It is now official: The newly released budget for 2023 reaffirms Manitoba’s inter-provincial agreement with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan to increase the intake to 20 seats every year until it supports 80 Manitoba students annually through the four-year program. The agreement, reached late last fall, will provide over $134 million to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) for the next five years to attract, and train Manitoba students for a career in veterinary medicine.
The commitment was part of the government’s $1.8-billion 2023 budget, announced on March 7, and came as welcome news to the new president of the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA).
“A commitment to funding veterinary medical education is the first and most important step towards addressing the veterinary shortage in Manitoba, along with shortages in other provinces,” Dr. Mackenzie Marks said. “This is something we’ve been working to achieve for many months now, so it’s great to hear the province is committed to helping us move forward.”
The budget also contained provisions to bolster animal disease preparedness in Manitoba through enhanced surveillance and detection. The province will look to strengthen veterinary diagnostic testing and disease analysis to reduce large-scale risks for livestock and poultry producers by enhancing staffing at the Veterinary Diagnostic Services Laboratory to support higher volumes of animal disease testing and the provision of timely results. Other measures include investing $396,000 to support the operations of the new Laboratory Information Management System, according to the Honourable Derek Johnson, Minister of Agriculture.
Click here for the additional details available on the province’s budget website page.