Funding will support post-secondary institutions to deliver high-quality education says local MPP

The Ontario government is investing $7.2M in funding in 2021-22 at Georgian College and Lakehead University to help provide a modern and safe learning environment for students, faculty and staff, both virtually and on campus.

The funding is part of the government’s $583 million investment over three years to help institutions modernize classrooms by upgrading technology, carrying out critical repairs, improving their environmental sustainability and supporting virtual learning projects that increase access to postsecondary education for students.

“This funding support of the nursing programs will ensure students have access to modern instructional equipment to meet business and industry standards, and enhance the overall student experience,” said Bill Walker, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound. “By investing in postsecondary infrastructure, we are not only supporting our local economy, but supporting our local students to access good education closer to home, which ultimately will result in more care to people of our community.”

“Ontario’s post-secondary institutions offer world class education, which is critical to the future of the province, our community and the economy,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe-North. “Our government’s investments to build Ontario will help Georgian College and Lakehead University renew and modernize their facilities and buy vital training equipment so they can continue to deliver high-quality education to students – anytime and anywhere.”

The $4M investments at Georgian College will help to:

  • modernize equipment and resources to support programs including Georgian’s new stand-alone Honours Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree at the Barrie and Owen Sound campuses
  • purchase a variety of equipment for their Collaborative Nursing program at their Barrie and Owen Sound campuses, including: code blue notification system; wheel chairs; student charting stations; floor lift; and crash cart
  • provide HVAC upgrades, elevator refurbishments, and classroom improvements.

The $3.2M investment at Lakehead University will help to:

  • upgrade AV/IT/WIFI/conferencing infrastructure in engineering, health and sciences (STEM) spaces to enhance virtual/hybrid/remote/experiential learning including micro-credentials as well as to increase access for Indigenous and Northern communities and   perform maintenance on boilers, chillers, pumps, cooling towers replacement and fire alarm system at their main campus buildings.

“It is vital that we continue to build opportunities for students in our vibrant region while strengthening the capacity of our local healthcare sector,” said Doug Downey, MPP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte. “This investment at Georgian College will ensure students can access leading resources and facilities in our communities to become highly trained professionals in their fields.”

As announced in the 2021 Ontario Budget, the funding is part of the government’s $583 million investment over three years to help colleges and universities maintain and renew their facilities and buy state-of-the-art instructional equipment.

Over three years, $493 million will be provided through the Facilities Renewal Program to help publicly assisted colleges and universities with the critical maintenance, repairs, upgrades and renewal of existing facilities.

In addition, $60 million will be provided over three years through the College Equipment and Renewal Fund to help colleges buy and renew instructional equipment and learning resources and $30 million will be provided over three years through the new Training Equipment and Renewal Fund to hep universities purchase and renew modern, state-of-the art equipment.

“At Georgian, we offer students more than an education – we give them an experience. For us, this funding is critical for the renewal of facilities and purchase of new equipment, plus so much more. It’s about ensuring our students have the highest quality education and robust learning environments possible,” says Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO.

“Our thanks to Minister Jill Dunlop for selecting Lakehead University as a recipient of this important funding,” said Dr. Moira McPherson, President and Vice-Chancellor, Lakehead University. “The ministry’s significant investment, combined with matching funds from Lakehead University, Lakehead’s Student Tech Fee Committee, as well as from audiovisual automation and controls manufacturer Crestron, will enable us to enhance our existing collaborative, immersive teaching and learning environments. Through upgrades to Wi-Fi and classroom technology at our Orillia and Thunder Bay campuses, this investment will improve access to remote learning technology and opportunities for our university’s engineering and sciences students.”