Government-funded construction projects at Ontario universities boost local
economies, strengthen learning and research environments

TORONTO, March 15 /CNW/ - Federally and provincially funded infrastructure projects announced in 2009 for Ontario universities are creating over 12,000 new jobs across the province, increasing revenue for supplier companies, and providing greener and more modern facilities to educate talent and produce research. These investments are also enhancing the competitiveness of Ontario universities to attract the best and the brightest from around the world, according to a summary, Government Infrastructure Dollars at Work, prepared by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).

The two governments invested $1.1 billion in Ontario universities' shovel-ready projects at 24 campuses. Undergraduate and graduate students will benefit from new or renovated facilities with innovative spaces for collaborative learning and technologically advanced classrooms. New research facilities will also play a critical role in boosting the innovative capacity of Ontario universities that will help to advance the economic and social well-being of the province and the country.

"We applaud both governments, whose investments are stimulating local economies and providing modern facilities for students and faculty," said Sheldon Levy, Chair of Council and President of Ryerson University. "These important stimulus programs are making a real difference to local economies and to the knowledge advantage of our institutions, our students and, ultimately, our graduates."

The university construction projects are also making Ontario universities greener. The projects include many environmental features. Old buildings are being "reskinned" and gaining new energy systems for future efficiencies, and some new ones are being built to internationally recognized LEED standards for high-performance green buildings.

"The federal and provincial infrastructure programs are providing a boost today and a platform for growth tomorrow," said Bonnie M. Patterson, President of COU. "Ontario universities have moved quickly on these projects and look forward to their completion in the spring of 2011."

The federal government's Knowledge Infrastructure Program, an important plank in Canada's Economic Action Plan, was announced in the 2009 federal budget and provided $500.3 million for Ontario universities. Ontario committed $607.1 million in the 2009 budget and the Strategic Capital Infrastructure Program to our institutions. For a copy of the summary, please visit COU's website (www.cou.on.ca).

SOURCE Council of Ontario Universities

For further information: For further information: Bonnie M. Patterson, (416) 616-7231, bpatterson@cou.on.ca


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