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

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Burns Lake Fire Department donates equipment

The gear is helping fire departments in developing countries

John Rustad weighs in on electoral reform in B.C.

“Proportional representation is not the answer,” he says

Rio Tinto aids student career prospects

Money to support existing and new initiatives

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

Initiation tournament in Burns Lake

The littlest Burns Lake Bruins hosted a tournament at the Tom Forsyth… Continue reading

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Via Rail’s unofficial travelling art program

Jasper-Prince Rupert train has a car dedicated to art offered by the one-of-a-kind Bruce Brown

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read