Ontario Government makes historic investment allowing University of Guelph to expand veterinary training, addressing critical workforce shortages


March 24, 2023

March 23, 2023 – Thunder Bay and Guelph, Ont.

The University of Guelph and Lakehead University are thrilled by the provincial government’s announcement to invest in expanding veterinary training in Ontario.

This investment includes critical support for a new, collaborative veterinary medicine program – increasing the number of veterinary spaces for the first time since 1988 and adding incentives to address critical shortages in veterinary care.

The Collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program in Rural and Northern Community Practice will support the economic growth of Ontario’s agri-food sector by expanding the number of veterinarians trained in Ontario who are practicing within Northern, rural and Indigenous communities, ensuring livestock producers have the necessary veterinary services needed to expand operations.

The Veterinary Incentive Program will provide loan assistance to recently graduated veterinarians to practice in underserviced areas and support large animal care.

Dr. Charlotte Yates, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guelph expressed her sincere gratitude to the government for its support.

“By combining the unique strengths of the University of Guelph and Lakehead University, the Ontario Government is supporting a new and innovative approach to training veterinarians. The collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program will increase the number of veterinarians trained in Ontario for the first time in a generation and help address workforce shortages. By incentivizing large-animal veterinarians in underserviced areas, the government is supporting student pathways for well-paying jobs in a high-demand sector,” Dr. Yates said.

Dr. Moira McPherson, President and Vice-Chancellor of Lakehead University, echoed this message thanking the Ontario Government for its generous support of this timely initiative.

“On behalf of Lakehead University and our partners and stakeholders in Northern Ontario, I want to thank the Government of Ontario for seeing the vision and investing in the Collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program in Rural and Northern Community Practice,” Dr. McPherson said.

“Working with our partners in government and the agri-food industry, we will be able to provide much-needed additional veterinary care to the vital and growing agri-food sector in Northern, rural, and Indigenous communities across Ontario.”

The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) has been at the forefront of animal care since its founding in 1862 and is currently ranked first in Canada and fifth globally. What OVC brings to the partnership is a wealth of faculty expertise, research excellence, and an exceptional record of training current and future generations of veterinarians.

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine is an accredited professional program that is delivered through OVC. As Ontario’s only veterinary college, OVC trains nearly one-third of all Canadian-educated veterinarians and provides clinical services for over 20,000 pets and large animals annually.

Lakehead University is a leading comprehensive and research-focused institution that uniquely understands the needs of Northern Ontario, access to higher education, and aligning the University’s priorities with the region’s socio-economic needs while ensuring its students achieve their goals. 

With campuses in Thunder Bay and Orillia, Lakehead University is developing the next generation of highly skilled leaders and future change-makers with the skills and experience required to address real-world problems.

The generous funding provided by the Ontario Government will help expand facilities in Guelph and build specialized labs and clinical facilities unique to veterinary science in the Thunder Bay region. 

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University of Guelph is like no other university in Canada. Research-intensive and learner-centred, our campuses span urban hubs and rural communities. We are known for excellence in the arts and sciences and for our commitment to developing exceptional thinkers and engaged citizens. Our students, faculty and staff pursue active inquiry and exercise creativity across a range of disciplines – physical and life sciences,  arts and humanities, social sciences, business, agricultural and veterinary sciences. Visit

Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has nine faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. Lakehead University’s achievements have been recognized nationally and internationally, including being ranked in the top half of Times Higher Education‘s 2023 World Universities Rankings for the fourth consecutive year, and the number one university in the world with fewer than 10,000 students in THE’s 2022 Impact Rankings (which assesses institutions against the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals). Visit

Originally posted on the University of Guelph website.

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