Trans Mountain Expansion Project to contribute $300,000 to KPU for scholarships

Twenty-year memorandum will fund annual awards for Environmental Protection Tech. and trades students.

Hailey Logan / The Runner

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has entered an agreement with the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) to receive $300,000 over 20 years for student awards. The project proposes expansion to a pipeline system owned by Kinder Morgan Canada.

“If the pipeline is approved, this agreement would benefit students in the trades and environmental protection programs and increase student awards,” says Salvador Ferreras, provost and vice-president academic at KPU, during a June 23 press conference with TMEP in the KPU Langley campus environmental protection technical lab.

Ferreras adds that the agreement, which is a memorandum of understanding, will support program infrastructure like the lab on Langley campus. Agreements like this one essentially express mutual goals between two parties.

He says that students can also be eligible if they’re part of a KPU ACE-IT program, which allows students in high school the opportunity to study the first level of trades training or technical programs.

“Just as industry support for, and acknowledgement of, our students is essential to them, [students] too are essential to industry and the wider community for the expertise they provide now and into the future,” says Ferreras.

“And it all starts with partnerships like this one, between Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Trans Mountain Expansion Projects.”

Lizette Parsons Bell, stakeholder management lead for TMEP, says the goal of the funding is “to leave a positive legacy” in pipeline communities like Langley. Bell says TMEP has made efforts for about three years to get input from the community and make sure communities understand what they’re doing. She says they’ve conducted workshops with community members who then, for example, bring concerns to the table as counterpoints to TMEP’s pipeline routes. Still, community approval isn’t conclusive.

“Ultimately, it’s the National Energy Board that will deem if it’s in the best interest of Canadians,” Bell says.

According to a TMEP press release, KPU is the second B.C. post-secondary institution to sign a memorandum of understanding with TMEP, just after Thompson Rivers University, who will receive $500,000 in funding for similar programs.

KPU president Alan Davis said in the press release that the university is “pleased to partner with Trans Mountain” and is excited for the opportunities that TMEP’s legacy will create for trades and EPT students.

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