Ottawa, March 22, 2017 - Colleges and institutes are very pleased
to see a new federal budget focused on lifelong learning for all Canadians, signaling
the government's commitment to skills, innovation and inclusive economic growth.
This will strengthen a Canadian economy that is evolving quickly in response to
new technologies and untapped potential in a number of sectors, redefining innovation
and employment right across the country.
With new funding for skills training, reskilling, work-integrated learning opportunities,
and social innovation, colleges and institutes are very pleased to see so many initiatives
that respond to their recommendations. Expanded access to grants for part-time students
and those with dependent children, together with new and renewed support for Indigenous
learners and residents of the three territories, will provide many more Canadians
with a path to meaningful employment. Widely recognized for their accessibility
and customized support to learners, colleges and institutes welcome the Budget's
new initiatives to improve access to education for underrepresented populations.
Colleges and institutes welcome the creation of the new organization to support
skills development recommended by the Advisory Council on Economic Growth. The extensive
experience of colleges and institutes – with over 8,000 programs and a wide variety
of credentials – in responding to the changing needs of students and employers makes
them important contributors to new and innovative approaches to skills development.
"This budget addresses the very real needs of the learners and employers that colleges
and institutes work with every day", says CICan President and CEO, Denise Amyot.
"Canadians count on colleges and institutes to make their communities more prosperous
and provide the skills needed to adapt to the changing labour market. This budget's
new funding and support will help our members provide lifelong learning to all Canadians."
The creation of Innovation Canada is a welcome step towards making the programs
that support business simpler and more accessible. Fueling innovation is fundamental
to Canada's future prosperity and colleges and institutes have a proven approach
to partnered innovation, based on close collaboration with Canadian small and medium‑sized
enterprises. This has helped businesses across the country find innovative solutions
to everyday challenges, driving their success and creating jobs.
Colleges and Institutes look forward to the recommendations of the Fundamental Science
Review and in the meantime, are thrilled the government has seen fit to renew the
Community and College Social Innovation fund. The positive social outcomes generated
by this program are just one more way colleges and institutes support Canadian prosperity.
Colleges and Institutes Canada is the national and international voice of Canada's
publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics. Its members offer
over 8000 programs, working with industry and social sectors to train 1.5 million
learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses serving over 3,000 urban, rural
and remote communities in Canada. CICan and its members are committed to driving
Canadian prosperity by being global leaders in applied education and partnered innovation.