As Kamloops and the region rebuild from the pandemic, the City of Kamloops and TRU recognized partnerships are more important than ever as they renewed their memorandum of understanding Wednesday.
While following COVID safety protocols, officials from both organizations gathered to sign the document.
“TRU was pleased to be a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery. Universities have historically played an important role in supporting communities. This will continue, and in a much stronger way as we plan for a social and economic recovery,” said TRU President Brett Fairbairn.
“As we heard through the task force, Kamloops businesses and residents are struggling through this pandemic. We know through partnerships such as this that the City will recover and grow back even stronger,” said Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian.
The MOU builds on recent successes, incorporates minor adjustments for approval of shared projects and continues the ongoing strong partnership. The two parties have progressed in several key parts of the agreement, including educational programming, community-focused research and innovation in planning.
“Since 2018, we have shown the community that a strong relationship between the City of Kamloops and TRU is a good thing for both the institution and community. This updated MOU will not only strengthen this relationship, but also ensure that it continues to grow,” said Christian.
Christian and Fairbairn noted a key success of the MOU includes a Research Chair in Predictive Services, Emergency Management and Fire Science at TRU. With support from the Province of BC and as announced in the summer, the chair is a strong demonstration of community engagement in action. Advocacy on the part of Interior municipalities, including Kamloops, helped to secure this position.
The MOU identifies key areas that can increase the efficiency of the relationship and expand the projects the City and TRU will work on together. One example is the opioid overdose challenge that has affected the Kamloops region and the province. This partnership sees TRU lead a cultural mapping of the opioid crisis in Kamloops, supported by the City’s Social and Community Development team.
“Thompson Rivers University is home to a rich amount of research and knowledge that can significantly benefit the community of Kamloops. There is much more to be achieved by working in partnership and this MOU helps us continue to do just that,” concluded Fairbairn.
The amended MOU remains in place until 2023. The partners will revisit it at that time.