Northern College Applauds New Provincial Funding Outlined in the 2020 Budget

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TIMMINS, ON: Northern College applauds the Provincial Government’s investment in critical maintenance, repairs, upgrades and renewals of $466 million in capital grants over the next three years for Ontario’s Universities and Colleges.

The announcement made late last week in Sault Ste. Marie by Ross Romano, Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities, outlines a 144 million dollar investment for 2020-21, matching that same investment for 2021-22, with an increase to 178 million dollars for 2022-23. This initial investment represents a 73 million dollar increase over investments made last year.

“The first-class education students receive at our postsecondary institutions is critical to the future of Ontario, our economy, and the prosperity of our people,” said Minister Romano. “That is why our government is committed to providing annual funding that will help our colleges and universities renew and modernize their facilities.”

These new grants are outlined in the 2020 Ontario Budget Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover and are aimed at allowing the provinces post-secondary institutions to address a backlog of maintenance projects, critical repairs, classroom modernization, technological upgrades and improvements to environmental sustainability.

“Ontario universities welcome this funding for university infrastructure. This support helps our institutions continue to provide modern learning environments for students, operate more efficiently and renew our facilities,” stated Steve Orsini, Council of Ontario Universities President & CEO. “It will also help address the growing capital needs of our institutions, generate local employment opportunities and drive growth in communities across Ontario.”

In addition to the $144 million investment in FRP funding for 2020-21, the Ontario government is investing $20 million through the College Equipment and Renewal Fund (CERF) to help Ontario colleges purchase and renew instructional equipment and learning resources. This funding is also being used to purchase equipment to support student virtual learning during COVID-19. It amounts to a total investment of $164 million in capital funding in 2020-21 to help colleges and universities ensure that their students, faculty and staff have modern and safe learning environments.

“For Northern colleges, investments like this allow us to update and adapt infrastructure for an ever-changing educational landscape,” stated Dr. Audrey J. Penner, Northern College President & CEO. “Infrastructure challenges have existed within the sector for a while; in the face of a global pandemic, we find ourselves forced to accelerate infrastructure upgrades, particularly in ventilation systems. The CERF funding announcement is crucial to our goal of providing the latest in technology-focused experiential learning for our students via new and enhanced delivery methods that have become so essential during these challenging times,” added Dr. Penner.

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