Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

August 22, 2016 13:40 ET

Canada and British Columbia Invest in Infrastructure at Northern Lights College

$33.02-million investment will create jobs, expand research and foster innovation

DAWSON CREEK, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Aug. 22, 2016) - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Post-secondary institutions help equip young Canadians with the education and training they need for future careers that will help them join a strong, healthy middle class. Today's $33.02-million investment at Northern Lights College will provide opportunities for those interested in a career in trades to obtain the necessary skills and training in a new state-of-the-art learning facility.

The joint federal-provincial investment was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Honourable Mike Bernier, B.C. Minister of Education and MLA for Peace River South, on behalf of the Honourable Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education.

The Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation-one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. This investment exemplifies that vision in action and will help create the well-paying middle-class jobs of tomorrow.

The funding will enable Northern Lights College to build a new training centre for its skilled trades programs. The new building will replace the World War II-era structure currently in use. The Government of Canada is contributing $14.57 million and the Province of British Columbia is providing $15.06 million toward the $33.02-million cost of this project. Northern Lights College and private partners will contribute an additional $3.39 million. Private partners contributing to the new Northern Lights College trades building at Dawson Creek include Canbriam Energy Inc., Encana Services Company, Shell Canada and TransCanada PipeLines.

The project will support Indigenous learners as they prepare for careers in the skilled trades. It will also increase apprenticeship enrolment, address barriers that prevent student success and improve completion rates for Indigenous learners.

Federal funding will be allocated through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, which will enhance and modernize research facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities.

As a result of these investments, students and professors will work in state-of-the-art facilities that advance the country's applied learning capacity. They will collaborate in specially designed spaces that support lifelong learning and skills training. They will work in proximity with partners to turn discoveries into products or services. In the process, they will train for-and create-the high-value, middle-class jobs of the future. And their discoveries will plant the seeds for the next generation of innovators.

That is how the Strategic Investment Fund will jump-start a virtuous circle of innovation, creating the right conditions for long-term growth that will yield benefits for generations to come.

Construction is expected to get under way in summer 2016, with occupancy in early 2018. The project itself will create 133 direct and 102 indirect jobs during development.

Nearly one million job openings are expected in B.C. by 2025 due to retirements and economic development, and nearly eight out of ten of those openings will require post-secondary education and/or skilled trades training.

Quotes

"This once-in-a-generation investment by the Government of Canada is a historic down payment on the government's vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation. That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into well-paying middle-class jobs and start-up companies into global successes. This investment will create conditions that are conducive to innovation and long-term growth, which will in turn keep the Canadian economy globally competitive."

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"Our government wants B.C. students to be first in line for the almost one million jobs expected by 2025. A new trades training facility in Dawson Creek benefits students, instructors and future employers in a range of sectors throughout northern B.C."

- The Honourable Mike Bernier, B.C. Minister of Education and MLA for Peace River South

"There is a consistent demand for well-trained, qualified tradespeople throughout the northeast. A new trades training facility will help Northern Lights train exceptionally prepared, job-ready graduates who are ready to serve in our local communities in a range of sectors."

- Dr. Bryn Kulmatycki, President and CEO, Northern Lights College

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is providing $14.57 million to Northern Lights College toward a new $33.02-million state-of-the-art training centre devoted to the skilled trades.
  • The Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda is designed to ensure Canada is globally competitive in promoting research, translating ideas into new products and services, accelerating business growth and propelling entrepreneurs from the start-up phase to international success.
  • The targeted, short-term investments under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada's universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery, and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.
  • The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund supports the Government of Canada's climate change objectives by encouraging sustainable and green infrastructure projects.
  • Funding for the new trades training facility at the Dawson Creek Campus builds on investments already made in Northern Lights College as part of B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. Provincial investments at Northern Lights College over the past two years include $799,100 for 198 additional critical trades seats and nearly $1.4 million for industry-standard trades training equipment. The investment in the new trades training facility at the Dawson Creek Campus is part of the B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint commitment to invest $185 million in trades training facilities and equipment in the province.

Associated links

Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund website

Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund backgrounder

Innovation Agenda backgrounder

B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint

Follow Minister Bains on social media.

Twitter: @MinisterISED

Instagram: ministerised

Follow BC Jobs Plan on social media.

Twitter: @BCJobsPlan

Contact Information

  • Philip Proulx
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Innovation,
    Science and Economic Development
    343-291-2500

    Media Relations
    Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
    343-291-1777
    ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

    Rodney Porter
    Communications Director
    B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education
    250-889-7494

    Jennifer Fernandes
    Director, Communications and Marketing
    Northern Lights College
    250-785-6981, ext. 2090
    250-219-2752 (cell)