Foreign student plan recycled, NDP says

Premier Christy Clark stopped at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops Tuesday to unveil the second part of her jobs plan, a goal of increasing the number of international students in B.C. by 50 per cent. But critics were quick to point out that at least one of the key measures, an international education council, is already in place.

Premier Christy Clark lays out her target for attracting more international students at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops Tuesday.

Premier Christy Clark lays out her target for attracting more international students at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops Tuesday.

Premier Christy Clark stopped at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops Tuesday to unveil the second part of her jobs plan, a goal of increasing the number of international students in B.C. by 50 per cent.

But critics were quick to point out that at least one of the key measures, an international education council, is already in place.

Clark announced that B.C. will use existing trade offices to help connect international students to B.C. education opportunities, send more students overseas, and “create an international education council to help build strong relationships in both existing and emerging economies, like China, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.”

Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto said the government is working with educational institutions and communities on “a more targeted, co-ordinated and strategic approach  that takes advantage of the growth opportunities.” A detailed international education strategy was promised for release later this year.

In November 2008 the B.C. government announced the formation of the B.C. Council for International Education. The 2008 announcement also described efforts to work with Ottawa to allow more international students to remain as permanent Canadian residents.

Clark said Tuesday that regional workforce tables will be set up to work with local employers, labour, first nations and others to use $15 million in available federal funds for training to address local labour needs around B.C.

Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Carole James, who has been responding to Clark’s week-long rollout of her jobs initiative, said the new money is welcome but it only restores funds cut from apprenticeship and trades training.

“I would have advised the premier to take a look at her own budget,” James said. “She cut $5 million this year, she planned to cut $5 million next year and year after. So she’s putting back $15 million. She’s holding the line, not increasing amounts of money for skills training.”

International students are already big business for B.C. From Kindergarten to post-secondary and private language schools, B.C. is hosting 17,900 students from Korea, 15,400 from China, 11,100 from Japan, 6,600 from Saudi Arabia and 5,500 from Brazil.

Clark plans to continue her B.C. Jobs Plan announcements with speeches to business audiences in Surrey Wednesday and in Vancouver on Thursday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Students from SD62 stepped up to help members in the community with the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive. This year’s organizers had to adapt during the campaign as COIVD-19 public health orders changed. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore students step up to make sure community members don’t go without

Students of SD62 are this year’s recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
Sidney house fire kills cat, causes extensive damage

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

Millstream Village is welcoming a new Marshalls location March 9. (Photo courtesy GWL Realty Advisors)
New Marshalls store in Langford brings boost to women in need

Retailer will hold opening ceremony in Millstream Village March 9

Abstract Developments is donating $75,000 to support community programming at The Cridge Centre for the Family. (Courtesy of The Cridge Centre)
Victoria developer builds support for community programs

Abstract Developments donates $75,000 to The Cridge Centre for the Family

SD 62 (Sooke) has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Black Press Media File).
COVID-19 exposure at Colwood’s David Cameron Elementary

Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24.

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read