Manitoba government to increase funding to veterinary school

Click to play video: 'More room for Manitoba students in Western College of Veterinary Medicine: Education minister'
More room for Manitoba students in Western College of Veterinary Medicine: Education minister
Manitoba's Minister for Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Jon Reyes announced on Thursday that a new agreement with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine has raised the available spots for Manitoba students from 15 to 20. Reyes says he hopes that the expansion will help accommodate candidates arriving in Canada from other countries. To accommodate the extra Manitoba students, the province is increasing its annual funding contribution to the Western Canada Veterinary Medicine by $539,200, to a total of $7 million. – Sep 29, 2022

The Manitoba government is increasing funding to the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) to create five more spots for Manitoba vet students each year.

Advanced education minister Jon Reyes and agriculture minister Derek Johnson announced Thursday that the province will contribute an extra $539,200 — on top of an existing $7 million-plus — beginning the 2023-24 school year, to increase the WCVM’s number of guaranteed Manitoba intake students from 15 to 20.

That would raise the overall student quota (the number of Manitoba students enrolled in the four-year program) from 60 to 65.

The ministers said the increased funding will continue to occur each year until that number reaches 80 Manitoba students.

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“By increasing our annual intake to 20 students from 15, we will support more students to pursue this important career path in order to help build our province’s animal health-care capacity for years to come, said Reyes.

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“We are committed to working with the college’s administration to realize this expansion effective in 2023-24.”

Johnson said there’s an urgent need for vets in the province, especially those in rural, large-animal practices who are trained to deal with commercial livestock, as well as sheep and goats.

Click to play video: 'Ongoing vet shortage in Manitoba'
Ongoing vet shortage in Manitoba

Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) president Keri Hudson-Reykdal said it’s a positive step toward addressing the shortfall of vets in this province.

“The commitment to educating more veterinarians will help alleviate the shortage over the long term,” said Hudson-Reykdal.

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“In the shorter term, the MVMA will continue to engage with government, veterinary professionals and other stakeholders to address the shortage of veterinary services in Manitoba.”

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