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The Province is continuing to try and provide more opportunities for residents to enter the health care industry.

In late 2019, the NDP announced new health care seats at 14 post-secondary institutes across the province, including the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. In total, the province added 418 new seats for health care assistants.

Now the province is hoping to tackle a forecasted shortage of nurses.

The provincial government is more than doubling the number of specialty nurse training opportunities in the province by funding 1,000 seats each year at the British Columbia School of Technology (BCIT).

This increase will help meet the growing demand for care throughout British Columbia. Specialty nurses work in high-skill areas ranging from emergency settings to intensive care units for high-risk cardiac care patients, to delivering babies and providing newborn care, to working with complex patients with multiple health challenges.

“Addressing the provinces’ nurse shortage is a complex challenge and will require attention not only in the way of recruitment and retention strategies, but also in education opportunities, so I am pleased to see our health minister continue to make such a significant investment into the future,” says BCNU President Christine Sorensen. “Specialty nurses provide acute care in many different forms, and their expertise is greatly needed as we see increased patient acuity and complex population needs.”

It's believed the province will need almost 20,000 new nurses in the next decade to keep up with demand.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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ENVIRONMENTCANADA

Merritt is currently getting blasted by some arctic air dipping the mercury into the minus twenties.

Temperatures have been steady at -20, without the windchill, throughout the morning.

Looking back through the years on Environment Canada’s website, the coldest January 13th on record in Merritt was 1950, when temperatures hit -35 Celsius.

That 1950 cold snap was only just beginning as the coldest January 14 and 15 are also from 70 years ago, registering at -38.9 and -37.8 respectively.

So, while the temperatures will remain bitterly cold for the next few days, we won’t be setting any records.

Environment Canada is forecasting things to warm up to the minus-single-digits on Thursday.

For comparison, the warmest Jan. 13 on record was in 1994 with Merritt hitting +12.0 C.

 

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Cold weather house 2

As the mercury dips into the negative twenties across the Nicola Valley, the cold weather shelter is prepared for those in need.

“Winter is winter, if you’re needing to access the shelter, we’re seeing many people right now, the numbers are pretty high,” said Marlene Jones. “Certainly, we’re prepared if more people show up, we’re not at capacity every night.”

Earlier in the season, the shelter had been reporting they were at or even above capacity almost every night.

Along with the warm place to spend the night, the shelter also helps with proper winter clothing.

“We do have a small amount of (winter clothing), but if anybody has anything they’re willing to donate the staff would love to see them,” added Jones.

Temperatures in Merritt are currently forecasted to remain in the negative teens until Thursday.

 

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gold country

City Council will hold its first official meeting of 2020 tomorrow.

The relatively small opening agenda of the year will see a debate on whether the city should remain in partnership with Gold Country.

The Gold Country Communities Society was incorporated in 1991 and currently includes the municipalities of Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, Lillooet, Lytton, Merritt and the TNRD electoral areas of E, I, J, M, and N. Gold Country assists small communities and regional electoral areas to provide tourism coverage and marketing.

“Staff feels we are producing quite a bit of content here within Tourism Merritt. There have been council comments about, why are we paying a membership fee for things we’re duplicating in-house,” said Tourism Manager Will George.

In the last contract, which expires this month, the City was paying an annual membership fee of $8,400.

The first council meeting of 2020 begins Tuesday at 7 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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Eagles Perch Winners 2020

(Photo – Gian Cavaliere)

Over the weekend, NVIT and MSS played host to the junior boys and girls Eagles Perch Invitational Basketball Tournament.

The tourney brought together 16 teams from around the Interior to compete for the crown.

In the boy’s tournament, the MSS Panthers had a strong showing, finishing in second place behind the champs from St. Ann’s.

In the girl’s bracket, the Panthers finished in fourth place, Vernon Christian took home the trophy.

 

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