Governments of Canada and Ontario announce Knowledge Infrastructure projects
underway: Groundbreaking celebration at Centennial College

TORONTO, Oct. 23 /CNW/ - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, Margarett Best, MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood and Centennial College President and CEO Ann Buller, today celebrated the groundbreaking for the new Library and Academic Facility at the Progress campus. The project received federal and provincial funding totalling $35 million through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program and Ontario's 2009 Budget. Other investments include $5 million previously contributed by the Ontario government and over $5.8 million contributed by Centennial College and other sources.

The new environment will be open, dynamic and physically adaptable to accommodate learning and institutional needs. It will offer state-of the-art technology with both in-house and remote access to digital resources, as well as print and visual media collections. Once complete, the Library and Academic Facility building will provide space for over 1,700 additional students and will form the new main entrance for Centennial's flagship campus.

In total, the governments of Canada and Ontario are investing $1.5 billion in 49 projects at Ontario's colleges and universities, through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) and the Ontario 2009 Budget.

"By renewing the facilities at Centennial College, researchers in our community will have the tools they need to be global leaders in their fields and pursue world-class excellence," said the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry. "It is one way that our government is working to strengthen Canada's capacity to innovate and translate research into meaningful benefits for all Canadians."

The Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a two-year, $2 billion economic stimulus measure to support infrastructure enhancement at Canadian post-secondary institutions is part of the $12 billion in new infrastructure investment allocated under Canada's Economic Action Plan.

The program is providing real economic stimulus and employment by creating local jobs for engineers, architects, trades people and technicians. It is also helping to generate the advanced technological infrastructure needed to keep Canada's research and educational facilities at the forefront of scientific advancement.

"This is an exciting day for Scarborough-Guildwood, Centennial College and the community," said MPP Margarett Best. "Through this investment, the Ontario Government is not only stimulating the economy by creating local jobs, we are also strengthening a local educational institution to provide more opportunities for learning in a state-of-the art Ontario College."

The Government of Ontario, in its 2009 budget - Confronting the Challenge: Building Ontario's Economic Future, is committed to investing in infrastructure and has designated $780 million to colleges and universities to modernize facilities and boost long-term research and skills training capacity over the next two years.

"The generous support from the provincial and federal governments could not come at a more opportune time," said Ann Buller, Centennial College President and CEO. "Centennial is undergoing a period of rapid, but carefully managed, expansion thanks to Canadian and international students recognizing that a college education can impart the advanced skills deemed so essential for economic growth and sustainability."

For more information about the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, including program criteria, application instructions and a list of the approved projects to date, please visit www.ic.gc.ca/knowledge-infrastructure.

For information about how the Government of Ontario is helping to build and revitalize infrastructure across the province, please visit www.mei.gov.on.ca/en/infrastructure.

    
                                 Backgrounder

                       KNOWLEDGE INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM
    

Canada and Ontario are making infrastructure investments of $1.5 billion in capital projects at colleges and universities across Ontario.

Through the federal Knowledge Infrastructure Program and the 2009 Ontario budget, both governments are moving quickly to help modernize facilities and boost long-term research and skills training capacity at provincial colleges and universities.

This funding is part of $780 million in capital funding the Ontario government is allocating to colleges and universities this year through the 2009 budget.

The Knowledge Infrastructure Program is a two-year, $2-billion economic stimulus measure to support infrastructure enhancement at post-secondary institutions across Canada. The federal government is providing nearly $800 million to post-secondary institutions in Ontario under this program.

Projects were awarded support based on their ability to quickly and effectively generate economic activity and support job creation, as well as their ability to enhance research capacity, attract new students and provide a better educational experience.

The program will also have a positive effect on the environment by reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and improving waste management.

Through the 2009 Ontario Budget "Confronting the Challenge: Building Our Economic Future," the province is investing $32.5 billion in infrastructure for the province of Ontario over the next two years, including a $5 billion contribution from the federal government, that will support more than 300,000 jobs and strengthen Ontario's economy.

Canada's Economic Action Plan sets out to stimulate the Canadian economy over the next two years and to improve our long-term competitiveness through $12 billion in new infrastructure investment across Canada, which includes the $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program. This new support is the next substantive investment in the Government of Canada's multi-year Science and Technology Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage.

These infrastructure investments for Ontario's post-secondary institutions will create more than 36,000 new spaces for students across the province.

For more information about the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, including program criteria, application instructions and a list of the approved projects to date, please visit www.ic.gc.ca/knowledge-infrastructure.

For information about how the Government of Ontario is helping to build and revitalize infrastructure across the province, please visit: http://www.mei.gov.on.ca/en/infrastructure.

SOURCE Centennial College

For further information: For further information: (media only), please contact: Media Relations, Industry Canada, (613) 943-2502; Lynn Meahan, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, (613) 995-9001; Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities: Tanya Blazina, Senior Media Relations, (416) 325-2746, tanya.blazina@ontario.ca; Centennial College: Mark Toljagic, Communications Officer, (416) 289-5000 ext. 7142, mtoljagi@centennialcollege.ca


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