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Budget will enhance college sector

(Brockville, Cornwall, Kingston)– Chris Whitaker says the 2009 Ontario Budget is good news for the college sector, its students and the economy.
”The funds allocated to colleges are highly valued, particularly in this economy,” says Chris Whitaker, President & CEO. “This will allow colleges to educate stronger, more highly-skilled graduates who will contribute to future economic prosperity.”
Theinvestments in areas such as skills training extends the college’s ability to turn the students of today into the workplace-ready employees required by an ever-changing, challenging labour market.
The colleges applaud the $50 million annual proposed enhancements to the Co-operative Education Tax credit and to the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit, making the latter the most generous in Canada.
Additional funding announcements affecting colleges include:
  • Infrastructure – $780 million committed to capital funding for Ontario colleges and universities. 
  • Operating – for 2008-2009, $150 million in operating funds for colleges and universities. A portion of this funding recognizes enrolment growth in the college system.
  • Applied Research –$10 million over three years for the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation.
  • Skills training – $90 million over two years to assist new Canadians with training and mentorship.
“We look forward to working with the government to leverage federal funds to renew and grow the infrastructure of our colleges,” says Chris Whitaker, President & CEO. “An investment in college facilities is in investment in our students’ success.”
Whitaker also said the $10 million investment in Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation is an investment in the success of small and medium-sized enterprises.
"Colleges have been increasingly engaged in hands-on applied research, technology transfer and commercialization," he said. "What this really means is that we help businesses and industry get products to market faster."
As well, the impact of tax harmonization on colleges is cost-neutral and will not result in increased costs for students.
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