SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification), and Kelly Block, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon–Rosetown–Biggar, visited the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon today to tour ongoing renovations at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, which will provide newly refurbished modern research, lab and teaching space for the school. This project is part of the Harper Government's investment 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 Yelich. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, we are investing in research and training facilities at campuses across the country to create jobs, help our economy recover quickly and improve the quality of life of Canadians. This investment is promoting local employment now and will provide the research infrastructure the University of Saskatchewan needs for years to come."

The project received a Government of Canada investment of $4.16 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 Saskatchewan government contributed an additional $4.9 million.

This work will not only help refurbish the veterinary school's teaching and research space, it will also lead to the construction of a new diagnostic laboratory that will be key to diagnosing such diseases as avian influenza. The renewal project will help the college complete its larger infrastructure renewal plan, which began in 2004.

"Our government is maintaining Saskatchewan's strong and steady economy through infrastructure investments that will boost economic activity," said the Honourable Rob Norris, Saskatchewan Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration. "These upgraded facilities will help build a renewed post-secondary system that is focused on excellence, innovation and inclusion."

"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—both now and in the future," said Ms. Block.

"This federal–provincial investment in our veterinary college will provide livestock producers, veterinarians and researchers with the most comprehensive diagnostics laboratory in Western Canada for all animal species," said Peter MacKinnon, President of the University of Saskatchewan. "It will support the education of future veterinarians and specialists in animal and human health by providing state-of-the-art resources for advanced training." 

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 (

For information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit the Canada's Economic Action Plan website (

Contact Information: Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Gary Toft - Director of Communications
Industry Canada
Media Relations