The City of Kamloops and Thompson Rivers University (TRU) announced the renewal of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) of which was first signed on Aug. 23, 2018. Both parties agreed that such partnerships are more important than ever before as Kamloops and surrounding regions rebuild from the pandemic.
“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,” TRU President Brett Fairbairn said. “ This will continue, and in a much stronger way as we plan for a social and economic recovery.”
The MOU signed today builds upon recent successes, incorporates minor adjustments for approval of shared projects, and continues the ongoing strong partnership.
“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,” Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian said.
Since signing the agreement two years ago, the two parties have made progress in several key points of the MOU 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,” Christian said.
Fairbairn and Christian both agreed that one of the key successes to come out of the MOU has been the Research Chair in Predictive Services, Emergency Management and Fire Science for TRU which has the support of the provincial government.
The MOU signed today identifies some key areas that can help increase the efficiency of the relationship and expand the projects the City and TRU will work on together. One current example is the opioid overdose challenge that has affected both the Kamloops region and the province.
This partnership will see TRU lead a cultural mapping of the opioid crisis in Kamloops, supported by the Social and Community Development team at the City.
“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,” Fairbairn concluded.
The amended MOU remains in place until 2023 and both partners will revisit at that time.