Infrastructure, Research and Healthcare Investments in Rural Universities

Source: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20220328004

The government is investing $105 million to improve infrastructure, foster research and enhance healthcare and training at the province’s rural universities.

“Ensuring our post-secondary institutions remain competitive and have the space and infrastructure needed to welcome and train the future workforce is essential for our economic future,” said Brian Wong, Minister of Advanced Education. “These universities are the heart of our rural communities, and these investments will not only improve the student experience, they will enhance access to healthcare training, and create innovative spaces that will house some of the best research facilities and most talented people committed to finding solutions.”

The $105-million investment is one-time operating funding that includes three pieces:

  • $65 million in deferred maintenance investments at St. Francis Xavier University, Acadia University, Université Sainte-Anne and Cape Breton University (CBU)
  • $35 million toward the construction of a Centre for Discovery and Innovation at CBU
  • $5 million to execute planning for a strategic health initiative at CBU.

The deferred maintenance investments will allow rural universities to address a significant backlog of infrastructure upgrades and improvements. Examples include electrical upgrades, roof replacements and accessibility and mechanical upgrades.

The Centre for Discovery and Innovation at CBU is a new project that will house state-of-the-art research and instructional facilities. The centre will feature the latest in green technology and digital infrastructure and will elevate Cape Breton Island as a national destination for research, innovation, health sciences, and a global destination for students.

The planning for the strategic health initiative will research and explore new ways to recruit, train, and retain more vital healthcare workers that Cape Bretoners and Nova Scotians in rural areas of the province desperately need.


This is a monumental day for Cape Breton University. We are absolutely thrilled that the Province of Nova Scotia is recognizing the needs of our students, our employees and our community. The announcements made today here at CBU are transformational and a game-changer. This allows us to invest in infrastructure for our students and our faculty. This investment will further allow us to attract both Canadian and international students to study in expanded science, engineering, technology and medical-related programs at CBU. Again, this is a game-changer for Cape Breton Island.

David C. Dingwall, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cape Breton University

St. FX is extremely pleased to learn of the Nova Scotia government’s $23.4 million funding announcement for deferred maintenance projects on its campus. The government’s commitment to building a strong post-secondary system is applauded as is their investment in the economy of the northeastern region of Nova Scotia. This funding will allow St. FX to continue, and enhance, its impact in rural Nova Scotia by strongly supporting its mission to build a university the way it is meant to be.

Andy Hakin, President and Vice-Chancellor, St. Francis Xavier University

This investment will help Université Sainte-Anne modernize its campus infrastructure and make us more competitive. Improvements to facilities will go a long way in allowing us to continue to support not only our student population and staff, but also our local communities.

Allister Surette, President and Vice-Chancellor, Université Sainte-Anne

Acadia is cherished for its historic beauty and sought after for the transformative education it provides students. However, the storied buildings of Acadia’s campus require substantial upkeep and rejuvenation to serve the learning and living needs of our campus community. We are very grateful to the provincial government for this significant investment that will allow us to make substantial progress in addressing deferred maintenance and accelerate plans to improve accessibility and energy efficiency on our historic campus.

Peter Ricketts, President and Vice-Chancellor, Acadia University

Quick Facts:

  • St. Francis Xavier will receive $23.4 million for deferred maintenance; Acadia University will receive $22 million; Cape Breton University will receive $14 million; and Université Sainte-Anne will receive $5.6 million
  • the funding was allocated to each institution based on the university’s share of the total operating funding provided to the four universities
  • the Province has provided a total of $23.6 million to the 10 universities in recent years to assist with deferred maintenance

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