Canada and Ontario invest in post-secondary infrastructure at Lakehead University

News Release

$9.5‑million investment will create jobs, expand research and foster innovation

November 10, 2016 – Thunder Bay, Ontario – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada values the role of post‑secondary institutions as they help equip young Canadians with the education and training they need for future careers that will help them join a strong, healthy middle class. Today's $9.5‑million investment in Lakehead University will do just that by fostering the training needed for the well‑paying middle‑class jobs of today and tomorrow.

The funding was announced today by the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and by the Honourable Michael Gravelle, Ontario's Minister of Northern Development and Mines.

Canada's Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation—one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. This investment exemplifies that vision in action.

Lakehead University will receive $9.5 million to modernize and expand an existing building to create a new state‑of‑the‑art research complex to be known as the Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering and Sciences. The new centre will enable Lakehead University to offer advanced training courses and will help local businesses and start‑ups commercialize their products and services and help grow the region's economy.

Federal‑provincial investments in this project include:

  • $7.96 million from the Government of Canada; and
  • $1.54 million from the Province of Ontario.

Lakehead University will provide an additional $9.07 million, for a total project investment of $18.57 million.

In total, universities and colleges throughout Ontario will receive more than $1.9 billion from the Government of Canada, the provincial government, the institutions themselves and private donors. Federal funding will be allocated through the Post‑Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, which will enhance and modernize research facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities.

As a result of these investments, students, professors and researchers will work in state‑of‑the‑art facilities that advance the country's best research. They will collaborate in specially designed spaces that support lifelong learning and skills training. They will work in close proximity with partners to turn discoveries into products or services. In the process, they will train for—and invent—the high‑value jobs of the future. And their discoveries will plant the seeds for the next generation of innovators.

That is how the Strategic Investment Fund will jump‑start a virtuous circle of innovation, creating the right conditions for long‑term growth that will yield benefits for generations to come.

Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history—about $160 billion over 12 years—which is supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province with projects such as hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit. Since 2015, the Province has announced support for more than 475 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life. To learn more about infrastructure projects in your community, go to


"This once‑in‑a‑generation investment by the Government of Canada is a historic down payment on the government's vision to position Canada as a global centre for innovation. That means making Canada a world leader in turning ideas into solutions, science into technologies, skills into middle‑class jobs and start‑up companies into global successes. This investment will create conditions that are conducive to innovation and long‑term growth, which will in turn keep the Canadian economy globally competitive."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"Our government is committed to supporting innovation and economic development, which will help grow the economy across Northern Ontario. This investment will allow Lakehead University to modernize its facilities so that students, local businesses and innovators can create and innovate in state‑of‑the‑art environments."

– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women

"This investment demonstrates our government's commitment to making Canada a leader in science, technology and innovation. This facility will create growth in northwestern Ontario and contribute to a diverse and skilled work force. I look forward to seeing the progression across all industries in the region and to creating more opportunities for our young Canadians."

– Don Rusnak, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River

"Today's investment in Lakehead University's Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering and Sciences will give students in Northern Ontario access to state‑of‑the‑art laboratories and provide space for them to advance their research and develop new technologies. By supporting this important project, our government is helping to grow the local economy and create jobs for Thunder Bay residents today while providing students access to high‑quality education and training facilities to support the jobs of tomorrow."

– The Honourable Michael Gravelle, Ontario's Minister of Northern Development and Mines

"Lakehead University has positioned itself as a leader in the area of research and innovation, both provincially and nationally, and at the same time, has helped to drive economic growth in Thunder Bay and the region. I am pleased that the province is investing in the Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering and Sciences. This investment will allow Lakehead to further enhance its tremendous work in supporting the development and enhancement of the knowledge economy in Thunder Bay and the region."

– The Honourable Bill Mauro, Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs

"This funding will make it possible for our talented researchers and students to do their work to the fullest of their abilities in new labs with state‑of‑the‑art equipment. Thank you to the federal and provincial governments for this support."

– Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Vice‑President, Research and Innovation, Lakehead University

"Thanks to the federal and provincial governments, Lakehead University will create a new space on campus that will allow our researchers to answer important questions and create exceptional innovations that will impact this region and the world. This investment will significantly increase research and entrepreneurial opportunities at Lakehead University."

– Dr. Brian Stevenson, President and Vice‑Chancellor, Lakehead University

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario are providing more than $950 million for research infrastructure at institutions across Ontario.
  • Canada's Innovation Agenda is designed to ensure our country is globally competitive in promoting research, translating ideas into new products and services, accelerating business growth and propelling entrepreneurs from the start‑up phase to international success.
  • The targeted, short‑term investments under the Post‑Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada's universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery, and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.
  • The Post‑Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund supports the Government of Canada's climate change objectives by encouraging sustainable and green infrastructure projects.

Associated links

Follow Minister Bains on social media.
Twitter: @MinisterISED


Matt Pascuzzo
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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