WHEREAS the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon has been given a four-year extension on its accreditation;AND WHEREAS further accreditation is at risk unless the veterinary college is upgraded;AND WHEREAS the number of veterinary graduates is currently insufficient to meet the needs of western Canada;AND WHEREAS insufficient graduate veterinarians are locating in rural Alberta;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to provide additional funding to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in order to ensure future accreditation and to provide sufficient veterinary graduates to meet Alberta’s needs.
The Western College of Veterinary Medicine is jointly funded by the four western provinces. It just received a four-year qualified accreditation extension. Concerns for the facility include overcrowding and insufficient capital investment. At the August 10, 2001 AAMDC Northern District Meeting, a presentation was made by Dr. Kevin Breker. Dr. Breker outlined the crisis in the lack of sufficient veterinarians in the Peace Country through moves south and retirements. Other incentives may be required in order to attract and keep qualified veterinarians in rural Alberta. For example, the Municipal District of Big Lakes has agreed to bursary funding for aspiring veterinarians with a condition of returning to that part of Alberta. This issue is urgent and needs to be addressed by the Government of Alberta.
Resolution 3-99F, endorsed by delegates to the 1999 Fall Convention, calls on the Government of Alberta to examine the feasibility of establishing a veterinary school in Alberta.