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  • 9 Feb 2020 3:15 PM | Anonymous

    VICTORIA – The Province has selected Morneau Shepell to develop a free mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students throughout British Columbia.

    After a rigorous procurement process, Morneau Shepell was chosen to create and operate a 24/7 mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students at all public and private post-secondary institutions in B.C. The company will provide on-demand, immediate counselling and referral support to almost half a million students in B.C.’s public and private post-secondary institutions. 

    “Mental health is an issue our government takes seriously,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Post-secondary students have told me there is a gap in mental heath support services. The stress students feel at university or college can be significant, and can lead to serious isolation and potentially deadly outcomes. I am proud our government is responding to this call to action by creating a place for students to reach out for help 24/7.”

    This mental health service will mean for the first time in B.C., every student – whether rural, urban, domestic, international, public, private, full-time or part-time – will have access to 24/7 services to supplement services on campus and in the community. As this provincewide program is a new service, the ministry will take the time to engage with students and post-secondary institutions on the design of the service before launch in spring 2020.

    “Many students don’t come forward and ask for the help they need because of the stigma that still surrounds mental health issues,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This service will meet young people where they are at and provide them immediate access to someone to talk to, without shame or judgement.” 

    Morneau Shepell administers the largest clinical network in Canada. It has delivered mental health solutions since 1974 and services more than 20,000 organizations world-wide. Morneau Shepell supports more than 3,800 clients across all services in B.C. and more than 200 post-secondary institutions across North America, directly and via partnerships, through its student support programs.

    The three-year contract has a budget of $1.5 million per year.

    Improving mental health in schools is an integral part of government’s actions outlined in A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for making the system of mental health and addictions care better for people no matter where they live in the province.

    Implementing A Pathway to Hope is a shared priority with the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

    Sean Leslie
    Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
    250 356-8485

    Province of British Columbia
    For Immediate Release
    Jan. 28, 2020
    Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
    What people are saying about B.C.’s post-secondary mental health supports

    Jonny Morris, CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association BC 

    “Going on to college and university can be an exciting transition that can also bring big changes and intense challenges for students. Post-secondary students who need assistance might not always be comfortable reaching out, might not know where to turn, or services might not always be accessible. This service stands to increase access to confidential student support provincewide, while linking to existing services on campuses and in community.”

    Eleanor Vannan, student, University of Victoria, and campaigns co-ordinator, BC Federation of Students 

    “I am really looking forward to the launch of this portal because access to a resource like this will help students who suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. Being able to get the extra support goes a long way into creating the right balance in students’ lives so we can study with less stress.”

    Chris Rogerson, director of student success, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and chair, B.C. Council of Senior Student Affairs Leaders 

    “Post-secondary education is a journey with many ups and downs for students who may occasionally encounter personal or professional situations that can add increased challenges to their busy studies. When students encounter these challenges, early access to supports and interventions can give students the help they need to address the challenge, prevent it from getting bigger, and ultimately be able to continue and focus on their post-secondary goals. We often talk about student supports as part of a scaffolding that helps them to thrive while they complete their post-secondary studies. This new 24/7 service is a great addition to the wraparound supports that will be available to all students and will greatly benefit students’ long-term health and well-being.”

    Santa Ono, president and vice-chancellor, University of British Columbia 

    “Mental health issues affect students in every year of study, from first year through graduate school, and early identification and prompt treatment are critical. This new service will complement our existing mental health supports, ensuring students have access to resources they need to thrive and succeed in their post-secondary studies.”

    Clare Hart, northwest director, specialized services, Northern Health 

    “Post-secondary students in rural or remote communities experience the same stresses and anxieties as students in urban centres. Knowing they have mental health counselling and referral support dedicated to their needs, regardless of where their studies take them, can make a huge difference in the lives of students who need access to counselling services or just someone to talk to in a time of crisis.”

    Sean Leslie
    Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
    250 356-8485

    Province of British Columbia
    For Immediate Release
    Jan. 28, 2020
    Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
    Facts about B.C.’s post-secondary mental health supports
    • The free 24/7 mental health support service will be available to approximately 490,000 students at 25 public and approximately 340 private post-secondary institutions in B.C.
    • There is currently no provincewide resource available to students. Where there are resources, students often lack after-hours access.
    • Post-secondary students aged 15-24 are more likely to report mental illness and/or substance use disorders than other age groups.
    • The 2016 National College Health Association survey of Canadian post-secondary students found a significant number of students are experiencing mental health challenges:
      • 44.4% of surveyed students reported that at some point in the previous 12 months they felt “so depressed it was difficult to function.”
      • 18.4% reported being “diagnosed or treated by a professional” for anxiety.
      • 13% had seriously considered suicide.
      • 2.1% had attempted suicide.
    • The service will be completely confidential and student privacy will be protected.
    Sean Leslie
    Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
    250 356-8485


  • 9 Feb 2020 3:13 PM | Anonymous

    WEST VANCOUVER – The Province is partnering with Baptist Housing and Vancouver Coastal Health on a proposal to redevelop Inglewood Care Centre, which is aging and in need of extensive renovations.

    On Feb. 3, Baptist Housing, a non-profit provider, took over operations of the 230-unit care centre located at 725 Inglewood Ave. It is working with residents and Vancouver Coastal Health to improve day-to-day management of the building and the quality of services.

    BC Housing, through the HousingHub, provided financing of approximately $114 million to Baptist Housing to purchase the care centre and three adjacent lots. Baptist Housing provided an additional $14.5 million of its own equity toward the purchase.

    As planning moves forward, project partners will work with the District of West Vancouver on rezoning and permit applications. This redevelopment would replace the existing 230 beds, with the potential of adding more beds in the future. Existing residents would not be displaced as a result of this project.

    In addition to the proposed redevelopment, Baptist Housing will explore additional opportunities to expand housing and care services on the property. Once a proposal is ready, partners will ask the public for input.

    Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.


    Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing –

    “We are thrilled to partner with Baptist Housing and Vancouver Coastal Health to help seniors stay in the community where they have connections. I’m also looking forward to seeing how we can bring more affordable housing options onto this site, so that more seniors in West Vancouver can have a home close to friends and family.”

    Adrian Dix, Minister of Health --

    “Our government is committed to improving care for seniors. We’ve invested in the Inglewood Care Centre to raise the standard of care to the level that seniors deserve. I’m pleased about this partnership moving forward so that this site can continue to support seniors to age with dignity.”

    Howard Johnson, president and CEO, Baptist Housing –

    “As a non-profit, our focus is always on people and service instead of profit, and that allows us to bring a unique approach to this exciting project. We want to do more than just run the residence the same way it's always been run. We’re blessed to be given the opportunity to serve in West Vancouver, and we want to make sure Inglewood, its residents and our team are part of the community. We’ll do our utmost to ensure this campus of care reaches its full potential for the benefit of everyone.”

    Mary-Ann Booth, mayor, West Vancouver –

    “Providing housing and support for our seniors as they age and their needs change is a priority for West Vancouver council. Baptist Housing has demonstrated an excellent standard of care in many B.C. communities, and we look forward to working with them here to meet these critical community needs.”

    Mary Ackenhusen, president and CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health –

    “Vancouver Coastal Health welcomes Baptist Housing as a new long-term care partner to ensure seniors on the North Shore have the quality, supportive care they need.”

    Quick Facts:

    • The HousingHub is a division within BC Housing established in 2018 as part of B.C.’s 10-year housing plan to seek innovative partnerships with local governments, non-profit and co-operative housing organizations, community land trusts, Indigenous groups, faith-based groups, charities, financial institutions and other industries to create affordable rental housing and homeownership options for middle-income British Columbians.
    • Through the HousingHub, the Building BC funds and other provincial investments, more than 22,000 new homes are complete, under construction or in development for people with a range of incomes throughout the province.

    Learn More:


    A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available online:

    To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit:

    A backgrounder follows.

    Media Relations
    Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
    778 584-1255
    Laura Mathews
    BC Housing
    604 439-8571
    Deanna Bogart
    Baptist Housing
    604 862-2300

  • 9 Feb 2020 3:11 PM | Anonymous

    VANCOUVER – Students, workers and employers in B.C. have a new tool to help them prepare for a career or plan for staffing with the introduction of the Good Jobs Guide.

    The Good Jobs Guide uses data from the 2019 Labour Market Outlook to provide a practical resource with examples of real careers and clear pathways for individuals to upgrade their skills or train for new opportunities.

    “British Columbia has job opportunities for everyone, regardless of where they live and what their educational background is,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Our economy is strong, and forecasts show that employers will need people with a wide range of education and skills. Government is making education and training accessible where people live so that everyone can get good, family-supporting jobs in or near their communities. The Good Jobs Guide shows people real, practical ways they can prepare themselves for future employment in their chosen field.”

    The Good Jobs Guide will be a valuable information resource for all British Columbians, especially parents, prospective students, job seekers, educators and businesses. The guide shows where, when and what kinds of jobs are expected to be available in B.C. between 2019 and 2029, along with wages and the type of education and/or training required.

    “The Good Jobs Guide is an excellent tool to help grow B.C.’s talent pool and support economic development throughout all regions of the province,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness. “With a strong workforce in place, we are attracting more investments, expanding the innovation economy and adding more family-supporting jobs throughout the province.”

    As in past years, the forecast shows that there will be a wide range of job opportunities – good news for people looking for their first job, thinking of changing jobs, or getting back into the job market.

    “When people have meaningful work, it improves their quality of life and provides them with opportunity, while connecting them to their community,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “In the next 10 years, there will be hundreds of thousands of new job openings throughout the province. The Good Job Guide will help people find career paths that are right for them and their families. Initiatives like these are an investment in our communities and help us in building a stronger B.C.”

    The Good Jobs Guide shows how people can prepare for work by using existing supports such as WorkBC centres,, the education planner and the career guide for Indigenous peoples. The Good Jobs Guide also features British Columbians who share stories of their journeys to better jobs, demonstrating the types of opportunities open to everyone in B.C.


    Lorri Fehr, chief executive officer, Columbia Lake Technology Centre –

    “Tech businesses are increasingly becoming a part of the rural landscape, and we need to be prepared as economic drivers shift. Having the right talent in place is crucial to advancing projects like the world-class Technology Innovation Centre we are building in the East Kootenays. I’m pleased to see initiatives like the Good Jobs Guide, which offers guidance on how to obtain jobs of the future.” 

    Cindy Oliver, chair, Industry Training Authority –

    “With thousands of jobs being created in skilled trades careers over the coming years, this is a game-changing resource to help students who are exploring the 100-plus trades professions in B.C. available to all abilities and skill levels, and also for people of all ages considering a shift to interesting, rewarding and high-opportunity employment.”

    Val Litwin, president and CEO, B.C. Chamber of Commerce –

    “This province is a a place of vast opportunity. In the coming years, our economic development will rely on getting the right people, with the right skills, to the right parts of B.C. Our network wants to see the current labour-market issues addressed, and we applaud the B.C. government for creating a tool that will help people make informed career plans, and also determine how these plans align with current and future employment opportunities throughout the province.”

    Quick Facts:

    • The Labour Market Outlook forecasts 861,000 job openings over the next decade. Of those, 69% will be to replace people leaving the workforce, e.g., retiring. The remaining 31% will come from economic growth.
    • Nearly 80% of jobs will require some type of post-secondary (after high school) education or training.
    • 41% of job openings will need a certificate, diploma or apprenticeship training; 36% will need a bachelor’s, graduate or first professional degree; 23% of the jobs will require people with a high-school diploma, on-the-job training or less.

    Learn More:

    To see the new Good Jobs Guide, visit:

    To see a summary of the B.C. Labour Market Outlook: 2019 Edition results including links to new interactive career search tools, visit:

    To access forecast data for all 500 occupations, industries and regions, visit:

    For more information on where and how to find hiring and training opportunities, visit:

    A backgrounder follows.

    Sean Leslie
    Communications Director
    Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
    250 356-8485

    Province of British Columbia
    For Immediate Release
    Feb. 6, 2020
    Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
    Good Jobs Guide to help job seekers find success

    Where do the numbers come from?

    The Good Jobs Guide and Labour Market Outlook use the most current data from various sources, including BC Stats, the B.C. Ministry of Finance, Statistics Canada and other federal departments. Data is reviewed based on industry, occupation, geographic region, skills and competencies.

    The outlook includes projections for economic growth, productivity trends and the need to replace retiring workers. In addition, it considers factors related to population growth, the number of people looking for work and the impact of training and job matching on unemployment.

    The full Labour Market Outlook will be released shortly. However, forecast data used in the Outlook is now available online. 

    What’s new this year?

    High opportunity occupations: the Good Jobs Guide includes a list of high opportunity occupations to help people make more informed decisions about their future careers. High opportunity occupations are those occupations where it is generally easier to obtain a job that is also better paid.

    A total of 130 occupations are included as high opportunity occupations for B.C.

    Regional high opportunity occupations lists: for the first time, the outlook will include a customized high opportunity occupations list for each of B.C.’s seven economic development regions. These are lists that can be used to guide career choices for people who are looking at staying in or moving to a specific region. The full provincial list is designed for those who would be willing to move across the province in pursuit of opportunities.

    Occupational interests: last year, occupational interests were introduced as an additional means of choosing jobs. This year, forecasts have been provided that show job opportunities by the field in which people are interested in working.

    Skills and competencies: more information is provided about the skills and competencies that are important for each occupation.

    Where will the job openings be in B.C.?

    The regions with the largest number of job openings between today and 2029 are the Mainland/southwest (63.7%) and Vancouver Island/coast (16.7%). Distribution of job openings:

    • Mainland/southwest: 548,600 job openings
    • Vancouver Island/coast: 143,800 job openings
    • Thompson-Okanagan: 95,600 job openings
    • Kootenay: 23,900 job openings
    • Cariboo: 21,400 job openings
    • Northeast: 18,000 job openings
    • North Coast/Nechako: 9,900 job openings

    Which industries will have the most job openings?

    Thousands of jobs are expected in every region of B.C., but five industries will account for about half of the total job openings projected over the next 10 years. They are:

    • Health care and social assistance (141,700 job openings, 15% of total job openings)
    • Professional, scientific and technical services (98,800 job openings, 10.4% of total job openings)
    • Retail trade (80,900 job openings, 8.5% of total job openings)
    • Accommodation and food services (63,200 job openings, 6.7% of total job openings)
    • Educational services (60,400 job openings, 6.4% of total job openings)
    Sean Leslie
    Communications Director
    Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
    250 356-8485

  • 9 Feb 2020 3:06 PM | Anonymous

    NANAIMO – British Columbia’s early childhood educators (ECEs) will now benefit from an expanded professional development program geared to exploring the latest child care teaching philosophies, curriculums and techniques.

    Run by the Early Childhood Pedagogy Network (ECPN), a $2-million investment allows 32 teaching specialists – known as pedagogists – to be hired around the province. This improves access to professional development for ECEs and boosts the quality of child care for children and families.

    Each pedagogist will work with up to 45 ECEs in their area through community hubs at eight post-secondary institutions, 10 child care referral centres and seven Indigenous communities, in partnership with the BC Aboriginal Child Care Society.

    The program is a partnership between the Province and researchers at Capilano University and Western University in Ontario. It puts B.C. on the map as one of only two provinces in Canada offering this kind of support to ECEs.

    “A commitment to quality care is at the heart of our Childcare BC plan. By bringing together ECEs to share their experiences and learn from others, we can boost the quality of child care for families throughout B.C.,” said Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care. “Our government is committed to helping our early care and learning professionals succeed. Programs, such as this one, are making a career as an ECE more desirable and sustainable, and bring change to a sector that has been ignored for too long.”

    The program expands professional learning opportunities from one-time training opportunities, such as workshops, to continuous learning, where professional development is done daily and in the context of individual child care programs.

    “As a former ECE, I know that my learning didn’t stop when I graduated. Every day, I was adapting and refining my techniques to provide better care for the families I served,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “This network will help ECEs to collaborate, learn from each other and bring new early learning theories to their practice, making it easier for families to pursue their own education and careers, knowing that their kids are being nurtured and inspired during their time in child care.”

    Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.


    Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo 

    “More ECEs in Nanaimo mean increased support for our children to grow and thrive. ECEs create programs that inspire kids and nurture a love of learning.”

    Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley –

    “It has been a pleasure to work with and learn from Dr. Pacini-Ketchabaw and her colleagues, and I am delighted this program is moving forward. The early learning years are vitally important, as are the educators who teach and nurture B.C.’s youngest. We cannot just focus on the number of child care spaces we create. Though that is important – we must always be mindful of fostering and improving quality. I’m confident this program will do just that.”

    Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, co-director, B.C. ECPN 

    “We want to create a system where ECE programs are developed within local communities to respond to the specific needs of that area. This network will provide professional learning that’s practical and grounded in the challenges and opportunities ECEs face. By providing this funding, the government is helping create a unified early learning and child care system where all B.C. children can flourish.”

    Sabrina Limas, first-year student, early childhood education and care

    “Working with the pedagogist is inspiring me to think about more experiences I can offer the children within the context of my practicum placement. We are exploring new learning methods and ways to use technology. Having this support means enhanced learning for the children in my care, allowing us to do what is most important – help create better human beings.”

    Learn More:

    To learn more about the Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, visit:

    For more about Childcare BC, visit:

    Child care factsheet:

    For a backgrounder on where the pedagogists will be based, visit:

    A backgrounder, with facts about early childhood education in B.C., follows.

    Ministry of Children and Family Development
    Government Communications and Public Engagement
    250 356-2028

  • 9 Feb 2020 2:48 PM | Anonymous

    VICTORIA – To meet the demand for early childhood educators (ECE) in British Columbia, the Province is reallocating $4 million within the Canada-BC Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Agreement to provide additional bursaries through the ECE Education Support Fund.

    This will allow more students to pursue their education goals and an ECE career.

    “Passionate and nurturing child care workers are essential to ensuring all Canadian children have the best possible start in life,” said Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “The Government of Canada is pleased to work with the Government of British Columbia to help train more qualified early childhood educators.”

    The B.C. government launched the enhanced ECE Education Support Fund in September 2018, with a target of supporting 4,000 students by the end of March 2020. To date, this program has provided more than 5,400 bursaries to students pursuing their ECE education goals. This was done by adding an additional $1.9 million in 2019 to the initial $10-million investment.

    “For too long, child care providers have struggled to find qualified staff and as a result, parents haven’t been able to find quality care for their children,” said Katrina Chen, B.C.’s Minister of State for Child Care. “Over the past three years, student interest in early childhood education has been extraordinary and these bursaries will help even more people train for this in-demand career. We’re making progress on our commitment to B.C. families of universal, affordable and accessible child care by investing in the people at the heart of it.”

    As a result of the program’s success, the fund was expended earlier than expected and applications were closed on Oct. 11, 2019. Funds are now available for students who were waitlisted during the fall semester, as well as for students attending recognized post-secondary programs in the winter semester.

    “The majority of a child’s brain development happens before the age of five,” said Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister of Children and Family Development. “As a former ECE, I know what a rewarding career this can be and the critical role early childhood educators play in helping children in their earliest stages of life, which is why I’m so proud of our government for supporting this program and the important work ECEs do.”

    The investment is part of the Province’s Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, which launched in September 2018. As part of this strategy, government has invested nearly $16 million in bursaries through the ELCC Agreement since 2017-18 to support students.

    “These extra bursary funds are a welcome addition to a very successful program,” said Emily Gawlick, executive director, Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC). “Educated early childhood educators are the backbone to a successful child care system, and the funds will go a long way to help many more students complete their studies.”

    In addition, more than 10,000 early childhood educators have received a $1-per-hour wage enhancement, with another $1-per-hour lift to come in April 2020. More than 600 new seats in post-secondary ECE programs will also help more people to pursue a career in child care, while funding for professional development is supporting existing educators to maintain and upgrade their skills.

    “I feel grateful and empowered to have financial support through the education bursary,” said Friday Bailey, ECE student. “Now I can upgrade my skills and better serve my community. Thank you to this government and ECEBC for investing in me, as well as in high-quality early care and learning. The bursary has made a significant positive impact on my family.”

    Investing in child care and early childhood education is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

    Quick Fact:

    • People wanting to nurture young children as ECEs, as well as current ECEs, can benefit from bursaries of up to $4,000 and $5,000.

    Learn More:

    The ECE bursary is currently available at 32 post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. For more information and to apply, visit:

    For more information and to read the Early Care and Learning Recruitment and Retention Strategy, visit:

    To learn more about child care in B.C., visit:

    Childcare BC factsheet:  

    Ministry of Children and Family Development
    Government Communications and Public Engagement
    250 360-6597

The BC Career Colleges Association was established in 1977 to promote and support post secondary schools, stakeholders, students and all interested parties involved in private post-secondary education and training in BC.

Call 604-328-7512


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