Burns Lake group requests funding for new college

Proposed college would create social and economic stability, says report.

The Lakes District Family Enhancement Society (LDFES) has been requesting funding to address the first stages in bringing a new college to Burns Lake.

The proposal of the ‘Rural Centre of Excellence in Post-Secondary Education’ came in response to the cutbacks and restructuring currently taking place at the College of New Caledonia (CNC).

A recent socio-economic impact assessment prepared by Peak Solutions Consulting Inc. found that the Lakes District could experience a loss of 88 direct and indirect jobs over the next two years and a corresponding decline of $3.7 million annually in employment income as a result of the cuts at CNC.

According to LDFES, the creation of a new college was identified as the best way to mitigate these impacts.

“People want to regain and expand on what was already in existence at the Lakes District campus before the cutbacks,” said Cathy Ashurst, LDFES President.

The LDFES has already secured funding of $20,000 from the Village of Burns Lake, $20,000 from Comfor Management Services Ltd. and $10,000 from the Lakes economic development service – a joint function of the Village and Burns Lake and the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) Area B that supports economic development projects in the region.

In addition, LDFES has requested additional funding of $100,000 from the Northern Development Initiative Trust; $20,000 from the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society; $12,600 from School District No. 91 (Nechako Lakes); $5000 from industry; and $5000 from RDBN areas E and G.

According to LDFES, the money will be used to develop a detailed project plan for the proposed college.

Project activities will include extensive community engagement to develop the concept of the college; development of partnerships and stakeholder support; research into best practices for service delivery and governance; preparation of a detailed budget and work plans; and submission of a final plan to the province for consideration as a pilot.

In addition, a project planner and an assistant project planner will be hired to develop the plan.

According to a report prepared by the LDFES, the proposed college will blend post-secondary education with services for families in an innovative community hub model. The report adds that the proposed college will retain crucial programs and professionals in the community, and bring new jobs to the region.

“Ensuring that residents can continue to obtain training in the region will maintain the local labour pool, retain revenues from employee training within the local economy, and meet the needs of local First Nations for targeted training with holistic supports provided close to home,” says the report.

In addition, the report says the proposed college will offer “well-paying positions” that will attract professionals and their families to the region.

“Ultimately, the centre will not only mitigate the losses resulting from recent cuts at the college [CNC] – it will create additional social and economic diversity and stability in the region.”

After securing funding, Ashurst said the next step will be drafting a “concept document.” The newly formed Lakes District Post-Secondary Committee and the Village of Burns Lake will be collectively drafting this document.

“Much of what this [document] will look like depends on additional funding that has not yet been acquired,” she explained.


Just Posted

Leftover money from Eighth Avenue repaving project in Burns Lake

Extra $75,000 enables the village to improve other areas

Lake Babine Nation councillor resigns

The newly elected councillor stepped down before being sworn in

Houston stabbing case matter adjourned

Youth was given more time to consult with counsel

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Burns Lake

Conditions are favourable for strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain

Through your lens: Okanagan wildfires

Check out some of the captivating images and video from social media of the wildfires

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Summerland issues State of Local Emergency in response to wildfire

Two homes under evacuation order; evacuation alert remains in place as result of wildfire

A brother’s determination pushes B.C. cyclist to ride 2,500 km for heart care

#Cunnycan: Ryan Cunningham ‘pushing the envelope’ to support brother Craig’s foundation

B.C. hockey coach, nurse was killed in case of mistaken identity, police say

In Surrey, Paul Bennett’s wife makes a tearful plea for help in finding her husband’s killer

Lower Mainland blueberry farms expect solid season

Blueberry Council of B.C. says season will be better than last year

Most Read