$168M promised for U of A campus, $97M for U of C
Ben Lemphers/for metro edmonton
« One-offs, whether they are pre-(election) or during the regular timeframe, don’t provide the predictability and sustainability that public institutions need. »
A big boost yesterday to fund pharmacy labs at the University of Alberta, along with adding a new roof to the aging Hub Mall: $168 million.
A shot in the arm in upgrades and planned capital projects at the University of Calgary: $97 million.
An expected election call in the next few weeks by Premier Ed Stelmach: he won’t say.
The Stelmach government has doled out over $260 million in funding announcements in the last two days for post-secondary education, days before an expected provincial election announcement.
However, Stelmach wouldn’t comment yesterday if Alberta’s budget will be announced when it’s expected in mid-February or if it will be delayed because of an election.
"There will always be a budget," he said when asked by reporters if an election call will occur before the province rolls out its Feb. 14 budget.
Earlier in the week, Liberal critic Harry Chase told reporters that, while the funding is always appreciated, the province should change its ad-hoc spending habits.
"One-offs, whether they are pre-(election) or during the regular timeframe, don’t provide the predictability and sustainability that public institutions need," he said.
The investment announced at the U of A yesterday will pay for developing heath-related science and research facilities, along with funding needed upgrades, say officials with the university.
Over $33-million of the provincial cash will be used to build a "world-class" pharmaceutical faculty to increase student enrolment, say university officials.
"This investment is a great demonstration for what can be done and what we can do to succeed in the future," said Brian Heidecker, chair of the university’s board of directors.