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B.C. to provide more funding for new medical school, founding dean appointed

The school is on track to open in 2026.
British Columbia's premier says the new medical school at Simon Fraser University in Surrey, B.C., is aiming to start classes in the summer of 2026. David Eby speaks during a B.C. NDP campaign event in Vancouver, on Thursday, June. 20, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

SURREY, B.C. — Premier David Eby says the province is providing millions more in funding for the new medical school at Simon Fraser University in Surrey, B.C., that aims to start classes in September 2026.

Eby says $33.7 million will go toward the renovation of an interim space at an existing building on Simon Fraser's Surrey campus, as well as at leased space to accommodate classrooms, laboratories and offices.

He says that's in addition to $27 million in operational funding granted through the 2024 budget, and builds on $14 million the government has already given for startup costs.

The new funding comes after the school's senate and board of governors formally approved the establishment of the school in May and approved Dr. David J. Price as its founding dean last week.

It is working toward preliminary accreditation by fall 2025, which officials say would put it on track for a 2026 opening.

The premier says this will be the first new medical school in Western Canada in 55 years and aims to address the province's ongoing doctor shortage by adding more family doctors.

The province says the proposed curriculum for the school will follow a three-year, "competency-based model" that will include a minimum of 130 weeks of instruction.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2024.

The Canadian Press