Ontario announces $200 mil for university infrastructure

The Ontario government announced $200 million in new money Friday for Ontario universities to fund infrastructure, equipment and security upgrades at the province’s 19 public universities.

“Ontario’s skilled and highly educated workforce is a key economic advantage and enhances Ontario’s position as a destination of choice for global investment,” said Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy.

The money will be distributed to universities using a government formula that has been in place for years. The University of Toronto will receive $37.7 million, Western $19.5 million, and York $18.6 million.

Peter George, president of McMaster University — which is receiving $13.5 million — welcomed the new funding. “This investment will enable us to modernize labs and classrooms so that our facilities are better equipped for cutting-edge research and today’s teaching needs, and that they achieve new standards for energy efficiency, campus safety, security and accessibility,” said George.

Today’s money is over and above a January announcement of $200 million for infrastructure split between Ontario’s colleges and universities.

“This significant investment will help our universities to modernize our labs, libraries and classrooms, and underscores that universities are indeed the knowledge infrastructure of the province,” said Dr. Paul C. Genest, president of the Council of Ontario Universities. “The investment also confirms Premier McGuinty’s bold commitment to make investing in the skills and education of Ontarians the number one priority of his government.”