Federal budget 2016 - Good news for Canadian universities

Canadian Parliament buildings showing the Peace Tower

Image credit: Daryl Mitchell

Congratulations to the Government of Canada and Finance Minister Bill Morneau on presenting the first budget of the new parliament.

In the budget presented today, Canada's federal government signaled a clear commitment to quality education and science as part of its overall vision for a strong and prosperous Canada.

As  chair of Canada's U15 association of research-intensive universities, I'm pleased to say the federal government's research and education agenda is on the right track:

"We applaud the federal government’s support for post-secondary education. These investments will strengthen Canada’s capacity for ground-breaking research, help us to attract and retain top talent, build strong research clusters and foster the culture of innovation Canada needs to prosper in the globally competitive research environment. These investments will ensure we equip Canada’s next generation of leaders to make their mark around the world.”

And that is also precisely our goal here at UWaterloo.

The University of Waterloo commends the government for their investments, including:

  • $95 million in additional funding for the granting councils;
  • a new investment of up to $2 billion for campus infrastructure;
  • $73 million to support co-op and work-integrated learning opportunities;
  • $800 million to support innovation networks and clusters;
  • and $50 million in funding for the Perimeter Institute.

The speech also included a reference to the global prominence of Waterloo’s region innovation ecosystem: “Everyone knows Silicon Valley is the world’s capital of digital technology,” remarked Minister Bill Morneau. “But, I’ll tell you, everyone in Silicon Valley knows that Canada’s own Waterloo region is home to some of the most brilliant, innovative minds and companies in the world. This is a model that Canada can and must build on. We believe that businesses, post-secondary institutions, governments and other stakeholders can work together to accelerate economic growth.”

The investments announced today will help Canada's universities advance Canadian excellence in science and innovation, and contribute to the national prosperity going forward.

That's good news for our sector, and good news for UWaterloo.

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