It was a great pleasure to share in the opening of this Healthy Aging Centre, a new Kinesiology Building for UNB, and for our community.
This is a world class research and learning facility that will bestow many benefits, not only for students and faculty at this institution, but also for members of our community, our province, and all of Atlantic Canada.
This new building symbolizes the important investments made in Fredericton as a result of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, launched by our federal government, in collaboration with our Provincial governments and community stakeholders two years ago.
The Atlantic Growth Strategy will drive economic development in our region by delivering innovative, concrete and measurable results. Well, I confidently proclaim that this beautifully designed and innovative centre is, without doubt, a concrete and measurable result.
But this is much more than an investment in bricks and mortar. Our government’s $16.6-million investment in this facility is an example of the federal government’s belief that the research undertaken here will establish New Brunswick as a leader nationally and internationally in applied research in preventative and rehabilitative care.
We all know well, the tremendous economic impact that UNB has on our region. Contributing upwards of $500 million annually to the provincial economy, Canada’s most entrepreneurial university is an anchor in Canada’s Start Up Capital. We are seeing results here in the areas of Cybersecurity, Smart Grid innovation, and Advanced Manufacturing just to name a few.
As we also know, attracting funding for research can be a challenge for Atlantic Canada’s universities. Ensuring that they receive their fair share of federal support to continue their world-class research is a priority for me.
For this project specifically, I was proud to champion our region’s capacity to pioneer new ways of addressing the challenges facing our healthcare system.
As with other New Brunswick research organizations in which the federal government invests, this new Kinesiology building will be a proving ground for new, collaborative models. Its work will support the $75 million investment made by the federal government in a New Brunswick Healthy Seniors Pilot Project, as well as the excellent research currently underway at the York Care Centre, the New Brunswick health research foundation and the Fredericton Operational Stress Injury Clinic, one of the leading clinics in the country.
Some of you know that I grew up on college hill. And, as I arrived here today, I thought about UNB and the human energy I have always felt when I’m here. This facility reflects that energy and symbolizes what our province can become: a living lab for healthy living — a living lab powered by human energy.
This facility, UNB, and the clusters of research organizations affiliated with it are central to the future success of our province.
Thank you to everyone who made this project a reality. Through hard work, foresight and strategic investments on behalf of all Canadians, I’m confident UNB’s new Kinesiology Building, and our province, will become respected internationally for innovations in healthy living — innovations powered by human energy.