Lake Huron Learning Collaborative gets lease extension
by Sandy Lindsay

February 9, 2015

Town Council

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(L-R) Lynn Beatty, LHLC  Community Education Coordinator, Larry Kraemer & Kevin Mackay of the Grey-Bruce Labour Council

In January, 2013, Kincardine Council authorized a two-year extension with Lake Huron Learning Collaborate (LHLC) facility on Queen Street, which expired on December 31st (2014).

The LHLC was implemented as part of a Centre of Energy Excellence concept established under the Hosting Agreement with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) with respect to the proposed deep geologic repository (DGR).  As part of the Agreement, OPG  provides a significant contribution toward underwriting the costs of the Centre and its programming.

With the continuation of the Joint Review Panel (JRP) hearings regarding a decision on the DGR location, OPG agreed to extend its support to the end of this year (2015).

Former Kincardine Mayor, Larry Kraemer, in a  deputation at the recent Council meeting, said that, "The Centre has achieved a level of success and expectations for the future are very positive.  The addition of a growing post-secondary and industry-geared adult learning resource in our community is an important addition to our array of economic development assets."

The Centre has trained some 384 PSWs, who are now employed locally, had graduated students with Management Certification and Health Care Office Assistants, among others.

If the JRP decision is favourable," said Kraemer, "it will have significant implications for Kincardine and this initiative and the result will be that the Centre will look for more long term partnerships." 

Councilor Laura Haight asked if there would be a more suitable building but Kraemer pointed out the present facility is ideal for its purpose.

"It is central, in a high traffic area and close to the downtown core," he said.  "Goderich is trying to do the same thing but we have been four to five times more successful because of the location.  Also, OPG has worked with us extensively.  One of the best things that could happen would be for us to outgrow the facility."

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Based on the previous lease, the LHLC occupies 40 per cent of the square footage of what was known as the 'Westario Building'.  The LHLC pays a total of $50,000 to the Municipality as a commitment to rent and utilities, which is already reflected in the 2015 Draft Budget.

Deputy Mayor, J.acqueline Faubert, agreed that the Centre is very valuable to the community.  "The biggest asset is the staff," she said.  "It's about learning in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere."  Faubert went on to say that she had first-hand knowledge of the Centre through her mother who had returned as a student.  "It has made a real difference in the quality of life for her."

Council agreed and approved the extension of the lease agreement. 

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Monday, February 09, 2015