HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - The Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), was at Saint Mary's University in Halifax today to officially open the McNally Building, which will modernize science research and training space for the school's graduate students and faculty. The Harper Government invested in the renewal and expansion of laboratories, learning commons and student facilities at colleges and universities across Canada.

"The economy remains our government's top priority," said Minister of State Menzies. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, we are investing in research and training facilities at campuses across the country, creating jobs, entering a fragile economic recovery faster and improving the quality of life of Canadians. This investment created local jobs and helped improve Saint Mary's University's research infrastructure, providing benefits now and for years to come."

The project received a Government of Canada investment of $11.2 million through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, an important job creation program launched in 2009 to help respond to the global economic recession under Canada's Economic Action Plan. The Nova Scotia government matched the federal contribution.

The project has created new research and training space for 250 graduates and faculty in a variety of programs, including engineering, math, computer science and physics, among others. In addition to the newly renovated, modernized space, the building's enhancements will increase its energy efficiency by nearly 20 percent.

"Investments such as these will encourage more research and development activity, help to create challenging, rewarding futures for many people, and maintain Nova Scotia's reputation as Canada's university capital," said Nova Scotia MLA Leonard Preyra, on behalf of the Honourable Marilyn More, Nova Scotia's Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. "It's an excellent complement to our jobsHere initiative."

"The transformation of dark basement spaces into bright, well-equipped science labs, the creation of a global arts commons and the addition of new technology to offices and classrooms to facilitate research and learning has been extraordinary," said Colin J. Dodds, President and Vice Chancellor of Saint Mary's University. "As a result of the cooperation of everyone from the funding partners down to the workers painting walls and installing new doors, the character of the building has been maintained."

As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada introduced the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, a $2-billion economic stimulus measure to maintain and improve research and training facilities at Canadian universities, colleges and CEGEPs. 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.

Canada's Economic Action Plan is investing in Canada's universities and colleges to develop, attract and retain the world's best and brightest researchers. The government's actions will strengthen Canada's position as a leading destination for the world's top research talent.

For more information on the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, visit the Knowledge Infrastructure Program website (www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/696.nsf/eng/home).

For information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit the Canada's Economic Action Plan website (www.actionplan.gc.ca/eng/index.asp).

Contact Information: Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
Minister of Industry
Heather Hume - Press Secretary
Industry Canada
Media Relations