The opening months of 2017 have seen a series of investments in higher education institutions across Canada. In the last week, Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, and Holland College in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island have received significant funding for a range of projects that are intended to ensure Canada's continuance as a leading education destination and research hub. These investments follow soon after a flurry of similar initiatives in Ontario.
Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, has overseen the announcement of several of these investments. In press releases accompanying these announcements, Bains has stated, "This historic investment by the Government of Canada is a down payment on the government’s vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation. That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle-class jobs and start-up companies into global successes."
Canada's Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, and Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, announced a federal investment of $128.000 in Ryerson University. The funding is targeted for aerospace research at the university, including the creation of a test facility for aerospace vehicles. Specifically, the funding comes from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund, which helps universities to develop research tools and facilities in order to attract and retain researchers from around the world.
In a press release accompanying the announcement, Duncan stated, "Investments in Canada’s research infrastructure, like those we are celebrating today, are incredibly important to our nation’s future. They help us to attract and retain the very best scientists and give Canadian researchers the tools they need to perform excellent cutting-edge research, train the scientists of tomorrow and enable innovative discoveries that improve our environment, economy and communities."
Morneau echoed her statement. "Strengthening our support for research innovation and infrastructure and improving access to post-secondary education is fundamental to our government’s plan for a strong middle class and a growing economy."
On March 2, Bains announced a combined investment of $204.18 million in nine projects at McGill University. The projects are expected to "provide the training required to access the high-paying middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow." Some of the funding is allocated to renovating the Montreal General Hospital to improve infrastructure for research and training.
The funding comes from four sources:
- $70.73 million from the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund — a federal government body that invests in enhancement and modernization of research facilities on Canadian campuses;
- $5.12 million from the Government of Quebec;
- $127.63 million from the university and other partners; and
- $699,500 from the Government of Canada.
Regarding the announcement, McGill's Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Suzanne Fortier, stated, “We are immensely grateful to the governments of Canada and Quebec for this important funding. The Strategic Investment Fund is enabling us to create new cutting-edge research facilities and sustainably upgrade existing facilities in historic buildings. These modern facilities are needed to accelerate discoveries, provide a truly 21st-century education and prepare our students for successful careers as leaders in innovation.”
On February 27, Holland College received nearly $4.6 million from the federal and provincial governments to upgrade research and training space at its Prince of Wales campus in Charlottetown. Learn more in this article.