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'There's a real need': Minister of Advanced Education announces more funding for vet college

The provincial government is giving the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) $2.2 million dollars over four years to put more local students in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.

“On behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan, I’m very proud to help expand subsidized student seats here at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine from 20 to 25,” said Minister of Agriculture, David Marit.

Saskatchewan currently commits $11.9 million to the WCVM. In 2023-2024, a commitment of $539,000 will increase year over year to reach $2.2 million in 2026-27.

The province is joining British Columbia and Manitoba in committing money to addressing the shortage of veterinarians in their provinces.

An interprovincial agreement between those provinces and the WCVM was signed in 2020. The current agreement ends in 2025.

"I'm really excited for the future of veterinary medicine in Saskatchewan. I think this is a great opportunity for our province, especially with the shortage of veterinarians," said Jackson Goudy, second-year WCVM veterinary student and president-elect of the Western Canadian Veterinary Students' Association.

"This is a great way to increase the number of vets delivering animal health care in Saskatchewan."

Dean of the WCVM, Dr. Gillian Muir said adding seats for local students across western Canada will help ensure they stay in the province after graduation.

“These seats that we’ve got specially set aside for students with a rural focus, Manitoba is going to be joining that program for Manitoba students,” Muir told CTV News. “There’s just going to be that many more students who are ready to practise in rural Saskatchewan.”

Minister of Advanced Education, Gordon Wyant said it’s crucial to replace the veterinarians in the rural part of the province, not just in cities.

“This announcement is pretty important in terms of how we ensure that there are more vets,” said Wyant. “And not just practising in cities, but certainly our focus is ensuring more vets are working in rural Saskatchewan, where there’s a real need.”

In addition to the subsidized student seats, the Saskatchewan government is expanding its Student Loan Forgiveness program for veterinarians and vet technologists. Top Stories

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