We can say with confidence that our advocacy efforts resulted in very positive developments this year. Our high-level work with IRCC and other departments made a difference for many people struggling with the impacts of the pandemic, including thousands of international students. Throughout the year, we also saw positive signals that our positioning on key topics such as skills development, innovation and the role of colleges in supporting a resilient recovery are being heard by the federal government.
This started with a very promising Throne Speech that announced no less than “the largest investment in Canadian history in training for workers, including building new skills in growing sectors.” This trend continued with the Fall economic update and then the federal budget, which invested $5.7 Billion over five years on measures related to skills development. The budget clearly acknowledged the critical role of learning institutions in Canada’s economic recovery, as well as the specific contribution of colleges and institutes to the country’s innovation ecosystem. This included new funds, with an investment of $46.9 million over two years to support additional research partnerships through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s College and Community Innovation Program.