As announced in the 2020 Ontario Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, the Ontario government is making an investment in critical maintenance, repairs, upgrades and renewals of $466 million in capital grants over three years starting in 2020-21 for Ontario’s universities and colleges. This investment under the Facilities Renewal Program (FRP) includes:
- $144 million in 2020-21, an increase of $73 million over last year,
- $144 million in 2021-22, and
- $178 million in 2022-23.
The announcement was made today in Sault Ste. Marie by Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities.
“The first-class education students receive at our post-secondary institutions is critical to the future of Ontario, our economy, and the prosperity of our people, said Minister Romano. “That is why our government is committed to providing annual funding that will help our colleges and universities renew and modernize their facilities.”
This investment will allow institutions to address their deferred maintenance backlog, undertake critical repairs, modernize classrooms, upgrade technology and improve their environmental sustainability while continuing to deliver a safe experience for students who were welcomed back to campus this fall. In addition, institutions may use the investment to pursue the renewal of infrastructure campus projects, creating economic stimulus opportunities for local communities.
In addition to the $144 million investment in FRP funding for 2020-21, the Ontario government is investing $20 million through the College Equipment and Renewal Fund (CERF) to help Ontario colleges purchase and renew instructional equipment and learning resources. This funding is also being used to purchase equipment to support student virtual learning during COVID-19. This amounts to a total investment of $164 million in capital funding in 2020-21 to help colleges and universities ensure that their students, faculty and staff have modern and safe learning environments.
“Well-maintained facilities and the latest in learning tools and equipment are critical parts of a postsecondary education,” said Minister Romano. “The need to invest in the maintenance of existing infrastructure is now balanced with the need to invest in new infrastructure which will be a tremendous boost for local communities looking for much needed economic stimulus on the road to recovery. By investing in postsecondary infrastructure, we are supporting economic recovery, creating jobs and ensuring students obtain the skills they need for the in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow.”