Saturday, May 18, 2024

Trudeau in Victoria today to announce Budget 2024 funding for post-secondary


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Victoria on Friday, April 19th in order to announce new federal funding for post-secondary education and innovation seekers through Budget 2024. 

In this announcement, the Prime Minister recognized that Gen Z and millennials are “the engine of our economy.”

“Everything that is created, built, served, and sold in Canada is increasingly being done by millennials and Gen Z,” he said.  

“They’re the young parents, the students doing cutting-edge research, the young entrepreneurs with startup ideas. Canada’s success depends on their success.”

Trudeau says that because of this, the feds will be funding research and innovative endeavours at several universities throughout the country. 

This funding is coming as a total package of $4.6 billion with $2.6 billion of that being allocated towards grants, scholarships and fellowships. The Canadian government says this is in an effort to make sure financial barriers are not preventing the future of innovation from developing. 

This funding includes $1.8 billion which will boost some core research grants by 30% over five years. Primarily, this will benefit grad students and post-doctoral fellows in the areas of climate action, health emergencies, artificial intelligence, and psychological health.

Another chunk of that funding will be $825 million over five years to increase the annual value of master’s and doctoral students’ scholarships to $27,000 and $40,000, respectively, and post-doctoral fellowships to $70,000. 

Additionally, $30 million will be set aside for Indigenous researchers—$10 million being split up between the feds First Nations, Métis, and Inuit partners.

The Canadian government says another $1.3 billion of the newly announced research and innovation funding is going towards the affordability of post-secondary institutions.

This money will increase in full-time Canada Student Grants from $3,000 to $4,200 per year and it will increase the housing allowances used by the Canada Student Financial Assistance Program.

Lastly, $734 million is going towards support for research infrastructure and institutes, according to the Canadian government. 

Specifically, the feds say this funding will be investing:

  • $399.8 million over five years in Canada’s sub-atomic physics research laboratory, located at the University of British Columbia
  • $176 million over five years in CANARIE, a national not-for-profit organization that manages Canada’s ultra high-speed network to connect researchers, educators, and innovators
  • $83.5 million over three years in Saskatoon-based Canadian Light Source, helping scientists and researchers to continue making breakthroughs in areas ranging from climate-resistant crop development to sustainable mining processes
  • $45.5 million over five years in Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute, headquartered at Queen’s University to help engineers, researchers, and scientists innovate in areas like clean technology and medical imaging
  • $30 million over three years in University of Saskatchewan’s Centre for Pandemic Research, advancing the study of high-risk pathogens to support vaccine and therapeutic development

The Canadian government says on top of this funding for research and innovation, their main priorities of Budget 2024 are building homes faster, investing in health care and making life more affordable. 

It is unclear whether Prime Minister Trudeau will remain in Victoria or if he will be leaving for the weekend, as per his itinerary. 

Curtis Blandy

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