Ministry Clarifies Source of Infrastructure Funding

    TORONTO, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - Students were pleased to receive clarification
from the Ontario government regarding the source of funding for post-secondary
education campus infrastructure upgrades announced earlier this week. Without
a dedicated federal transfer payment for post-secondary education, it is
difficult to track the source of funding based on announcements and, in some
instances, provincial investments appeared to have been paid for with federal
dollars. In the past, students have expressed concern that two levels of
government have taken credit for the same dollars, without a net benefit to
    "There have been several occasions when it appeared that provincial
funding announcements were actually a re-branding of federal allocations,"
said Jen Hassum Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario.
    After issuing a media release calling on the Ontario government to ensure
that the recent provincial infrastructure announcement would be funded by new
dollars, the Federation received a response from the Ministry of Training,
Colleges and Universities confirming that this would be the case.
    "Yesterday the Ministry provided a list of expenditures to students and
gave an assurance that this week's announcement would go beyond any previous
federal investments," said Hassum. "This is good news."
    The Canadian Federation of Students' most recent submission to the House
of Commons Standing Committee on Finance called on the Harper government to
remove post-secondary education funding from the Canada Social Transfer and
create an independent Canada Education and Training Transfer to ensure that
there is dedicated funding for post-secondary education and training. Now
Ontario students are asking the McGuinty government to support their
recommendation that this 2006 federal election promise be fulfilled.
    "Students continue to advocate for a dedicated federal funding mechanism
that will improve transparency in multi-level funding arrangements," said
Hassum. "In the meantime, we appreciate the forthcoming approach of the new
Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and are hopeful that he will
join our efforts to lobby the federal government."

For further information:

For further information: Jen Hassum, Chairperson, (613) 232-7394 or
(416) 832-9073 (cell); or Jesse Greener, Campaigns and Government Relations
Coordinator, (416) 925-3825 or (416) 301-5747 (cell)

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