Funding cut for ESL program at Vancouver Community College

VANCOUVER – Funding for Western ’s largest provider of English as a Second Language training has been cut and the program is shutting down.

More than 70 staff members at Vancouver Community College (VCC) have been given layoff notices and the program is slated to stop entirely in December.

The move comes in the wake of the federal government’s 2012 decision to cancel the Canada-B.C. Immigration Agreement, which funded the training.

A spokesperson says 3,000 students will be impacted and many of them will likely end up taking training at private schools, which will cost them a lot more.

“We’re shocked,” says Karen Shortt, VCC faculty association president. “This government promised to work with post-secondary educators to develop a long-term strategy to deliver English language training in post-secondary education.

“Cutting us to zero is not a long-term strategy.”

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