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Build 2000


Trent Welcomes $1 Billion in Federal Budget Support for Deferred Maintenance and Capital Investments


Tuesday, May 2, 2006, Peterborough

Trent University praised the federal government for measures contained in today's budget to invest $1 billion to provide infrastructure funding for deferred maintenance and capital investments for Canada's postsecondary education sector.

The government proposes the $1 billion Post Secondary Infrastructure Trust will be available for "critical and urgent infrastructure" in colleges and universities. Based on a per capita distribution of the funding, Ontario will receive approximately $390 million for post secondary education.

"The funding announced in today's budget will aid in addressing Trent University's deferred maintenance liability and capital projects," said Bonnie Patterson, President and Vice-Chancellor. "These funds will assist to make important improvements in the learning environment for our students and add to their quality experience while studying at Trent."

President Patterson adds that a survey of universities' infrastructure confirmed that the average age for buildings on Ontario's campuses is 30 years. "The issue of deferred maintenance is a chronic issue that requires some redress. The federal infrastructure investment is a good start for the new government."

Together with the Council of Ontario Universities, Trent University is encouraging the Government of Ontario to give full consideration to creating a similar investment plan to address deferred maintenance for its universities. Trent receives $438,000 annually from the $40 million funding allocated by the province to address deferred maintenance needs: the University's current deferred maintenance liability now exceeds $15 million. 

Some of the additional measures contained in the federal budget include support for students:

  • $370 million to support accessibility to postsecondary education through the:
    • elimination of federal income tax on all income from scholarships, bursaries and fellowships
    • creation of a new Textbook Tax Credit ($260 million over two years)
    • expansion of the eligibility for the Canada Student Loans Program by reducing the parental contribution required.

The 2006 budget provided an additional $100 million per year to support research and development:

  • $40 million per year for the Indirect Costs of Research program
  • $20 million per year for the Leaders Opportunity Fund of the Canada Foundation for Innovation
  • $17 million per year for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • $17 million per year for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • $6 million per year for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

The budget document also stated that, "Over the coming year, the Minister of Industry will be developing a science and technology strategy, in collaboration with the Minister of Finance, that will encompass the broad range of government support for research, including knowledge infrastructure. The Government will also undertake a review of the accountability and value for money of the granting councils' activities."

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For more information contact:
Marilyn Burns, Director of Communications, (705) 748-1011, ext. 1303

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Last Updated May 5, 2006