In Other News: 10 Interesting News Stories That Don’t Involve COVID-19

In Other News: 10 Interesting News Stories That Don’t Involve COVID-19

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After more than a year of living in a coronavirus-consumed world, I think we’re all sick and tired of news about COVID-19 and vaccine rollout plans.

With world media being constantly bombarded with news related to COVID-19, I thought it would be nice to shed light on a few different news stories that have happened recently. Think of this article as a time capsule of world news in 2021, if you will.



1. Tim’s For Good

Although more than likely a clever PR tactic, Canadian-founded mass restaurant chain Tim Hortons announced their “Tim’s For Good” campaign in April 2021. In a nutshell, the campaign promises that the company will transition to paper straws, 100% recyclable take-away bags and napkins, wooden sticks, and so on. In addition, the campaign vows to develop ‘more sustainable’ methods for food sourcing and food waste.

With over 4,000 locations, just in Canada, it’s about time this Canadian mega-corporation got onto the go-green bandwagon.



2. Charles River Acquires Distributed Bio

In January 2021, Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. announced the acquisition of a California-based “next-generation antibody discovery company,” Distributed Bio, co-founded by Dr. Jacob Glanville, PhD.

According to Distributed Bio’s website, this acquisition allowed Dr. Glanville to step away from the company in order to focus his research time on “universal vaccines, therapeutic antibodies against COVID-19, and other infectious diseases” at Centivax, a computational engineering research facility also based in California.

According to Centivax’s website, their mission is as follows “Centivax is a therapeutics company founded to create treatments and cures to reduce and eradicate the remaining complex pathogens of the 21st century.”



3. The Top Ten Occupations That Employ the Most People in All of QuebecThe Top Ten Occupations That Employ the Most People in All of Quebec

  1. Retail salespersons
  2. Early childhood educators and assistants
  3. Administrative assistants
  4. Cashiers
  5. Retail and wholesale trade managers
  6. Light duty cleaners
  7. Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations
  8. Administrative officers
  9. Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  10. Transport truck drivers

Source: Emploi Quebec, May 2021.



4. Industry Projections for the Future of Quebec’s Job Marketing

According to the Government of Quebec, the three industries that they foresee needing the largest amount of workers in the near future are the following:

  • Health
  • Construction
  • Information Technology

Source: Emplois D’Avenir, May 2021.



5. Wage Changes not the Same for All Young People

In an article published by Statistics Canada in 2013, it was found that younger people are being paid less than they were in 1981, regardless of inflation.”[…] in 2012, the median hourly wages of men and women age 17 to 24 were 13% and 8% lower, respectively, than their counterparts in 1981.”

Source: Galarneau, Diane, René Morissette and Jeannine Usalcas. 2013. Statistics Canada, Archived.

6. The Gates Have Closed

Despite appearing to be a seemingly inseparable couple in Netflix’s 2019 documentary series, “Inside Bill’s Brain,” after 27 years of marriage, Bill and Melinda Gates, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, publicly announce their filing for divorce.

According to the BBC, the philanthropic Foundation, of which they are both still heavily involved with, will remain operational and will continue towards its global education, health, and climate change initiatives.

7. You Can Now Fly into Space… If You’re Rich Enough

What do Elon Musk (Tesla) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) have in common, you ask? Well, they both made a ton of money and privatized space travel.

Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, is offering one lucky individual the opportunity to climb aboard “New Shepard” (name of one of the spacecraft created by Blue Origin) and fly up into space like an astronaut.

The seat available comes at a price: the highest bidder, which basically means, a lot of money! The live auction happens June 12, 2021, so get your credit cards out!



8. Need Assistance? Too bad. Amazon Go Grocery and The A.I. Future of Retail

Amazon, the online superstore, has already opened up two “Amazon Go Grocery” stores in the US, both in the experiment state of Washington.

What makes these grocery stores so special? There are no employees, at all. You pick up the items you need, and the advanced artificial intelligence tech, which is built into the store, identifies the item(s). When you’re done, you walk out of the store, and the items are charged automatically to your credit or debit card via the Amazon Go app.

I’m sure there are probably a few employees to help people who are confused with the new technology, however, this could be a window into the future of retail.

9. Battle of The Brands: Second Cup or Starbs?

Second Cup, the lesser-known, direct, Canadian competitor to Starbucks, was recently acquired by Quebec-based brand, Foodtastic.

According to YahooFinance, Foodtastic has plans to expand the Second Cup brand, aggressively, like 130 locations in 36 months, aggressive. Will Second Cup’s new parent company create a problem for the social media-friendly Starbucks? I guess we’ll see!

10. TAV College Opens its 2nd Campus

This time next year, TAV will have operated out of two buildings for the first time ever. In the spirit of a time capsule, I couldn’t help but make the College a piece of this news article! The future is bright for TAV.

Winner By Popular Vote

Winner By Popular Vote

Photo: Courtesy of TAV College.


TAV will soon begin selling its very own custom hoodies for the first time ever. Students and staff will be able to purchase the hoodies for a fair price, according to college administrators, and will be able to show off their TAV pride in either a blue, orange or dark grey hoodie.

The original idea was to allow a student to design the hoodie’s logo, however, after low participation in the TCSA’s “Hoodie Design Contest,” the College decided to have a logo designed by a staff member instead. However, the long-term goal is to have an annual hoodie design contest, just like the TAV agendas.

After asking students to vote on six different hoodie logos, via the College’s Instagram page, the logo featured on the left was the winner by popular vote.

An estimated 900 custom units, of varying sizes and colors, will be shipped to the College and will be made available by online pre-order, at first, and then by in-person purchase from then on. The College decided to use a direct-from-manufacturer purchasing method to ensure that it gets the best quality product.

The logo design features the physical location of the College, the year it was established, and of course, its name.

The Year in Review: What the TCSA Did For You

The Year in Review: What the TCSA Did For You

Photo: Courtesy of Lesly, Karin, Simranjit, and Aiman.


Each year I have the great pleasure of serving as an advisor to the College’s student government program, the TCSA. This year, Karin, Lesly, Simranjit, and Aiman, the team who led the TCSA, managed to plan and organize some amazing initiatives despite the unprecedented difficulty of the college being online.


With the world gone virtual, our hate for Zoom and computer screens growing by the day, and everyone’s attention span slowly diminishing, to say that the TCSA’s 2020-2021 executive cabinet had a challenge to ensure that TAV students have a great student experience would be an understatement. Nonetheless, the team tried to organize online events, advocate for changes and do what they could, with what they had. I think it’s important to recognize their efforts. So, here are just a few things that they did for you this year:


Advocating for Answers
The TCSA organized a meeting with the College’s administration to allow students, who were anxious about in-person exams, to ask questions and get answers.


Prep for University: Virtual Café Hour
During a time when pre-university students were stressed about university applications, the TCSA organized a “virtual cafe” where students could ask questions and the TCSA would find them answers.


Online Games
To get minds away from academia and the pandemic, the TCSA organized several online gaming nights where students could socialize, play games and forget about COVID for a second.


TAV Sweaters
The idea to make custom TAV College sweaters was a project that was presented to the College by the TCSA!


TAV Environmental Club
The TCSA adopted a new club at TAV this semester, the “TAV Environmental Club” started by Lucas Yifru. The club will be responsible for presenting projects to improve the College’s sustainability efforts.

ALC Program Gets a Face Lift: An Update on The College’s Plans

ALC Program Gets a Face Lift: An Update on The College’s Plans

Photo: a classroom in TAV College’s new C building.

By Justin Hand-Gregory


The College recently announced its ambitious plans to revamp the Arts, Literature, and Communication program. A large part of the announcement was two professional-grade production studios. Through revamping the existing program, TAV hopes to attract more of a target audience of students to the program who are passionate about the program’s specific learning outcomes (as opposed to students who are more interested in general studies like the General Social Science program).

Taking a Fresh Look at the ALC Program

Valerie Svitanko, Coordinator of the ALC and Social Science programs, said during a phone interview that “ever since TAV introduced the Social Science programs in Winter 2019, the ALC program saw a gradual decline in enrollment.” The ALC program used to be the only pre-university alternative to the Sciences. So, as a tactic to bring more students into the program, the administration tried integrating more media and practical skills into its curriculum as well as added a “mentorship” aspect to the program’s synthesis project. However, the tactics were unsuccessful.

Svitanko said,

“the program is unique in the sense that it is pre-university, but also provides real-life skills: The courses offered have slowly transitioned to be more practical and less theoretical. With that said, the College is motivated and willing to try and breathe new life into the program in order to ensure its continuity.”


New Media Production and Learning Facilities

The expansion of TAV’s campus size served as a catalyst for the College to re-imagine many of its rooms and spaces. With the immense amount of new space that the “C building” will bring in Fall 2021, the TAV administration has had the opportunity to start planning for the transformation of rooms that were, at once, conventional classrooms.

Although there is no final decision on which rooms the studios will call home, there is speculation that the new building is a promising candidate. The new building would be ideal because of its modern concrete structure. This would allow for better-soundproofed spaces where students can get very high-quality sound recordings for course projects that require sound engineering. Also, the rooms in the new building are much larger than those of the A and B buildings, which is ideal for a studio because studios generally have a lot of wires, equipment, and large objects lying around, and having a large space reduces the risk of accidents. Plus, a larger space will allow students to be more interactive with the creative projects they will make.

There are also plans (in negotiation) to create an official ALC department in the new building. Although there have been no final decisions made yet, the idea is to give the ALC program a few rooms, all on the same floor of the building. This way, ALC students and teachers will have their own floor to call home, where they can display student work on the walls and the rooms and studios will all be close by and will be exclusive to them. The idea is that everyone in the department will feel part of this creative environment and will inspire one another to create some truly amazing things in years to come. The current plan is to have the Mac lab, film/photography studio, sound studio, and equipment storage room all on the fourth floor.

Equipment Management

One of the key factors in determining the success of the new studios is going to be the system for managing the equipment. The College plans on investing over ten thousand dollars into making this revamp project a reality. So, the question becomes, who and how will this expensive inventory be kept safe? 

The current system in place is inadequate. Svitanko stated that the current problem is that the equipment the College already owns is being lost.

The proposed solutions for the management of media equipment come with a few different options. One option is that the teachers of the ALC program be responsible for keeping track of who borrowed the equipment using a sign-in/sign-out form.

Option two is to implement a work-study program where students work for various departments at the college and instead of a paycheque, they pay off their tuition. Students could work as an equipment management facilitator for the rental, tracking, and inventory management of the new equipment.

The third option is to hire a designated technician who would be responsible for managing the equipment and studio maintenance. Regardless of whichever option is selected, there will be a structured system in place to avoid anything being lost, stolen, or damaged. The equipment will be free to use, for ALC students only, but will more than likely have a ‘you break it, you buy it’ policy attached in order to stress how serious the damage or loss of this equipment is.

Endless Possibilities

These new ALC facilities will allow the College to expand the courses offered in the program, in addition to enhancing existing courses. The long-term goal will be to allow students from various other programs and student clubs to use the studios once the department has discovered a management system that works and no issues have been discovered.

Letter from the Past Editor-In-Chief

Letter from the Past Editor-In-Chief

From its humble beginnings as a small adult education training center, TAV now finds itself in the final stages of building its third campus structure as well as continuing to solidify its place within Montreal’s society.

Each student that walks through the doors of this College lends themselves not only to the story of TAV but also, to its future.

TAV is unique in that it is unlike any other College in the world. It adapts itself to the diverse, culturally-rich, and constantly expansive urban city of Montreal, while also never forgetting its roots as a community center for job training and foundational academics for the Jewish-Montreal cohort.

The TAV Times serves a crucial role not only as the gatekeeper of TAV’s history but also that of the city of Montreal by extension. The TAV Times began as a simple sheet of paper to announce the monthly events at the College, but it rapidly grew into a multimedia, member-based, journalism cooperative and its future is only limited by how far imagination can be stretched.

If journalism, by nature, is to seek the truth, criticize power, and present fact, then as founder of the TAV Times, my ultimate hope is that it will do just that and beyond.

To conclude, I leave you with a story and a thought about thoughts. During a class trip to Ottawa with my high school newspaper team, a writer for the Canadian Parliamentary Press invited us to go “off-tour” and visit the Press Gallery offices inside the Parliament building. We went inside the break room where the writer told us stories about the many moments that happened in this room throughout history, mostly stories about prime ministers sharing drinks with journalists. However, engraved in the concrete slab of the fireplace were words of wisdom about journalism that I’ve never forgotten and maybe these words can inspire someone else as well: 

“But words are things, add a small drop of ink, falling, like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.”

george Gordon byron, don juan

To the newest TAV Times team and their editor-in-chief, I wish you only the best with this project. Remember that you will only get from this experience what you put in.

  • Justin Hand-Gregory
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