FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has signed a contribution agreement with the federal government under the federal Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Infrastructure Fund, which will result in investments totalling $98.6 million.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to leverage significant federal, provincial and university funds to invest in projects that will create short-term construction jobs as well as create the conditions for significant long-term job growth,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. “Investing in New Brunswick’s priorities of jobs and education is front and centre in our partnership with the federal government.”

Through this agreement, the federal government will invest $49.3 million, the provincial government, $35.2 million, and universities, $14.1 million, in several projects. The provincial government is contributing the institutional share of college project funding. The investments of $49.3 million from the $2 billion federal fund represent 2.5 per cent of its total, greater than New Brunswick’s per capita share of 2.1 per cent.

Representatives of the provincial and federal governments will join university and college leaders for individual announcements in the coming weeks.

Earlier this year, the provincial government announced free tuition for students with a demonstrated financial need who have an annual household income of $60,000 or less and are enrolled in an undergraduate degree, diploma or certificate program at a publicly funded university or college in the province. The information guide about the Tuition Access Bursary, along with the online application and other forms, are posted on the Student Financial Services website.

In addition to the bursary, previous supports such as the student loan program, the New Brunswick Bursary and the Timely Completion Benefit are still available to all students. The provincial government has removed the parental contribution clause from the student loan equation to make it easier for students to access funds. More information on these and other programs is available online.

“By making improvements to our public university and college infrastructure, while helping those who need financial assistance the most, we will increase accessibility to post-secondary education and help many New Brunswickers realize the benefits that come along with it,” said Arseneault. “An educated workforce is critical to attracting well-paying jobs and growing our economy as a result.”