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February 1998


"There can be no greater millennium project for Canada and no better role for government than to help young Canadians prepare for the knowledge-based society of the next century."

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien
September 24, 1997

Increasingly, Canadians will need higher levels of knowledge, skills and education to find better jobs and increase their standard of living. This is true for all occupations, at all levels, in all sectors -- from factory to farm, from software to sales, from medicine to mechanics.

The facts speak for themselves. Since 1981, jobs for Canadians with high school education or less dropped by two million, while those demanding higher qualifications increased by more than five million. Canadians with more education have better job prospects, greater job security and higher earnings.

That is why the government is introducing the Canadian Opportunities Strategy in this budget -- to make the knowledge and skills Canadians will need for better jobs and a better standard of living in the 21st century more accessible and more affordable.

"This investment in the future of our country is the result of our successful battle against the deficit. It is an investment that will pay for itself over and over again in the years ahead."

Finance Minister Paul Martin
1998 budget speech

Canada Millennium Scholarships

Canada Millennium Scholarships are the centerpiece of the Canadian Opportunities Strategy.

More than 100,000 scholarships will be awarded to full- and part-time students each year over 10 years through an initial endowment of $2.5 billion.

This is the single largest investment ever made by a federal government to support access to post-secondary education for all Canadians.

Legislation will be introduced to create the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation as an arm's-length body to manage the endowment and to award scholarships.

These scholarships will increase access to post-secondary education for low- and middle-income Canadians, to prepare them for the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century.

Once established, the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation will consult with provincial governments and the post-secondary education community. The goal will be: to award scholarships by the Foundation to individuals in a manner that avoids duplication in any province, to build on existing provincial needs assessment processes, to complement existing provincial programs and, most importantly, to significantly increase access to post-secondary education everywhere in Canada for low- and middle-income students.

In particular, the Foundation will have the authority, subject to mutually agreed needs, merit and mobility criteria, to contract with appropriate provincial authorities for the selection of those recipients in a province to whom the Foundation will award Canada Millenium Scholarships.

How much will they be?

Who will be eligible?

What is the role of the Foundation and who will run it?

When will the scholarships be available?

"We should have a great millennium project for Canadians. What would be better than a permanent legacy of support for our young people? It's the best investment any country could make."

Robert Prichard
President, University of Toronto

The Canadian Opportunities Strategy

The Canadian Opportunities Strategy contains important measures to enhance affordable access to knowledge and skills.

How can I get more information?

For more information, call the Department of Finance, General Enquiries, at (613) 992-1573.

Copies of this brochure and other information regarding the Canadian Opportunities Strategy will be available at post-secondary institutions across Canada.

You can also obtain copies of this brochure or other budget papers from:

Distribution Centre
Department of Finance
300 Laurier Ave. West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G5
Tel.: (613) 995-2855
Fax: (613) 996-0518

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