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Trent University Commends Federal Budget for Commitment to Higher Education

Increased support for students, research and commercialization initiatives recognizes universities' role in socio-economic well-being of the country

Tuesday, March 23, 2004, Peterborough


Trent University reacted to today's reading of the federal budget with praise for the government's support for student assistance, research funding and incentives for commercialization.

"There is very good news for families and students in this budget concerning accessibility issues. The research and commercialization initiatives demonstrate a clear role for universities in the country's plans for future development and innovation," said Trent University's President Bonnie Patterson. "Following the directions indicated in the Speech from the Throne, it is heartening to see the detailed commitment to financial assistance for students in today's budget. The announcement of a new grant for low-income students, increases in debt reduction, loan limits and family income thresholds will go a long way to making post-secondary education accessible to all Canadians. We look forward to the next step, which is to work on the capacity side of the equation, to accommodate the resulting increase in demand for university education."

"The government's commitment to universities was further reflected by the announcement to provide an increase of $90 million annually to the three federal granting councils and add an additional $60 million to Genome Canada," President Patterson continued. "The government is continuing the momentum it has built up over several years by increasing funding for indirect costs of research. These are necessary commitments if we are to meet the government's objectives on the commercialization front."

The government's announcement that it will take immediate action on environmental issues by addressing matters of clean water and soil could also have positive implications for the University's Water Quality Centre.

The federal budget's focus on skills and development for Aboriginal peoples, while not directly related to the university sector, is in harmony with Trent University's commitment to Aboriginal education through its degree programs in Native Studies and the University's recent commitment to the new First Peoples House of Learning.

University-related Budget Highlights



  • Introduction of the Canada Learning Bond in the amount of $500 per year for families earning less than $35,000
  • Enhancements to the Canada Education Savings Grant matching rate for low- and middle-income families
  • Introduction of a new grant of up to $3,000 for first-year, post-secondary dependent students from low-income families
  • Introduction of an up-front annual grant of up to $2,000 for post-secondary students with disabilities
  • Increase in the ceiling for Canada Student Loans to $210 per week from $165
  • Increase in income thresholds for student loan interest relief
  • Increase in maximum amount of debt reduction for students facing financial difficulty to $26,000
  • Extension of the education tax credit to employees who pursue career-related studies at their own expense
  • Investment of $125 million over five years for the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy



  • Annual increase of $90 million to Canada's three federal granting councils
  • Increase of $20 million annually to help offset the indirect costs of research by universities and research hospitals
  • An additional $60 million to Genome Canada to strengthen its research.
  • Additional funding to improve the capacity for commercialization at universities, hospitals and other research facilities.
  • New funding of $270 million set aside to enhance access to venture capital financing for companies turning promising research into new products and services.
  • Acceleration by one year, from 2006 to 2005, of the increase in the small business deduction limit to $300,000.
  • Increase in the capital cost allowance rate for computer equipment to 45 per cent from 30 per cent, and in the rate for broadband, Internet and other data network infrastructure equipment to 30 per cent from 20 per cent.



For more information, please contact Bonnie Patterson, President, Trent University at (705) 748-1313.

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Last Updated March 23, 2004