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To CIDA and the MDGs

It has long been recognized that education is a cornerstone of sustainable economic development.  The Ministry’s goal to revitalize the economy, thereby reducing poverty, through education and training is in direct alignment with the MDGs and CIDA’s mandate.  A relevantly, well-trained workforce supports a revitalized economy which in turn reduces poverty.  Providing potential entrepreneurs with the skills to succeed in their own business likewise contributes to sustainable economic growth and creates new opportunities for the skilled workforce.  The development of relevant professional/career educational opportunities in rural areas where few or none currently exist is a long term, sustainable strategy to address poverty reduction.

CIDA has indicated in the Country Development Programming Framework (CDPF) document for Georgia that it would support initiatives that advance constructive relationship between the central government and minority/disadvantaged regions, that empower the poor, and that provide economic opportunities by increasing access to markets.  The creation of rural Professional Learning Centres is a giant step in this direction, and the opportunity for Canadian colleges to be a participant in the change and growth is a privilege. 

To the CCI 

Selkirk College is an integral part of its rural community, supporting economic development through education, training, and retraining.  Just recently the entire region rallied around Selkirk College’s bid to raise over one million dollars in matching funds to create a Regional Innovation Chair on Community Economic Development.  This project is an opportunity for us to share our knowledge and expertise with the global community.  TRU is likewise excited to bring their unique blend of experience and knowledge to the project. 

Many of our region’s citizens came to Canada from Georgia over 100 years ago.  Many still maintain ties with the Doukhobour population remaining in the rural villages of Georgia, and are aware of the difficult condition under which they are currently surviving.  They have already expressed how pleased they are to have their local college recognize their heritage and build ties with educational institutions there.