Ontario Invests In Kitchener - Waterloo Students



    McGuinty Government Supports New Health Sciences Campus And Facility
    Improvements

    WATERLOO, ON, Feb. 20 /CNW/ - Ontario is investing in a new health
sciences campus for the University of Waterloo and improvements to Faculty of
Music facilities at Wilfrid Laurier University.
    Ontario will invest $8 million in the University of Waterloo's new Health
Sciences Campus planned for downtown Kitchener. The campus will include the
new School of Pharmacy and a satellite campus of McMaster University's
Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and will establish Waterloo Region as a
key centre for health sciences. The campus will attract skilled health care
professionals to the region, provide more opportunities for students and
increase access to multi-discipline health sciences for this rapidly growing
area.
    Ontario will invest $3 million in Wilfrid Laurier's Faculty of Music
facilities in the Aird Building on the main campus. The building will be
expanded and upgraded to provide high quality facilities for students and help
meet growing demand in enrolment.
    "Our government knows that it is today's students who will build
Ontario's future economy, and that economy will be increasingly
knowledge-based," said John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and
Universities. "Our investments in the Waterloo Region will help ensure
students are prepared for success in the future while we create new jobs
today."
    The funding is part of the $1.4 billion investment in strategic
infrastructure announced in the Fall Economic Statement which is designed to
make Ontario's economy more competitive and stimulate job creation and growth
across the province.
    The investment in strategic infrastructure also included funding for
campus renewal projects. Wilfrid Laurier University is receiving nearly
$3.4 million to improve energy efficiency and campus safety and carry out a
variety of infrastructure renewal projects. The University of Waterloo is
receiving more than $9 million in campus renewal funding.
    "We're boosting Ontario's competitiveness by building knowledge and
skills," said Leeanna Pendergast, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga. "By expanding
access to learning opportunities at these institutions, we are taking a major
step to improving the long-term quality of postsecondary education in Waterloo
Region, while providing jobs in the short-term."
    "We thank the province for this outstanding leadership gift towards our
Health Sciences Campus," said David Johnston, President of the University of
Waterloo. "Training health professionals and carrying out research that will
improve health care are high priorities for the people of Ontario, and we are
thrilled to have support from the government of Ontario to help us do our
part."
    "Minister Milloy and his colleagues in government clearly see the
importance of investments in the postsecondary sector to enable us to renew
our institutions and to meet the strong demand for spaces," said Laurier
President Dr. Max Blouw. "This investment will complement funds that have been
provided by our generous donors to enable Laurier to complete critical
renovations for the Faculty of Music. We are delighted by this support and the
opportunity that it gives us to move forward quickly to enhance our capacity."
    Learn more about the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier
University. Explore what you can do after high school.

    Disponible en français

    
                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
                         www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca



    Backgrounder
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               GOVERNMENT INVESTS IN NEW HEALTH SCIENCES CAMPUS
             AND OTHER FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS IN WATERLOO REGION
    

    The government's Fall Economic Statement announced a $1.4 billion
investment in strategic infrastructure to encourage economic activity, create
short-term jobs, help municipalities and enhance Ontario's competitiveness.
    As part of the funding for strategic infrastructure projects, the Ontario
government is investing $8 million in a new Health Sciences Campus for the
University of Waterloo in downtown Kitchener. This investment is expected to
create roughly 80 jobs.
    The campus will include the new School of Pharmacy and a satellite campus
of McMaster University's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and will
establish Waterloo Region as a key centre for health sciences. The campus will
attract skilled health care professionals to the region, provide more
opportunities for students and increase access to multi-discipline health
sciences for this rapidly growing area.
    Wilfrid Laurier University will also receive $3 million to expand and
upgrade its Faculty of Music facilities on its main campus in Waterloo. This
investment is expected to create roughly 30 jobs.
    This project will expand the current Faculty of Music facilities in the
Aird Building, enlarge and enhance the rehearsal and teaching space, upgrade
equipment and make improvements to the building.
    The Fall Economic Statement also included $200 million in funding for
campus renewal projects that improve energy efficiency and campus safety and
support a variety of infrastructure renewal projects. The University of
Waterloo is receiving more than $9 million and Wilfrid Laurier University is
receiving nearly $3.4 million under campus renewal funding.
    Including today's announcement and the funding for campus renewal, the
University of Waterloo has received $36.1 million from the Ontario Government
to support capital projects since 2003-04. Wilfrid Laurier has received
$25.2 million in the same period.
    These investments are being used to improve the quality of postsecondary
education by helping these universities respond to recent enrolment growth. In
addition, the projects will help improve the quality of education for students
by providing the best possible education environment and greater opportunities
for learning in health sciences and music. This will help prepare them for
future careers and strengthen Ontario's long term economic competitiveness.
    This funding is part of the government's ReNew Ontario multi-year
$30 billion infrastructure investment strategy. Other recent investments by
the government in Ontario's vital postsecondary system, including:

    
        -  A $365 million investment in the 2007 Budget to support quality
           improvements at colleges and universities
        -  $40 million provided to colleges and universities annually through
           the Facilities Renewal Program.
        -  $30 million provided in 2006 through the Economic Stimulus Package
           to colleges in areas of the province where economic growth was
           slower than anticipated.
        -  $180 million provided between 2003 and 2006 for new buildings and
           renovations, providing spaces for 21,000 more students.

    Contact:
    Kevin Dove
    Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
    416-325-2746

    Disponible en français
                              www.edu.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Annette Phillips, Minister's Office, (416)
326-5748; Kevin Dove, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2746; Public Inquiries:
(416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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