Federal budget signals strong support and investment in skills and innovation

March 22, 2017 – Ottawa

The 2017 federal budget contains important announcements that will help Canada’s polytechnics and colleges expand their contributions to industry, employers, and learners of all ages. The budget’s strong focus on skills and innovation creates an opportunity to harness the strengths polytechnics possess across these priorities.  

Polytechnics Canada is delighted to see new investment in the budget for the extension of the Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF).  “Polytechnics Canada was the principal proponent of the CCSIF, administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, when it was created as a pilot in 2014.  Today’s announcement of new funds for CCSIF is welcome news for polytechnics students, faculty and partner social organizations,” said Nobina Robinson, CEO of Polytechnics Canada.

Polytechnics Canada welcomes government leadership on the review and consolidation of innovation programs through the creation of Innovation Canada. Significant investments in skills training through increased funding for innovation internships and the expanded Labour Market Development Agreements will support lifelong learning for a wide range of the learners we serve: post-secondary age students, mature students and adult workers.

“Canada’s polytechnics play a critical role in the development of a skilled workforce and innovative economy.  Today’s federal budget advances these priorities.  We look forward to working with the federal government in shaping these initiatives to include the full suite of support that polytechnics offer to people and to business,” said Dr. Glenn Feltham, President of Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and Chair of Polytechnics Canada’s Board of Directors.

As Canada’s leading research-intensive polytechnics and colleges, we believe the new Innovative Solutions Canada program will enable more firms to use our technical and technological capability and experience to solve the government’s own R&D and innovation challenges.  “This is a triple win: for innovative companies, for new R&D collaborations, and for government itself, something that has been long hoped for,” said Mrs. Robinson.

Budget 2017 presents additional positive opportunities for the members of Polytechnics Canada by:

  • Encouraging participation of post-secondary institutions in the emerging supercluster innovation initiative;
  • Supporting applied research and programing in clean and green technology;
  • Making Canada Student Loans and Grants more accessible to all learners; and, 
  • Expanding the Youth Employment Strategy to help our students transition to the workforce.

Located in Canada’s key economic regions, the 12 members of Polytechnics Canada are: British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), SAIT, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Red River College, Conestoga, Sheridan, Humber, George Brown, Seneca, and Algonquin Colleges.

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For more information, please contact:
Daniel Komesch                                                                                                        
Senior Policy Analyst                                                                       
Polytechnics Canada
Tel: 613-656-1219
Email: dkomesch@polytechnicscanada.ca