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Permanent BC funding for veterinary training in Saskatchewan

Thursday March 23, 2023 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends


BC is making permanent their funding of 40 seats for training veterinarians.

Today it was announced that $21.8 million over three years will permanently subsidize 40 vet training spaces in Saskatchewan, as a way to try addressing the shortages of these animal care specialists in BC.

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Minister of Post-Secondary and Future Skills, Selina Robinson, speaking at VIU on Mar 14, 2023.

BC had subsidized all 40 seats in last year, but now commits to making it permanent.

That permanently doubles the number of subsidized seats for B.C. veterinary students attending the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan.

This investment is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready plan, which works to remove barriers and open more opportunities for post-secondary education and skills training, so people can get the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in high-demand, good-paying jobs and support and grow the economy.

Minister of Post-Secondary and Future Skills Selina Robinson is rolling out the now much-promoted Future Ready program, piece by piece. Last week she announced waiver of tuition for all former youth in care, and has announced expansion of seats and services at a number of post-secondary institutions.

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“Veterinarians play a critical role in supporting the agricultural sector, people, and the health and welfare of animals across B.C.,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.

“Last year, we doubled the number of B.C. students funded to study veterinary medicine and today we are committing to continue this funding so more people receive quality training, and our pets and farm animals can get the health care they need,” said Robinson.

The number of provincially subsidized seats in the college’s doctor of veterinary medicine program will permanently increase from 20 to 40 with the support of an initial investment of $21.8 million over three years.

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Agriculture and Food Minister Pam Alexis during March 7, 2023 food security funding announcement: “It’s absolutely critical that we support them (farmers) which supports food security”.

“The services and care vets provide B.C. farmers supports our province’s food security and results in British Columbians enjoying the benefits of a healthy and stable farming community,” said Pam Alexis, Minister of Agriculture and Food. “It’s clear we need more veterinarians in our communities, so our pets and livestock receive the attention they need, when they need it, and our government continues to take action on both recruitment and training to make that happen.”

The BC Government says that expanding training is one way that B.C. is working to address the need for more vets. The Province also continues to recruit more vets, including adding veterinarians and registered veterinary technologists to the list of priority occupations under the Provincial Nominee Program in 2022. This helps ensure that veterinary clinics have access to the professionals they need to provide animal care.

“It has been very challenging for ranchers to access vet care in the rural and northern communities of B.C.,” said Werner Stump, vice-president, B.C. Cattlemen’s Association. “This announcement is welcomed as enhanced funding for B.C. veterinary students is a critical first step to providing animal care in these parts of the province.”

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Provincial funding also supports training for veterinary technologists, key professionals in veterinary clinic teams. Diploma programs at Douglas College and Thompson Rivers University, including a distance delivery option, give opportunities for B.C. students to become registered veterinary technologists.

===== RELATED ARTICLES by ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:

No age restriction on tuition waiver for former youth in care (Mar 14, 2023)

Premier Eby announces $200 million for BC food security initiatives (Mar 7, 2023)

BC appoints new chief veterinarian (July 28, 2022)

Province helping veterinary assistants find jobs (June 17, 2022)