Federal, provincial government announce funding for university upgrades

Nova Scotia universities will be richer this month after funding announcements from federal and provincial governments. They are sharing costs of upgrading infrastructure on campuses across the province.

Money is from $2-billion fund aimed at upgrading universities' infrastructure

Federal Science and Technology Minister Kirsty Duncan visited Dalhousie Unversity to discuss its research infrastructure project bid. (CBC)

Millions of dollars in research and infrastructure funding is being rolled out this month across Nova Scotia university campuses.

Today, federal and provincial cabinet ministers were at Acadia University to announce $22.2 million to upgrade its science building.

It is part of a $2-billion higher education funding package contained in the last federal budget, said Philip Proulx, spokesman Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Much of Canada's post-secondary infrastructure is over 25 years old. 

Costs shared by feds, province 

"To modernize labs, to modernize research centres, research facilities on campuses. We put out a call for projects during the summer. All the universities submitted projects," Proulx said.

"That's what we are doing now. We are announcing projects across the country. We're going to be announcing more in weeks to come.

Acadia University is getting $22.2 million to upgrade its science complex as part of a federal-provincial government funding package. (CBC)

The total costs of the projects are being shared by the federal and provincial governments as well as private-sector donors.

"The federal government is putting 50 per cent of the eligible costs under the program, then the institutions or the province have to cover the other 50 per cent."

More projects to be announced

Earlier this month, Nova Scotia Community College received $19.7 million to turn the former Canadian Coast Guard base on the Dartmouth waterfront into an incubation hub for research, design and development.

A seven-year, $93.7-million ocean research project was also announced at Dalhousie University.

Proulx said more announcements can be expected from other Nova Scotia universities throughout September.

He added that this week the federal government added 50 per cent increases to Canada student grant amounts, which will affect about 11,000 Nova Scotia students. The increases are:

  •  $2,000 to $3,000 per year for full-time students from low-income families.
  •  $1,200 to $1,800 per year for part-time students from low-income families.
  •  $800 to $1,200 per year for students from middle-income families.