Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 19, 2009 11:44 ET

Governments of Canada and Quebec Invest in Infrastructure at Quebec Colleges and Universities

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - June 19, 2009) - The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), and the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, along with the Honourable Michelle Courchesne, Quebec Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, on behalf of herself as well as the Honourable Raymond Bachand, Quebec Minister of Finance and Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export, and the Honourable Norman MacMillan, Quebec Minister for Transport and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region, today announced a first wave of investments totalling more than $933 million in Quebec post-secondary institutions. At the same time, they announced a $3.1-million investment for the ISFORT project at the Universite du Quebec en Outaouais.

As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, which calls for a $12-billion new investment in infrastructure, the Government of Canada introduced the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a two-year, $2-billion economic stimulus measure to support infrastructure enhancement at Canadian post-secondary institutions, including universities and community colleges. This new funding represents the next major investment called for in the Government of Canada's multi-year Science and Technology Strategy, entitled Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage.

"Our government's investment provides significant short-term economic stimulus in local communities throughout Quebec, while at the same time strengthening Canada's long-term capacity for research and innovation," said Minister of State Goodyear. "The renewal of college and university facilities will encourage more world-class researchers to work in Canada and give them the tools they need to make more discoveries that will benefit Canadians and people around the world."

"In 2007, the Government of Quebec adopted the Quebec Infrastructure Plan, launching one of the biggest renewal projects in the history of Quebec. The agreement we are announcing today will enable us to proceed more rapidly with this essential renewal of our infrastructure. We are extremely proud of it. With the funding announced today, Quebec universities and colleges will be able to take advantage of modern infrastructure that will help to enrich Quebec's knowledge. The facilities will benefit students, teachers, researchers and the entire population," said Minister Courchesne.

The Knowledge Infrastructure Program includes a university component and a college component. To date, more than 200 shovel-ready projects have been selected from across Quebec. In this first wave, the Government of Canada is providing $395 million, and the Government of Quebec and other partners are providing $539 million. Other projects are still being evaluated and will be added to this list. They involve new construction and maintenance work, renovations, repairs and upkeep.

The Knowledge Infrastructure Program is helping to provide economic stimulus and promote employment by creating jobs for engineers, architects, tradespeople and technicians. It is also helping to generate the advanced technological infrastructure needed to keep Canada's research and educational facilities at the forefront of scientific advancement.

"At a time of economic uncertainty, our government is making a strong intervention to stimulate economic activity through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program," said Minister Paradis. "This initiative to renew Canada's college and university infrastructure will provide a significant short-term economic stimulus and put many people to work in Quebec."

"In a period of strong global competition and economic turbulence, funding for infrastructure and actual projects is the best way to create jobs and promote economic activity. By enhancing research capacity in different sectors in all regions of Quebec, we are contributing to our people's quality of life and our society's economic competitiveness," noted Minister Bachand.

The ministers also unveiled one of the selected projects: a $3.1-million investment at the Universite du Quebec en Outaouais. This will make it possible to establish the Institut des sciences de la foret feuillue temperee (ISFORT) (Temperate Deciduous Forest Institute of Science).

"The Outaouais region has developed leadership and expertise in hardwood production and processing. The investments announced today will directly meet existing needs and give value added to research and training," said Minister MacMillan, speaking on behalf of Outaouais members of the Quebec National Assembly.

For more information about the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, including program criteria, application instructions and a list of the projects announced to date, please visit www.ic.gc.ca/knowledge-infrastructure.

For information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, please visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft
    Director of Communications
    613-943-7599
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502
    or
    Office of the Honourable Michelle Courchesne
    Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports
    Kim Ledoux
    Press Secretary
    418-644-0664
    or
    Office of the Honourable Norman MacMillan
    Minister for Transport
    Dany Hubert
    Press Secretary
    418-643-6980