More veterinary students from B.C. will be attending the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) on the University of Saskatchewan campus this August, following an investment from the Province to double the number of subsidized seats for the first time in more than a decade.
“Increasing access and affordability to veterinary medicine education helps us to address the shortage of veterinarians in B.C. and build a robust workforce,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “In follow up to our government’s commitment to address B.C.’s labour market needs, we’re investing in seat expansions so that more students receive the quality training needed to support farmers, ranchers and families throughout the province.”
The Province is investing nearly $10.7 million to double the number of provincially subsidized students from 20 to 40 for the 2022-23 academic year.
“Veterinarians play a critical role in supporting B.C. farmers and food security,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food. “The additional seats at WCVM will support farmers’ businesses and the welfare of their animals as well as ensuring we have a resilient food supply and food economy for the years ahead.”
Dr. Gillian Muir, dean, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, said: “The Government of B.C. has been one of the WCVM’s provincial partners for more than 55 years, and we are very excited to see that strong commitment grow. This increased investment enables more B.C. residents to achieve their dreams of becoming veterinarians. It also allows the veterinary college to better serve the diverse needs of communities throughout B.C., to support the health of companion animals and livestock, and to protect food safety and animal welfare.”
Further training opportunities for a career in animal care in B.C. include veterinary technologist programs at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and Douglas College. TRU also offers an online program to enable students currently employed in veterinary clinics to complete the veterinary technologist program.
A backgrounder follows.