Andrew Wilkinson

Andrew Wilkinson

Minister visits with Selkirk students: Wants to catch up with tech sector in the Kootenays

The BC Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services made a stop in Castlegar as part of a two day visit to the West Kootenays.

  • Oct. 23, 2014 5:00 p.m.

Betsy kline

Castlegar News

Andrew Wilkinson, BC Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services made a stop in Castlegar as part of a two day visit to the West Kootenays.

He explained the purpose of his visit is, “to catch up with the tech sector in the Kootenays.”

Wilkinson spent some time at Selkirk College learning about the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre. The centre, established in 2003, is a leading-edge research centre specializing in geospatial technologies to aid in solving critical issues pertaining to environmental and socio-economic problems.

Led by SGRC Coordinator Ian Parfitt, a group of students presented projects the centre has worked on to the Technology Minister.  The centre has worked on a wide variety of projects with a number of varied applications.

Recent projects include mapping of the Ooteschenia Graveyard to enable proper replacement of headstones and a web mapping project called the Digital Basin which gives users the ability to access environmental, economic, cultural and social information about the Columbia River Basin. They have also developed applications for fisheries sensitive watersheds, forest license reporting and a Biodiversity Atlas.

Research has also been completed using an unmanned aerial vehicle for remote sensing, research and mapping projects.

Wilkinson commented, “This is what we are hoping for.  That we can deploy data sets and have people take it up. You are well down the path of pilot projects, exactly what we are thinking of.”

Wilkinson had a very positive reaction to his visit at the college.

“It was great to come as a representative of the provincial government to see just how vital things are on the research and development, applied research front here at Selkirk College.”

Minister Wilkinson’s further plans included a visit with the Columbia Basin Trust and stops in Rossland, Trail and Nelson. He concluded, “It’s great to see with your own eyes, and talk to people who are doing things and creating businesses right here.”