Letter to Ministers Advocating for Dedicated Infrastructure Support for Post-Secondary Institutions

Ryan Turnbull Member of Parliament

November 19, 2020

Hon. Navdeep Bains, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Hon. Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

Dear Ministers:

RE: Dedicated Infrastructure Support for Post-Secondary Institutions

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians have been able to count on our government to support them. Thank you to you both for your leadership over the past months as we have shifted our focus to getting through, and rebuilding from this pandemic.

As Canadians have made changes to their lives and plans to adapt to the realities of COVID-19, post-secondary institutions have found themselves hard hit with declining revenues in addition to pandemic-related expenses. Many have been forced to run significant deficits due to COVID-19.

We can all agree that post-secondary institutions are vital to Canada‚Äôs economic development and make immeasurable contributions through the innovation that they produce.  Currently, post-secondary institutions require direct support. Dedicated support streams for post-secondary institutions grappling with the economic effects of the pandemic would ensure the long-term viability and health of our institutions and would ensure that the innumerable benefits they bring to our communities continue.

Furthermore, I have heard from these stakeholders that post-secondary institutions are unable to apply for funding independently from municipal governments, and currently having to compete with other municipal infrastructure projects. This makes obtaining funding particularly challenging for post-secondary institutions as they must compete against a long list of local government priorities.

I urge you to consider a direct financial support stream for post-secondary institutions, similar to the Strategic Infrastructure Fund, as well as administrative changes required to allow them to apply for funding available to other public-sector organizations.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Ryan Turnbull

Member of Parliament for Whitby

Posted in Advocacy.