(KF/Wikimedia Commons) Discussion is taking place about post-secondary coming to Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows.

(KF/Wikimedia Commons) Discussion is taking place about post-secondary coming to Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows.

OUTLOOK 2019: A united voice for post-secondary in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows

A letter has been drafted to the Minister of Education for needs assessment

The possibility of post-secondary in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows is once again being talked about by all levels of government.

A letter has been drafted to Melanie Mark, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, to request an assessment of the need for post-secondary somewhere within the borders of School District No. 42.

However, it is too early to tell what that post-secondary will look like if it comes to fruition.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare emphasized that the letter is just the beginning of a conversation.

“We know that post-secondary education is definitely critical to the future of the next generation here in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows,” said Beare, for the well-being of businesses, both communities and increase the quality of life for local residents.

Bear said that making education equitable is also vital for first nations and reconciliation by providing fair and even access to education all across the Lower Mainland to ensure that all students thrive.

Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden described the letter as a joint agreement and a process to make an application for funding, as well as a needs assessment to review viability for post-secondary within the region.

Morden noted that staff met with a community on Vancouver Island that has undergone the same process and assured them that “this is the way to put the groundwork in place to support a case for post-secondary in our community.

“From Maple Ridge’s perspective, when you’ve got kids who are coming out of graduation and they are unable to easily access post-secondary, there’s a gap there,” said Morden.

“There’s an element of risk, too, which is one we would like to mitigate and you do that by providing a transition step, maybe its a full year of entry into a university of some sort of post-secondary,” he continued.

In 2014, former Maple Ridge Coun. Bob Masse, who was on a task force to bring a multi-university campus to the city, was hoping that three acres that were lying empty along Selkirk Avenue could be a site for a post-secondary campus.

The post-secondary task force involved the cities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows and the District of Mission and, at that point, had been trying to find a way to attract a university or college for a few years.

Their goal had been to get a variety of schools to have their satellite operations to share building space, offering multiple course options.

Both Beare and Morden explained this new venture might not necessarily be a “bricks and mortar” opportunity.

“It may not be a campus,” said Beare.

“It may be increased skills in trades training, it may be tacking onto existing opportunities that are already here,” she said, noting that the Justice Institute of British Columbia already has a campus in Maple Ridge.

“It could be a number of opportunities and that’s what the conversation has to begin,” she said, adding that the local need has to be assessed.

Morden said the various levels of government are looking at a post-secondary facility within the borders of the school district and wouldn’t rule out the possibility of it being on first nations property.

“It’s an important piece to the retention of our youth,” he said, because they are going outside of the community where there are jobs and secondary education.

Post-secondary, Morden said, is a major piece of what is needed for a sustainable city.

“If you take a look at the primary three pieces of having a great city, is your economy, your economic side of things, then there’s your sustainable side of things, then there’s your environmental side of things. The two sub-sets to that, that really make it work, other key pieces to it, are post-secondary and transit,” said Morden.

Morden said there have been discussions with a “willing partner.”

Although the cost of a post-secondary facility needs assessment in this region, the one on Vancouver Island cost around $1.6 million, funded by the province.

Morden estimates assessment and funding approval will take a minimum of six months to a year.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

The Maple Ridge fire department responded to the blaze at 7 p.m. Thursday evening. (THE NEWS/files)
Maple Ridge firefighters battle chimney blaze on Thursday night

Family of six were alerted in time by helpful neighbour and smoke detectors

Cpl. Victoria Boechler is shaving her head to raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation. (Facebook/Ridge Meadows RCMP)
Maple Ridge officer shaving head for BC Cancer Society

Cpl. Victoria Boechler supporting a cousin recently diagnosed with cancer

BC Hydro is reporting a power outage is just north of the Lougheed Highway, between 203rd Street and Laity Street, and Dewdney Trunk Road and Powell Avenue. (BC Hydro)
An employee at the Shoppers Drug Mart at 224 Street and Dewdney Trunk Road in Maple Ridge, has tested positive for COVID-19. (Black Press files)
COVID exposure at Maple Ridge Shoppers Drug Mart

Employee tested positive for COVID-19

Gabriel Fitzpatrick and Shae Laing both received the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Masonry. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Maple Ridge students receive top honours in masonry

Received Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Masonry

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Most Read