The governments of Canada and New Brunswick invest more than $780,000 to help renovate the science laboratory at the University of Moncton, Edmundston campus

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick, May 18, 2021

Helping postsecondary institutions deliver quality education in a minority language helps promote and preserve the French language. These institutions play a vital role in helping official-language minority communities thrive. In addition to opening their doors to French-speaking students who want to study in their own language, the schools provide places where these young people can come together, create connections and take part in community life.

It is critical that we equip postsecondary institutions with academic facilities that meet the needs of students and teacher-researchers. René Arseneault, Member of Parliament (Madawaska–Restigouche), is pleased to announce that the governments of Canada and New Brunswick will each invest more than $390,000 in renovations to the science laboratory of the Louis-A.-Lebel Building at the University of Moncton, Edmundston campus. Mr. Arseneault made this announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and in partnership with the Honourable Trevor Holder, New Brunswick Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.

The total investment of more than $780,000 will give students and teacher-researchers a modern facility with everything they need for teaching, research and development, in a setting that fosters the production, sharing and dissemination of knowledge. More than 90 students in 14 different health sciences, chemistry, physics, biology, engineering and forestry programs will benefit from the upgraded facility in the quest for academic excellence. The money will also be used to reconfigure teaching areas and purchase furniture and state-of-the-art equipment. The new laboratory will primarily be used for teaching and research, as well as for the presentation of scientific or technical projects at science fairs. Science discovery events will also be arranged for visiting elementary and high school students.

Once complete, the renovation will have a direct impact on the success of students at the University of Moncton, Canada’s largest French-language university outside Quebec. The Edmundston campus will boast exciting and up-to-date facilities that promote student learning.

“The protection and promotion of our official languages is a top priority for our government. We are committed to supporting minority-language institutions like the University of Moncton, as they are at the very heart of their community’s vitality. This investment will give rise to a new generation of scientists with strong academic credentials and a strong Francophone identity, thanks to the lasting impact of their alma mater. More than ever, the Government of Canada has a role to play in protecting linguistic rights from coast to coast to coast.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

“This joint investment with the Government of New Brunswick is key to maintaining the high quality of French-language education and research. Our financial partnership with the province will help the University of Moncton more easily attract students, reduce turnover among professors and researchers, and meet current and future demand from students, scientists and partners of New Brunswick’s Acadian and French-speaking communities.”

—René Arseneault, Member of Parliament (Madawaska–Restigouche)

“New Brunswick is proud of its bilingual history and culture
and it’s paramount that we preserve our unique linguistic traditions that set
us apart from the rest of the country. This bilateral agreement provides
opportunities for our institutions to play a significant role in ensuring that
bilingualism remains a prominent part of New Brunswick’s identity in the
future. I’m very proud of the efforts l’Université de Moncton has made to
take advantage of this opportunity.”

—The Honourable Trevor Holder,
New Brunswick Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour

“The University of Moncton is continuously looking to improve its research infrastructure. The funding provided for renovations to the science laboratory at the Edmundston campus allow us to make that vision a reality. Our students will have more modern facilities available to prepare themselves for careers in the field of science and research.”

—Dr. Denis Prud’homme, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, University of Moncton

“We are very pleased at the Edmundston Campus to be able to offer our students this ultra-modern facility in which they will be able to express their creativity and reach their full potential. Science teachers are also delighted to be able to work in an environment and with tools that meet their expectations and ambitions. A facility like this is also an important element in recruiting future scientists.”

—Madeleine Dubé, Vice-Rector, University of Moncton, Edmundston campus

The Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future provides for an investment of $2.7 billion over five years, including $500 million in new funding to support official-language minority communities and promote bilingualism throughout Canada.

Under the Action Plan, $67.3 million is slated over five years for construction projects related to educational and cultural infrastructure in official-language minority communities. This is in addition to the $80 million over 10 years for community educational infrastructure announced in Budget 2017 through the Government of Canada’s Investing in Canada plan.

On February 19, Minister Joly outlined the Government of Canada’s intentions to modernize and strengthen the Official Languages Act and related instruments in the document English and French: Towards a substantive equality of official languages in Canada. The document revealed broad changes and new measures to achieve language equity in Canada.

The funding awarded to the Government of New Brunswick is from the Development of Official-Language Communities Program, which enhances the vitality of Canada’s English- and French-speaking minority communities and supports their development.

The University of Moncton is Canada’s largest French-language university outside Quebec. It has three campuses in three French-language regions of New Brunswick: Edmundston, Moncton and Shippagan. Since it was founded in 1963, the University of Moncton has awarded more than 53,000 diplomas and has become a leading hub for the social, cultural and academic development of New Brunswick’s Acadian and French-speaking populations.

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada proposes to provide an additional $81.8 million over two years to Canadian Heritage, starting in 2021–2022, to support the construction, renovation and expansion of the educational and community spaces that serve official-language minority communities.

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages