James Moore named new chancellor of UNBC

Plus, top marks from international students and drilling down in northwestern B.C.

Back to school
Former Conservative MP and cabinet minister James Moore has returned to his alma mater UNBC as chancellor. He will be sworn in at the convocation ceremony in Prince George on May 27, 2016, to serve a three-year term, ending just in time for the next federal election should he decide to re-enter politics.

Moore graduated from UNBC in 2001 with a BA in political science a year after being elected to represent Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam (then Port Moody-Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam)—at 24, the youngest MP in British Columbia’s history. He served in a number of cabinet roles, including Minister of Industry; Regional Minister for British Columbia; Minister of Canadian Heritage & Official Languages; and Secretary of State – 2010 Olympics, Official Languages & the Asia Pacific Gateway. Moore has been a senior business advisor at the international law firm Dentons in Vancouver office since leaving politics earlier this year.

They really like us
A B.C. government survey of more than 9,200 international postsecondary students found that 87 per cent are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of their education, and 89 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied with the institution they are attending. When they graduate, almost 65 per cent plan to stay in Canada and almost 60 per cent in B.C. to either work full time (63 per cent) or combine work and study (27 per cent).

BC Stats conducted the survey during November and December 2014 at one private and 23 public post-secondary institutions. B.C. launched the International Education Strategy in 2012 as part of its BC Jobs Plan. 

Sinking fortunes
Despite B.C.’s generally buoyant economy, the province’s oil and gas industry is feeling the same chill as the rest of Western Canada. In a report released Thursday, Mark Scholz, president of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors said, “Today, the oil and gas services industry is facing one of the most difficult economic times in a generation. The active rig count for the western Canadian rig fleet is at the same level as experienced in 1983, one of the worst periods in our history.” In B.C., the number of operating days in 2015 to date was just 9,129 compared to 16,616 in 2014. Since 2008, the previous low was 11,720.