McGuinty Government Invests In Facilities At Confederation College And Lakehead University

    Investment Improves Learning Experience Of Students, Boosts Local

    THUNDER BAY, ON, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is investing
almost $3 million in a better learning environment for college and university
students in Thunder Bay through new building and facility upgrades, Training,
Colleges and Universities Minister Chris Bentley announced today.
    "We're improving the quality of postsecondary education for students by
enhancing the physical space at Confederation College and Lakehead
University," said Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan. "Improved classrooms
will help our youth develop the skills they will need to prosper in today's
increasingly competitive workforce."
    "New funding to support the innovative CAMP program at Confederation
College and renovation projects at both Lakehead and Confederation will truly
benefit students' educational experience through better physical facilities,"
said Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay - Superior North. "At the same time,
we're generating economic activity in Thunder Bay and creating jobs."
    Confederation College will receive $2.1 million to build Phase II and
Phase III of its Centre for Applied Media Production. The project will expand
classrooms, media equipment and graduate programs to support the development
of highly skilled workers in the growing media sector. Lakehead University's
Faculty of Education is also involved in the project through a partnership to
teach students advanced concepts of teaching and learning using media
technology. In addition, Confederation College will receive $385,280 in
facilities renewal funding to upgrade essential infrastructure.
    "The convergence of exceptional faculty, motivated learners, current and
relevant academic programming, learning strategies and leading-edge technology
in Confederation's Centre for Applied Media Production is resulting in a
student experience that is second-to-none in Canada and beyond," said
Confederation College President Patricia Lang. "We are already seeing evidence
that this strategic investment in the Centre is creating a competitive
advantage for Confederation College, Thunder Bay, the region and Ontario in
the knowledge-based, media arts industry."
    Lakehead University will also receive $495,500 in facilities renewal
funding to help refurbish classrooms and laboratories, improve energy
efficiency and complete renovations to ensure buildings are accessible and
    "The provincial government's investments in university facilities
upgrades are crucial to the continued operational efficiency and safety of
Lakehead University," said Dr. Fred Gilbert, President of Lakehead University.
"Lakehead University's challenges with respect to aging facilities are being
partially addressed through an aggressive and strategic energy efficiency
program that will result in progressive relief."
    In 2006-07, the government is providing Ontario's colleges and
universities with a total of $40 million through the Facilities Renewal
Program. The Facilities Renewal Program is part of ReNew Ontario, the
province's five-year, strategic infrastructure investment plan. Under this
plan, the government and its partners will invest more than $30 billion in
Ontario's public infrastructure by 2010.
    The additional $2.1 million in provincial funding for Confederation
College is part of a one-time, $30 million investment to support construction
of new facilities that support enrolment growth and improve energy efficiency
at colleges. This funding is part of the McGuinty government's $191 million
economic stimulus package which was developed in response to the province's
current period of slower-than-anticipated economic growth.

    These initiatives show the McGuinty government is working to increase the
quality of the province's postsecondary education system. Others include:

    -   Increasing operating grants this year by about $700 million compared
        to 2004-05 base levels for colleges and universities to hire more
        faculty and staff, buy additional educational resources and
        technology, and improve student support services
    -   Investing $570 million by 2009-10 to renew university and college
        facilities and buy new equipment, including a $250 million one-time
        investment in 2004-05
    -   Providing funding to support $550 million in construction of new or
        enhanced physical facilities at universities to accommodate an
        additional 14,000 graduate students.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Sheamus Murphy, Minister's Office, (416)
325-7215; Tanya Blazina, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2746; Public
Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

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