Backwards provincial budget kills Environmental Tech, other CNA programs

April 25, 2013

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The Environmental Technology (Co-op) program offered at College of the North Atlantic is no more. The calendar information has been removed from the website, and there will be no new registrations in September 2013. 

My class and the class behind us will graduate, but after June 2015 there will be no one in the province trained to do environmental assessments and recognize impacts made on the environment.

Considering the megaprojects on stream (Ed note: Read: Muskrat Falls) that require qualified people like us to run them, the planning (or lack thereof) by the government is incredibly backwards. The budget brought down in March was the most mind-boggling I’ve ever seen.

CNA has been hit hard by the cuts, losing programs and staff across the province. Adult Basic Education (ABE) was the first to go, and many more programs have been snuffed out since. The Corner Brook campus has lost ABE, Environmental Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology and Adventure Tourism.

Students across the province took to the streets on April 10 to voice their discontent. The turn-out in Corner Brook was excellent, with CNA-CB and Grenfell Campus joining forces.

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The feeling inside the marching column was electric and purposeful.

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I was doing double-duty as a concerned student and as an objective member of the media. To me, it can be a fine line. When I cover the news, I don’t want to make the news. I didn’t carry a sign, but was weaving in and out of the crowd taking pictures.

IMG_3352 CNA-CB Student Council President Jaclyn Pope rallies the students with calls for solidarity.

The gathering of students at the Sir Richard Squire building was formidable. CNA Corner Brook Student Council President Jaclyn Pope and Robert Leamon, her counterpart at Grenfell, led the charge and the call for student solidarity.

What will be lost now that Environmental Technology is gone?

The skillsets a Environmental Technology graduate will gain include technical report writing, calculus, statistics, Excel, environmental sampling techniques, occupational health & safety, AutoCAD, environmental law & policy, environmental impact and site assessment, environmental auditing, solid waste management, field navigation, remote sensing, GIS, wastewater treatment and surveying. The assembly of a technical thesis will put these skills to use. The program also includes two paid workterms to give the student practical career experience in the field.

As a part of the packaged deal, a student becomes competitive by earning the following certifications throughout the course of study: OH&S, WHMIS, Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG), First Aid, Restricted Maritime Radio Operator certificate, power line hazards, pleasure craft operator’s card and back injury prevention.

…and this opportunity is being thrown away?

If you’re interested in applying for the Environmental Technology program, it no longer exists, but feel free to browse my past columns about the program:

A Worthy Challenge: Environmental Technology Year II

Environmental Technology: A Worthy Challenge – Part II

I’m off to St. John’s to do my workterm, and look forward to the exciting challenges ahead.

Thank you for reading over the past year.

  • Thiago

    I feel like it’s bad media business to point out your own bias. I mean, it’s good, even great for the reader to see a soul behind the old pulp and paper mill, but at the same time, you sacrifice credibility with the other side. I’m mostly inclined to agree with you. I personally hope that the CNA supporters win the day.