some titbits from Boucher and CT’s interview: CT: Did you have an inspiration for the mural? In terms of art styles? Boucher: I’ve always loved to paint in this style, and with acrylic paint, so it was exciting to be able to take this style of painting to a much bigger scale CT: Is art important to you? How often do you make things?

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Boucher: Absolutely, I have always drawn and painted for as long as I can remember, and still to this day, I draw and paint both by hand and digitally, and have started creating posters and stickers for my Etsy page.


(Boucher’s Etsy page, if you’re interested, is https:// www.etsy.com/ca/shop/HowShesGoing CT: Is there something you’d like to say to our CBU students? Get involved! During my time at CBU, I was a part of several societies, worked for the Union and the University in several positions, volunteered for House Council, sat on CBU’s senate, planned campus events, and attended every event I could. This led to so many lifelong friends and an amazing professional network of professors and staff members that has provided me with amazing references for various job opportunities since I graduated. It may seem insigni cant to go to a networking coffeehouse or a basketball game, but these things add up to become such a memorable time in your life. CT: Any advice, tips, and/or comments to the Students’ Union? I gained so many opportunities by being involved with the Union- take advantage! Being an active employee and volunteer with the Students Union gave me the opportunity to attend conferences and events I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten. It’s such a great way to expose yourself to new experiences.

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To the Union as a whole, you have such a great opportunity to have your voice heard! You have seat at the table with members of administration and government who you may otherwise not have the opportunity to interact with, make sure


CT: You were also the Society Co-ordinator here, do you think CBU has progressed or digressed in that area? Yes! I was the (at the time titled) Student Affairs Coordinator for the Students Union. I love to see the growth within the union, and the new societies that have evolved over the years. It’s great to see students engaging and getting involved.

Not unlike us, Shania was concerned about the CBU building renovations, “when I heard about the changes being made to the buildings at CBU, I will admit that I was nervous about the fate of “my wall”, but I was so excited to hear that it was going to nd a new home with the Union. I’m so grateful to the facilities staff and the Students Union staff who advocated to move the mural (which I can only assume was a huge undertaking) and preserve it! It’s an honor to think that those at the university valued it, and thought it was worth preserving!”

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you use that to the best extent possible. It’s such an opportunity but also a huge responsibility, and you can make a real impact on students.


That has been the time with us and Shania. Look at these initial sketch progression of the mural, and revel in the marvel.

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Goodbye and see you soon



As per the government's deal with P zer, we were expected to get 4 million vaccines at the end of March 2021. However, this plan may be delayed because P zer is apparently updating their production line to help increase the needs and demands of the population. Previously Pitzer was expecting to roll out 1.3 billion shots by the end of 2021 and after this upgrade, they are targeting towards 2 billion shots.

Picture source: Twitter handle of Justin Trudeau

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P zer and Moderna aren't the only companies planning on rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations. There are also other companies, some with a different approach towards the vaccine and its origin which are planning on entering the Canadian market. Below is a list of some such companies and their respective products

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The introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine was the rst ray of hope after the crippling COVID-19 pandemic. In Canada, the rst company to cross the nish line was P zer, and not too long after that the Moderna vaccine also got the approval. Both these vaccines were subjected to intense clinical trials before being introduced to the general public.


Picture Source: Health Canada P zer vaccine: It was the rst vaccine that got approval from Health Canada on 9th December 2020. P zer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (Tozinameran or BNT162b2) is used to prevent COVID-19 and is manufactured by P zer Canada ULC and BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH. P zer is an m-RNA vaccine that used RNA instead of the live viruses to accentuate the immune response in an individual. It is to be stored at an extreme temperature of -60 to -80 degrees Celsius before getting thawed. Suitable to 16 years or older in age.

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The vaccine is given in a form of an injection of 0.3ml that is injected into the muscle of the arm. In order for a vaccine to be effective, it has to be administered twice at the interval of 21 days. A total of 44,000 people participated in the trials proving it to be 95% effective.


Common side effects of this vaccine like ever other include fever, tiredness, body chills, and pain at the site of injection. Some serious allergic reaction to this vaccine was also observed, although it was very rare. Health Canada is continuously observing these side effects and updating the population regarding the same. Moderna Vaccine: This was a second vaccine getting its approval from Health Canada on 23rd December 2020. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) is used to prevent COVID-19 and is manufactured by Moderna Therapeutics Inc. It works on a similar concept of m-RNA as P zer. Suitable for 18 years or older in age. The vaccine is given in a form of an injection containing 0.5ml of the solution in 2 dosages at an interval of a month. A total of 30,000 people participated in trails with a success of 94.1%. All the possible side effects of this vaccine are the same as that of the P zer vaccines, including a Serious allergic reaction. Reluctant because of reactions?

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Health Canada is continuously monitoring the Population undergoing vaccination to keep track of any directions which can be found on their website. A total of 90 adverse events following immunization (AEFI) have been reported till 15th January 2021 from a total of 601,901 doses administered.


Picture source: https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/ vaccine-safety/

Out of these 90 AEFI, 63 were non-serious and 27 being serious. It was a total of 0.015% AEFI among all the doses administered, it can be good enough to say that the vaccine can be considered safe as of now. This webpage on Health Canada is updated every week to make the latest data available to the public.


Most of the AEFI was found in the age group of 18 to <50 years. And females were more dominant compared to men.

Picture source: https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/ vaccine-safety/ Among the 90 reported AEFI most commonly reported ones were vaccination site reactions, paresthesia, pruritis, urticaria, headache, hypoaesthesia, nausea, and anaphylaxis.

Overall the success rate of the vaccine is overwhelming and mass vaccination in the coming days can be considered as the light at the end of the tunnel. Front line workers were the


Apart from these vaccines, many other vaccines around the world are creating an impact on the population. Covishield and covaxin manufactured by India have an astonishing success ratio and are also being imported to other countries like Brazil.

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Source: Health Canada Of cial webpag

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rst to receive a vaccination and will be followed by the risk group ending with the general population, targeting it to be nished by the end of this year.



In October 2020, Cape Breton University announced its plan for developing a 80 million dollar research and instructional facility on its campus. The Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI) is expected to give Cape Breton a much needed boost in the post-covid economy by attracting domestic and international students and by supporting the expansion of the nursing and public health program.

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President and Vice Chancellor of CBU, David C. Dingwall says that while the CDI is "shovel ready�, the development of the Centre is contingent on signi cant provincial and federal funding. He urges community members to support this cause by urging local


and provincial leaders by lobbying for it in order to secure funding The Centre for Discovery and Innovation is not only expected to bene t CBU, but it will also play a signi cant role in boosting the economy and diversity of Cape Breton by facilitating collaboration between CBU and indigenous communities, governments and businesses and by expanding opportunities for national and international research partnerships

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While Cape Breton's economy did recently witness a growth spurt, it still has a long way to go. The island has an unemployment rate of 16.7%, which is worrying especially when compared to the national average of 5.5% (All gures are from February 2020, before the impact of the coronavirus pandemic). CBU is con dent that an investment in education and innovation, such as the CDI, will play a signi cant role in building a strong foundation for Cape Breton's economy


A model of CDI as presented in CBU's press conference The CDI is to expected to be built between the Verschuren Centre and the Shannon School of Business by demolishing the Arseneau-Britten building, which is a 50 year old science building on campus. According to CBU, the CDI will feature a collaborative research laboratory, an applied learning laboratories for public health, a nursing simulation center, a learning studio, a cooperative rapid manufacturing and robotic laboratories with a makerspace, a community innovation hub, and The Marshall Institute which will enable research pertaining to Indigenous rights and justice

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According to Amrinder Singh, President of Cape Breton University Students Union, a lot of labs and infrastructure at CBU is out dated and not up to the mark when compared to


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many other Canadian universities. He adds that this new building would be one of the best ways for CBU to invest in its students as it will help them get a competitive advantage when they graduate and go out into the real world. According to Melissa Deane, a faculty member of CBU's engineering department, the CDI is not just a potential growth builder, but an "absolute necessity", especially since enrollment in the engineering department has seen a signi cant growth in the recent years wand is now one of the highest enrolled departments in CBU. She adds that in the past few years, due to overbooking of the labs, many engineering sections at CBU did not have access to a lab in most of their classes and had to do their lab courses on pen and paper in the classroom on most days. This unavailability of lab spaces leads to inconsistency in the learning environment for students.


Melissa adds that the current situation is unfair to students and future students of CBU and that they "deserve better” If you want to show your support for the Center for Discovery and Innovation, you can ▲ Sign the petition *here* ▲ Write to local government representatives to urge them to advocate for provincial and federal funding for the Center for Discovery and Innovation. Find mailing addresses for local leaders *here ▲ Call local government representatives. You can nd their telephone numbers *here

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▲ Share your story. Tell Caper Times why you think the Center for Discovery and Innovation would bene t CBU and Cape Breton. If you have personally been affected by the overbooked labs at CBU, send us your story on ct_editorinchief@cbu.ca and we will publish your story in our next publication



Everything is an illusion. However, we can’t all be nihilists and forget why we exist, even though we haven’t quite gured out why we do. If nothing’s free will anyway, might as well do what “they” want you to do and get a kick out of it. You know, like in a punk coming-ofway way. We’re all a part of a revolution and “Reclaim your will” is our mantra.

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Compulsory voting vs. individual liberty: Unless you live in a bubble, you know that free will does not exist. If we do literally live in a bubble, free will still does not exist. In a case like this, do you think it should be mandatory to cast your vote? Be it university voting, be it speaking your mind in class, or be it considering voting for the well of your community.


Elections have existed since the 17th century. Even in the history of ancient Greece and ancient Rome and throughout the medieval period. To vote is to voice, a voice to be the change, or take the responsibility to bring a change. Everyone has the right to live in a society that is hopeful and joyful. Voting brings consequences, doesn't matter positive or negative, but always, hopeful. This privilege as a citizen or as a student should be used for various reasons: 1. Making a Difference Help to make a difference to bring new norms and new opportunities. It has a positive impact on the student body / the community / state / nation. 2. To Vote is to Choose Your power is in your hands, and it's your vote. People all over the world recognize this and voice their likes and dislikes. Voting is the right to exert this power, to exhibit the rights and wrongs. 3. Voting is your Right

Everyday ample decisions are made by your brain, such as whether to get an Iced Capp or Hot Chocolate at Tim's. One day, get up and decide to exercise your right and choose to tell everyone that you're a living breathing human being. Every day, even the government, the student presidential body gets up and makes decisions that directly affect your education, your healthcare, your employment, etc. We have a


right to contribute to the decisions made on your behalf and strive for your desired changes. Here’s a few Dos and Don’ts voting: ✔ Do make an informed decision on who you’re voting for. ✔ Do your research. ✔ Be vocal about what you believe in. ✔ Volunteer for your candidate when you can. A couple of Don’ts: ✗ Don’t act on an impulse. ✗ Don’t be a bystander. ✗ Don't get in uenced.

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The CBUSU election is right around the corner. Stay tuned for our article on candidate pro les. Get out (or stay in) and vote



Although we've come a long way from the 18th century when people (especially women) suffering from mental health issues were considered to be possessed by evil supernatural powers and were often burnt alive, we still have a very long way to go when it comes to recognizing the importance of mental health in the overall personal well being of an individual.

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Credit: Bethlem Hospital, London: the incurables being inspected by a member of the medical staff, with the patients represented by political gures. Drawing by Thomas Rowlandson, 1789. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


CBU and CBUSU continue to show their commitment to mental health awareness by organizing wellness events for students and spreading awareness about mental health and the stigma associated with it during the CBU Week of Wellness. Navigating through one's mental health problems can be dif cult, but getting help may ease the burden.

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Mental Health awareness is particularly important because it’s not something you can see or gure out by just looking at someone, unlike most physical illnesses. You can be having a really good laugh at some point and nd yourself feeling anxious right after that, but hey that’s really ok. If you are feeling down just look around you, there is always someone that you can talk to, whether it be friends, family, or co-workers. If you ever feel that you have nobody to talk to don’t you worry, CBU's got you covered. There are several resources to help you cope with mental distress:


CBUSU conducted a campaign to encourage people to talk about their mental health to show others that they aren't alone in this battle. Courtney DeGiobbi, Vice President of


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promotions at CBU is a rm believer that no one should struggle alone ever. She lives with a severe generalized anxiety disorder(GAD) along with mild depression.


“You might be thinking… But that’s not what those mental illnesses look like.” Courtney.

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Courtney went through a lot before opening up about her mental health for almost 10 years. On average, a person will cope with their mental illness for 8 years in silence, but why suffer alone? According to her, you can’t always tell what someone is dealing with based on physical appearance, and mental health won’t de ne you as a person


“I used to feel a sense of immense guilt… all the time… over every little thing. I felt like I was undeserving of the things I had and as though I was in the way everywhere I went. After seeking help… I realized that it’s much more fun to be unapologetically me.” - Courtney.

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Natalia “Tal” Parsons who is an Executive Chairperson for the student representative council (SRC) and the representative for Jennifer Keeping Center also suffers from anxiety as well as mild depression. But you wouldn’t guess that looking at her, would you? But she sought help later and proved that you don’t have to do this alone


“Mental illness creates a narrative that we are not worthy, but please remember, we are all worthy- and our struggles make us unique, not unlovable or undeserving.� - Natalia (Tal) Parsons

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Along with the campaign to spread awareness about mental wellness, CBUSU also organized a refreshing event at red creation on January 28th, 2021. During the mental wellness week, CBU students attending this event got $30 worth of pottery to paint from CBUSU in


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Fired Creations, Sydney's famous pottery cafe. Many students showed Here are some pictures from this event





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If you would like to share your battle with mental health send us your story at ct_editorinchief@cbu.ca and we will feature your article in our upcoming publication



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CBU and CBUSU recently organized pop up covid-19 testing and encouraged students who are asymptomatic, have not had close contact with a con rmed case of covid-19 and who have not travelled outside the province in the past 14 days to get tested for coronavirus. These tests were free of charge for students who wished to get themselves tested.


Even though we're almost a year into this pandemic, there is still a lot of debate as to whether or not asymptomatic testing of non travel related cases is worthwhile

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The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) modi ed its coronavirus testing guidelines to exclude people who do not have symptoms of covid-19 such as (but not limited to) headaches, fever, new or worsening dry cough and loss of sense of taste According to this latest amendment, individuals who have not been in close contact with a con rmed case of covid-19 (typically de ned as 6 feet) for 15 minutes or more do not necessarily need to get tested for covid-19. They do however point out that those who are particularly vulnerable to the virus, such as those who have underlying health conditions or work in the health care industry, should consider getting tested regularly even if they do not have symptoms of the virus. CDC also recently reduced its recommended quarantine periods. According to CDC, "Travelers returning home should keep nonessential activities to a minimum for at least seven days if they are getting


tested, and for 10 days if they are not getting tested." It is, however, worth noting that by CDC's own estimates, about 40% people who get the coronavirus may not develop symptoms but may still be able to pass the virus on to those who may develop symptoms

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On the other end of the table many experts argue that widespread asymptomatic testing of the coronavirus may be the key to signi cantly reducing the cases and deaths associated with this virus. Duke University recently published a study in which the found that more than half of the positive results of covid-19 were asymptomatic. Therefore, a substantial proportion of infections would be missed with only symptomatic testing. The author of this study argues that it is important to combine asymptomatic testing with contact tracing strategies in order to reduce transmission of the virus. In addition to testing, contact tracing and quarantining, other measures Duke took to mitigate risk included converting dormitory rooms to single occupancy, modifying classrooms and common areas for social distancing, and distributing


packaged meals. All students signed a behavioral compact agreeing to comply with mandatory face masking and social distancing requirements and to participate in entry and surveillance testin The province of Nova Scotia continues to maintain its stance on promoting asymptomatic testing. “While asymptomatic testing is voluntary, it is strongly recommended as an added layer of protection for rotational workers and students, their

families and households, and their communities,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Of cer of Health. “By getting tested, you’re helping us detect the virus early enough to isolate household contacts before they can unknowingly spread the virus to others.” So should you consider going to a pop up COVID testing facility if you don’t have any symptoms, haven’t been exposed to a con rmed case of COVID and haven’t travelled outside

the province? While we can’t con rm if there’s a “right”

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answer to this question, our personal recommendation would be to get tested. Best case scenario: you help prevent the spread of a deadly disease which caused a year long global pandemic. Worst case scenario: you just had what looks like a long earbud go up your nose for a few seconds



This year Cape Breton University Students' Union (CBUSU) is hosting it's rst virtual elections for the positions of President and Executive Vice President. All voting and campaigning is being conducted online due to social distancing regulations. Below is a message from Madlyn O'Brien and Logan Collins, who are standing up for the elections as a team for the position of President and Executive Vice President of the union

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"Hello. Our names are Madlyn O’Brien, and Logan Collins. We’ve made the decision to run for CBUSU President and Executive VicePresident because we believe in the potential of the Students’ Union. The key issues that inspired us to put our names on the ballot are


immigration, accessibility, and inclusion. These are broad concepts, but each of our priorities can be easily traced back to these roots. We are driven by the idea of creating a better experience on and off campus for CBU students. As President and Executive Vice-President, we want to make sure that the voices of all students are heard. We want students to feel at ease to bring forward their ideas, concerns, and questions to the Executive Team. In fact, we’re running on a promise to host monthly town-hall style meetings to be able to directly talk with students about what they need. One of the rst things We’d do in of ce is spearhead a new era of environmental sustainability in the Students’ Union’s operations and campus overall. We believe the student body is incredibly concerned about the threats of climate change and the Students’ Union has a role to play. In addition to supporting the research on campus dealing with these issues, we will introduce an Environment & Sustainability Coordinator to ensure we are doing everything we can to minimize our impact.

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Another aspect we’d like to focus on is student life and activities. We would like to implement a program for newcomers to the island to serve as a way to familiarize them with the island and its history, as well give them a fun rst experience on the island. With the newly renovated Pit on campus, we’d like to focus on maximizing our use of this space and providing lots of social opportunities (assuming we are no longer in the talons of a pandemic).


We’d like to thank everyone who has supported our campaign so far, the experience has been truly humbling. We are ready to become your voice, and advocate for real change at the CBUSU." You can meet Madlyn and Logan on Friday, 5th February at 11:00AM at the Virtual Townhall event being hosted on MS Teams. You can nd the link to attend the event *here*. You can also nd Madlyn and Logan's of cial Instagram page for the elections *here*.

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Voting takes place on 8th and 9th February. Stay tuned for more updates



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“The patience we have is not limited but it's each of us who builds the wall named enough, let’s dream and achieve limitless opportunity.