Colleges pleased with reaffirmed budget commitment to critical repairs

TORONTO, July 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario's colleges are pleased that the provincial budget tabled today has reaffirmed the government's commitment to invest in critical maintenance repairs at colleges and universities.

"To ensure that students get the best post-secondary education possible, they must have access to safe and effective learning environments," said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "We are pleased that the government has reaffirmed its commitment to essential repairs."

The 2014 Ontario Budget announced that capital allocations for repairs and maintenance at colleges and universities will increase to $40 million a year starting in 2015-16, up from $26 million this year. In 2019-20, the amount will increase to $100 million.

The need to invest in repairs and maintenance at colleges has been a priority for the sector. Ontario's colleges have a significant backlog of deferred maintenance work that needs to be addressed.

The budget commitment to improve college facilities is particularly important as Ontario works to produce a more highly skilled and qualified workforce.

There is a particularly strong demand for access to quality programs at the colleges. Enrolment at Ontario's colleges this year was at an all-time high, and the number of university graduates enrolled in colleges has grown more than 40 per cent over five years.

Other important highlights in the Ontario budget include funding for regional skills-training programs for Aboriginal Peoples and a commitment to expanding work-integrated learning options for post-secondary students.

"College education continues to help growing numbers of people achieve long-term success in their careers," Franklin said. "We commend the government for its ongoing commitment to help strengthen college programs throughout the province."

SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information: Rob Savage, Director of Communications, Colleges Ontario, 647-258-7687, savage@collegesontario.org