Industry Canada

Industry Canada

April 08, 2009 14:21 ET

Governments Act to Renew Universities and Colleges: Canada and British Columbia Invest in Research Capacity

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 8, 2009) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry of Canada, along with the Honourable Murray Coell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development of British Columbia, today announced investments totalling more than $455.1 million in 29 projects at post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia.

As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, 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. Today's announcement celebrates the first round of projects to qualify under the program in British Columbia.

"Our government's investment provides significant short-term economic stimulus in local communities throughout British Columbia, while at the same time strengthening Canada's long-term capacity for research and innovation," said Minister Clement. "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 further discoveries that will benefit Canadians and people around the world."

The 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.

"Through our partnership with the federal government, these projects will create almost 3000 jobs across British Columbia, while continuing to build the assets our post-secondary institutions need to support our province's future growth and development," said Minister Coell. "We are working with the federal government to accelerate projects that will support post-secondary education and provide the jobs our province needs to stay strong for the future."

One example of a project that will be funded is the six buildings being renewed at the University of Victoria that average 40 years of age. The renovations to the six buildings - the University Centre and the Cornett, Clearihue, Elliot, MacLaurin and Cunningham buildings - are expected to extend their useful lives by another 40 years, while improving safety and updating facilities to support today's education programs. The project is expected to get under way in May.

Canada's Economic Action Plan sets out to stimulate the Canadian economy over the next two years and to improve our long-term competitiveness through $12 billion in new infrastructure investment, which includes the $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program. This new support is the next substantive investment in the Government of Canada's multi-year Science and Technology Strategy, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage.

For more information about the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, including program criteria, application instructions and a list of the approved projects to date, please visit

A backgrounder is available at the following address:

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
    Minister of Industry
    Laryssa Wale, Acting Press Secretary
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    Government of British Columbia
    Advanced Education and Labour Market Development
    Craig MacBride, Communications