Federal budget is welcome news for Ontario's universities

    TORONTO, March 20 /CNW/ - The Council of Ontario Universities welcomes
the fiscal rebalancing initiatives announced in the federal budget and
congratulates the provincial government in its work with the federal
government to achieve a fair outcome for Ontario.
    The improved arrangements for the Canada Social Transfer that ensure
equal per capita cash support for Ontario, combined with the commitment of
$800 million annual support for postsecondary education starting in 2008-09,
will result in increased transfers of several hundred million dollars per year
to Ontario. Ontario's universities will work with the provincial government to
develop a long-term plan to increase per capita support to Ontario
universities to at least the national average, an amount requiring an
additional $950 million per year.
    Ontario universities also welcome the federal commitments for university
education and research, particularly the increased funding for graduate
scholarships and for the federal research granting councils. "We are
especially pleased with the additional commitment of $510 million to the
Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), to help sustain the remarkable
progress that has been made in the development of research infrastructure over
the past decade," said Dr. Ross Paul, Chair of the Council of Ontario
Universities and President of the University of Windsor. "Ontario universities
are eager to enter into discussions with the provincial government about
provincial matching funds for CFI awards."
    We also are very pleased that this budget resolves outstanding issues on
the Canada-Ontario Agreement and we look forward to the province releasing the
$390 million funding for postsecondary infrastructure announced in last year's
federal budget.

For further information:

For further information: Jamie Mackay, Vice-President, Policy and
Analysis, COU, (416) 979-2165 ext. 209; Dr. Ross Paul, Council Chair and
President, University of Windsor, (519) 253-4232 ext. 2000

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