Former PM Jean Chretien Receives Award for his Contribution to Research and Higher Education



    TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - The Council of Ontario Universities presented
the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien with the David C. Smith Award for
Significant Contribution to Scholarship and Policy in recognition of his
vision, leadership and lifelong commitment to the advancement of research and
higher education in Canada.
    "Mr Chretien made a tenacious commitment to research that transformed
Canada's brain drain into a brain gain," said Dr. Peter George, Chair of the
Council of Ontario Universities and President and Vice-Chancellor of McMaster
University in Hamilton. "His support for research and higher education was
unprecedented and many thousands of students and researchers are indebted to
his leadership in providing a foundation for the innovation that is
increasingly important in our knowledge economy."
    Under Mr. Chrétien's 10-year watch, funding for research quadrupled -
from approximately $500 million in 1994 to over $2.2 billion in 2003, and
continues to grow.
    Mr. Chretien created the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) in 1997
to provide funds to cover the costs of research infrastructure at
universities, hospitals, research institutes and colleges. Today, CFI has
committed a total of close to $4 billion to fund research infrastructure
across Canada, over $1.6 billion to Ontario universities. One year later, Mr.
Chrétien created the Canadian Millennium Scholarships Foundation to provide
bursaries, awards and scholarships to increase access to a postsecondary
education.
    He followed that up with the establishment of the Canadian Institutes of
Health Research that today supports over 10,000 researchers and staff each
year; the Canada Research Chairs program, which invests $300 million a year to
establish research chairs throughout Canada; and Genome Canada, a national
organization with centres across the country to leverage public and private
funding for genomics and proteomics research.
    "With energy, determination and purpose, Mr. Chretien provided leadership
to higher education and research at a time our best minds were leaving for
opportunities abroad," said Dr. Paul C. Genest, President of the Council of
Ontario Universities. "His vision has transformed our laboratories, created a
robust culture of university research and inspired a generation of highly
qualified personnel."
    The David C. Smith Award, which was awarded to Mr. Chretien at a dinner
with over 140 university, government and business people, was established to
celebrate the extraordinary contributions of Dr. David Smith, who was a
tireless advocate of higher education and research, while serving as Principal
of Queen's University for 10 years, Chair of the Advisory Panel on Future
Directions for Postsecondary Education, interim President of Trent University
and advisor to provincial and federal governments.





For further information:

For further information: Paul C. Genest, (416) 616-7231,
pgenest@cou.on.ca


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