Ontario Universities Welcome Throne Speech Commitments To Achieving a Better Educated, More Highly Skilled Ontario



    TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - The Council of Ontario Universities welcomed the
Ontario Government's Throne Speech and its commitment to "Moving Forward the
Ontario Way" with initiatives designed to achieve a "better educated, more
highly skilled Ontario."
    "Premier McGuinty continues to demonstrate leadership through enhancing
access to higher learning for young people and by advancing the innovation
strategy that was initiated in the last mandate," said Dr. Peter George,
President and Vice Chancellor of McMaster University and Chair of the Council
of Ontario Universities.
    "Ontario universities can contribute to helping the government deliver on
those goals by educating the next generation of undergraduates and graduate
students and conducting the cutting edge research that generates economic and
social prosperity," said George. "Universities are the foundation of the
knowledge economy, contributing to a well-educated workforce and creating the
ideas and innovations that drive growth and transform lives."
    "Ontario university students have benefited greatly from the Reaching
Higher plan in the last mandate. They will benefit further from the Throne
Speech initiatives designed to improve access for students from the North and
remote areas through special distance grants. The $300 textbook and technology
grant will enhance affordability for all students," said Dr. Paul Genest,
President of COU. "These initiatives are important in reducing obstacles to
access."
    Also welcome was the confirmation of a previous commitment to
infrastructure funding, which is critical to ensuring that the Ontario economy
has a strong foundation for future growth. "Academic infrastructure such as
labs, libraries and classrooms is an important part of our economic
foundation. It enables faculty to prepare students to compete and to thrive in
the knowledge economy of the 21st century," Genest added.
    "Ontario universities look forward to working with the government to
advance its goals for a better educated Ontario at the graduate and
undergraduate levels. Universities can also contribute solutions to the
government's poverty reduction strategy," said Genest. "We have a wide range
of initiatives operating and planned that will improve access for
disadvantaged students and ensure their educational journey is programmed for
success. It is in the interests of all Ontarians that more is done to help
individuals in high risk groups gain skills and opportunities to participate
in the workforce more fully."





For further information:

For further information: Dr. Paul C. Genest, (416) 779-2331; Dr. Peter
George, Andrea Farquhar, (905) 515-7075


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