Edmonton

Rumours of $38M cut to NAIT are false, minister says

Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides says rumours of a $38 million cut to the budget of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) are “completely false.” 

MacKinnon panel recommending changes to funding of post-secondary institutions

Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides dismissed rumours of a $38-million cut to NAIT funding as "completely false." (Genevieve Tardif/CBC )

Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides says rumours of a $38 million cut to the budget of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) are "completely false."

On Monday, former deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk said NAIT administrators told him the cut was coming. They had just met with Nicolaides earlier that day, Lukaszuk reported. 

A spokesperson for Nicolaides' office however said that the minister was not in Edmonton at the time the alleged meeting took place. 

Nicolaides said Thursday the government is still looking at recommendations from the MacKinnon panel report on Alberta's finances. 

"We're looking through all the information and we'll be presenting our budget in the fall which will have more details," Nicolaides said.

The MacKinnon panel, led by former Saskatchewan finance minister Janice MacKinnon, made several recommendations which could have big implications for Alberta's 26 post-secondary institutions if the government decides to adopt them. 

They included closing less viable institutions, cutting government grants, raising tuition and seeking program financing from the business community.

The government has been tight-lipped about the date of the budget but many observers expect it will be tabled at the end of October. 

Nicolaides spoke to reporters following an announcement at Women Building Futures. The organization, which trains women to work in the trades, is receiving $10 million in government funding over four years.

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