International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan Tours the Automotive Centre of Excellence at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Canada’s Economic Action Plan creates jobs and strengthens knowledge economy

(No. 102 - March 15, 2011 - 12:30 p.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today toured the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s Automotive Centre of Excellence project in Oshawa. The Centre will offer leading-edge training, testing and research capabilities to students, faculty, researchers and businesses across Canada.

Through Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Harper government has invested in the renewal and expansion of laboratories, learning commons and student facilities at colleges and universities across Canada. Under the Plan, the government is bolstering Canada’s knowledge economy by injecting an additional $6.3 billion into the economy through investments in science, technology and innovation.

The Automotive Centre of Excellence received a Government of Canada investment of $14 million through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, an important job-creation program launched as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan in 2009 to help respond to the global economic recession. Other partners include the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, General Motors of Canada, the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education, and the Government of Ontario.

 “Our government is focused on the economy,” said Minister Van Loan. “The Automotive Centre of Excellence project is promoting local employment now, as well as the research infrastructure the University of Ontario Institute of Technology will need in the future to support innovation. By investing in research and training facilities at campuses across the country, our government is creating jobs, helping our economy recover quickly and improving the quality of life for Canadians.”

Located on the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s north Oshawa campus, the Automotive Centre of Excellence is available to rent by manufacturers, start-up companies and researchers from around the world looking to take advantage of its unique capabilities. The Centre has a full range of testing facilities, educational and research labs, and offices for faculty, academic and industry visitors.

 “As Canada begins to emerge from the global recession, investments in state-of-the-art research labs, libraries and learning commons are essential to creating and securing valuable, skilled jobs, now and in the future,” said Minister Van Loan. “Some 89 percent of vehicles produced in Canada are exported to the United States, and the auto sector accounts for nearly 20 percent of trade between our two countries. Our investment in the Automotive Centre of Excellence will help to maintain this trade and, more importantly, the Canadian jobs it supports, into the future.”

The Knowledge Infrastructure Program is a $2-billion economic stimulus measure to maintain and improve research and training facilities at Canadian universities, colleges and CEGEPs (in Quebec).

The program is providing economic stimulus, creating jobs and generating the advanced technological infrastructure needed to keep Canadian institutions at the forefront of scientific advancement and ensure economic growth in the future.

For more information on the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, visit the Knowledge Infrastructure Program website.

For information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit the Canada’s Economic Action Plan website.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of International Trade
613-992-9304
monika.bujalska@international.gc.ca

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000