LU welcomes funding from Queen's Park

THUNDER BAY – Officials with Lakehead University are happy to see the province following the recommendations of the Blue-Ribbon Panel to address the financial challenges that face post-secondary institutions.

The province unveiled $1.3 billion in new funding on Feb. 26, while holding the line on the tuition fee freeze that the Conservative government introduced in 2019.

“We are particularly heartened by the recognition of the needs of northern and rural institutions like ours, with initiatives such as the Northern Grant top-up being crucial for our operations,” said Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor Gillian Siddall, in a statement provided on Feb. 27.

“Facing unique challenges in the North and currently in deficit, this announcement offers the promise of relief. We eagerly await further details on these measures and are committed to collaborating with the government to enhance our educational impact in Northwestern Ontario and Simcoe County.”

Lakehead University's board of governors approved a budget that includes a $5 million deficit in 2023-2024 while Confederation College, since reducing their tuition by 10 per cent in 2018, has lost $8 million in revenue.

Most of the money announced will be rolled out in the next academic year and will run for three years.

The total price tag of that is $903 million, which includes $203 million going to institutions with greater financial need.

The province is also committing $167.4 million for capital repairs and $10 million specifically for small rural and northern universities.

Kevin Jeffrey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,