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Federal Budget Contains Number of Measures for the University Sector


University thanks MP Dean Del Mastro for securing new Via Rail commuter link

Wednesday, February 27, 2008, Peterborough

Trent University welcomes provisions contained in yesterday’s federal government budget that address the financial needs of students and families, and provide new supports for graduate scholarships.

“The increased scholarship funding for graduate students is particularly important to a small research intensive institution like Trent,” said Bonnie Patterson, President and Vice-Chancellor.

Trent University also offered its congratulations and appreciation today to Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro for his integral role in securing the restoration of a commuter rail link between Peterborough and Union Station in Toronto as part of yesterday’s federal budget announcement.

“While it’s true that the restored rail link will have important benefits for local businesses and the environment, it will also directly impact the Trent University community in many positive ways,” said Bonnie Patterson, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Dean Del Mastro is to be commended for his role in securing what will be one of the largest federal infrastructure investments in the history of the Peterborough region.”

Thirty two per cent of students currently enrolled in courses at Trent’s Peterborough campuses come from the GTA region. This represents 2,197 students out of a total enrolment of 6,786 registered students at Trent in Peterborough. President Patterson noted, “The new rail line will provide a valuable service to future students and employees, and will be another attribute the University can highlight as it recruits prospective students from the increasingly competitive and growing GTA market.”

Other measures included in yesterday’s federal budget affecting the university sector include:

  • Introduction of a Canada Student Grant Program to replace the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Fund - $350 million in 2009-10, growing to $430 million in 2012-13
  • The Canada Global Excellence Research Chairs program, to establish 20 prestigious Chairs in four priority areas: Environment; Natural Resources and Energy; Health; and Information and Communications Technology - $21-million
  • A new Canada Graduate Scholarship Award, named in honour of the late Governor General George Vanier, to support 500 top Canadian and international doctoral students per year ($50,000 per year over three years) – Total investment $25 million over two years
  • New measures to streamline the Canada Student Loans program (expanded on-line services, more support for part-time and married students, increased flexibility for debt repaying as students transition from study to work)
  • A Textbook Tax Credit of $65 per month of full-time study or $520 for a typical full-time academic year – with a full exemption of scholarship, fellowship and bursary income
  • Expansion of the RESP program for families by increasing contribution limits and building greater flexibility into the plan
  • Funding for provinces as part of the Canada Social Transfer – $800-million for 2008-09 with subsequent three per cent increases


For more information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence, Communications Officer, (705) 748-1011, ext. 6185