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Federal budget includes support for research excellence, students

Queen’s University Principal Daniel Woolf says that the 2015 federal budget provides important support for research capacity in Canada, including more than $1.5 billion in investments to support research excellence. The budget also contains measures to enhance financial assistance to post-secondary students, Aboriginal education, and skills training initiatives.

The budget will see $1.33 billion invested over six years in the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), representing a significant commitment to building the country’s research infrastructure.

“Queen’s welcomes these important investments in Canada’s research capacity and global competitiveness, as well as initiatives that will enhance access to post-secondary education through student assistance,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Queen’s joined with institutions across Canada to ensure the priorities of the university sector were heard by the government and we see a number of those priorities reflected in this budget.”

Queen’s was specifically mentioned in the budget for the impact of its CFI-funded pipe-liner project with the City of Hamilton, which saw robots deployed underground to insert a new flexible pipe system within existing water mains.

“Queen’s welcomes these important investments in Canada’s research capacity and global competitiveness, as well as initiatives that will enhance access to post-secondary education through student assistance.”

- Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. 

In addition to the significant investment in the CFI, the federal budget includes an additional $46 million per year for Canada’s granting councils and the research support fund, $45 million over five years for TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, $105 million for CANARIE, Canada’ world-class high-speed research and education network, $100 million for digital research infrastructure, $243.5 million to secure Canada’s participation in the Thirty Meter Telescope, and $56.4 million for 6,000 new graduate and post-doctoral research internships through Mitacs.

“Along with the already-announced Canada First Research Excellence Fund, this budget is a clear signal of the importance the federal government places on enhancing Canada’s global research prominence,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “The initiatives supported in this budget will ultimately help advance the position of Queen’s, as well as Canada’s universities and leading research platforms, as centres of discovery and innovation having global, national and regional impact.”

For students, important changes to Canada’s student loan program will see some students eligible for increased loan support, through a reduction in the expected parental contribution and the elimination of penalties for income earned by students who work during their study period. In addition, $12 million over three years will be used to fund post-secondary scholarships and bursaries for First Nations and Inuit students through Indspire, an Indigenous-led charitable organization.

Visit the Government of Canada’s website for more information about the 2015 budget.