In search of higher learning options

Task force to explore post-secondary potential in Maple Ridge

staff reporter

The district wants to know if any institutes of higher learning would find the forests and mountains of Maple Ridge a nice place to conduct classes.

Council OK’d Tuesday the creation of an education task force, an idea that came out of the economic advisory commission.

Staff will report back to council on how the task force will be structured.

Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin said later that the task force would hold meetings with post-secondary institutes such as UBC, SFU or Kwantlen.

He foresees the task force as a short-term project that will clarify the exact potential of post secondary in the district.

“Get the post secondary folks around the table and tell us what they want from us and we can share what we’re willing to do.

“Just get the facts out there and get some realities.”

Attracting educational institutes is one of the goals outlined by Invest North Fraser, composed of Maple Ridge, Mission as well as Pitt Meadows, when it participated in the B.C. Jobs Plan.

Daykin said councillors keep hearing that SFU or BCIT is interested in locating in Maple Ridge. The BCIT Forest Society already operates a woodlot in Maple Ridge for research and training while UBC runs the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest at the north of 232nd Street.