Ontario Increases Funding to Renew and Modernize Conestoga College, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of WaterlooPublished on December 11, 2020
Investments will help create safe learning environments and prepare students for in demand jobs
December 11, 2020
KITCHENER — The Ontario government is investing $12,233,600 in capital funding to help Conestoga College, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo address their deferred maintenance backlog, undertake critical repairs and upgrades, and provide a modern and safe learning environment for students, faculty and staff.
The announcement was made today by Mike Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga and Amy Fee, MPP for Kitchener South-Hespeler alongside representatives from Waterloo Region’s post secondary institutions at the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy.
Statement from MPP Harris and MPP Fee
“Investing in the infrastructure of Waterloo Region’s postsecondary institutions means that their students will have access to modern facilities and the latest in learning tools which will help them obtain the skills they need for successful careers. This $5 million dollar increase in Facilities Renewal Program funding will ensure our local world class college and universities can continue to provide a top-quality education to their graduates, our leaders of tomorrow.”
As part of the Facilities Renewal Program (FRP), the province is providing $3,005,800 to Conestoga College, $2,882,800 to Wilfrid Laurier and $5,414,600 to the University of Waterloo to help address the ongoing need for maintenance, repair, renovation and modernization of existing facilities. The 2020-21 FRP funding represents an increase of more than $2 million for Conestoga College, $1.4 million for Wilfrid Laurier University and $1.6 million for the University of Waterloo over and above last year.
“Laurier welcomes this investment in our infrastructure from the provincial government. Enhancing our buildings ensures our students, faculty and staff have sustainable spaces to learn, do research and prepare future-ready graduates,” said Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s president and vice chancellor.
“These projects also provide our communities with an economic boost as we look toward post-pandemic recovery”.
“Thanks to these investments from the Government of Ontario, the University of Waterloo is able to continue the work of modernization and maintenance of our world-class academic and experiential learning spaces.” said Rob Esselment, Associate Vice-President, Government Relations, University of Waterloo. “These investments help our students and faculty carry out their important work focused on industry-focused research, work integrated learning and commercialization.”
As part of the College Equipment and Renewal Fund (CERF), the government is also providing $930,400 in capital funding to help Conestoga College purchase and renew instructional equipment and learning resources. For 2020-21, CERF funding can also be used to purchase equipment to support student virtual learning during COVID-19.
“We appreciate this important investment by the Government of Ontario in the renewal and modernization of our campuses and facilities,” said John Tibbits, President of Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. “These resources will help ensure that we can continue to deliver leading edge programming to address the current and future needs of our community and provide students with the expertise to launch successful careers.”
“The first-class education students receive at our post secondary institutions is critical to the future of Ontario, our economy, and the prosperity of our people, said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “That is why our government is committed to providing annual funding that will help our colleges and universities renew and modernize their facilities.”
• As announced in the 2020 Ontario Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, the Ontario government is making an investment in critical maintenance, repairs, upgrades and renewals of $466 million in capital grants over three years starting in 2020-21 for Ontario's universities and colleges. This investment under the Facilities Renewal Program (FRP) includes:
o $144 million in 2020-21, an increase of $73 million over last year,
o $144 million in 2021-22, and
o $178 million in 2022-23.
• In addition to the $144 million investment in FRP funding for 2020-21, the Ontario government is investing $20 million through the College Equipment and Renewal Fund (CERF) to help Ontario colleges purchase and renew instructional equipment and learning resources.
• Established in 1986, the FRP provides annual funding to assist universities and colleges with renewing and modernizing their campuses through the repair, renovation and alteration of existing facilities.
• Established in 2002, the CERF provides annual funding to help publicly-assisted colleges acquire and renew instructional equipment and learning resources.