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Budget to improve colleges

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | April 13th, 2009

The McGunity Government came through for Ontario colleges in a big way with cold hard cash.

The 2009 Ontario budget, was delivered on March 26 by Minister Dwight Duncan, and the outcome is good for Ontario colleges.

“We feel it was the push from the public,” said Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy for the College Student Alliance (CSA) that allowed the government to see where money was most needed and necessary for the post-secondary system.

The 2009 Ontario budget will commit over $780 million in capital funding for Ontario colleges and universities over a span of two years, the McGuinty government announced.

The budget will help modernize existing facilities and will aide research and skills training across the province of Ontario for students.

“The funds allocated to colleges are highly valued, particularly in this economy. This (budget) will allow colleges to educate stronger, more highly skilled graduates who will contribute to future prosperity,” said Howard Rundle, President of Fanshawe College in a statement.

Ontario colleges will also receive an additional $448 million over the next two years to help improve infrastructure and deferred maintenance.

The McGuinty government committed to adding an additional one time fund of $150 million, which will help tackle the enrolment and operating challenges at post-secondary institutions.

“Our hope is that we (CSA) can get multi-year funding for capital from the McGuinty government,” said Charlebois.

Adding, during this tough economic climate it may be hard to provide a more definite plan as to how much money colleges will receive in the years to come. Over the span of the next two-years, Ontario colleges will receive an additional $448 million, compared to $100 million universities will receive in the same time span.

According to Charlebois, the CSA felt it was the push of the many students' efforts that helped the McGuinty government realize the importance of a post-secondary education in Ontario.

“We feel the McGuinty government felt the pressure to seal the deal. The case the CSA and Ontario students made was a just deal. We had merit,” Charlebois added as to why the government accepted their proposal to put Ontario colleges more at par with Ontario universities.

Charlebois took the time to congratulate all students who participated across the province with the campaign put forth for the McGuinty government.
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