Did Ball Liberals' Withdrawal of $100

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September 13, 2016


For Immediate Release




Did Ball Liberals' Withdrawal of $100 Million from MUN Cost the University its Core Science Building?




David Brazil, Advanced Education, Skills and Labour Critic for the Official Opposition, said, "When the Government of Canada stepped up with $100 million to support the construction of a new core science building at Memorial University, the Ball Liberals cancelled $100 million of the province’s contribution for the building from the Exxon-Mobil Hebron settlement agreement, meaning the new federal funding did not have the additional net impact that it could have had at the university."


‎Now that the building construction has been halted because the cost is greater than the funding available, Brazil is asking whether the Ball Liberals' reduction of $100 million in provincial funding is to blame.


Brazil said the university has reportedly sent the project back to the drawing board to come up with a scaled-down version that costs less.


"This new core science building was supposed to position Memorial University to be a national leader in scientific research heading into the future, boosting our reputation and our capacity to secure lucrative research funding and major partnerships with the private sector and other institutions around the world," said Brazil. "The potential benefits in terms of status, jobs and economic growth potential were enormous. Are those gains now in jeopardy because of the Liberals' decision to back away?"


Brazil said the troubles for the core science building come just as we learned that Dalhousie, and not Memorial, will be the headquarters of the new Atlantic regional ocean technology institute, taking the lead‎ in an important economic growth sector in which Memorial had been the regional leader. "Is Newfoundland and Labrador losing ground, along with opportunities for growth in investment capital and jobs, all because the Liberals are lacking in vision and support for the province's future?"


Brazil said, "The Liberals have still not produced a long-term economic growth plan and have their hands off the wheel while others step up to seize opportunities. Memorial has worked hard for decades to build an international reputation in critical areas of science and technology, which offer the promise of enormous investments and jobs through partnerships with institutions and private partners from around the world. Our province has worked hard to become a world leader in genetics research, ocean technology, earth sciences, cardiac care and other disciplines, but others are going to step up if the Ball government continues to fail to build on the legacy of past administrations.


"The Ball Liberals clearly lack the vision and the plan to secure our future as leaders in science and technology or any other growth sector. Where is the plan they campaigned on?" he said.


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Media Contact: Heather MacLean, Director of Communications, Office of the Official Opposition,


(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca


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