Mr. Speaker, Canadian universities educate more than 1.5 million students annually, perform more than one-third of Canada's research and development, and remain this country's critical centres of learning, discovery and innovation.
The Government of Canada has always played a strong and important role in supporting learning and innovation. As part of Canada's economic action plan, we have invested over $2 billion in the knowledge infrastructure program, supporting infrastructure enhancement at universities across the country. Going forward, universities and government must continue to work together in the development of the talent that will ensure Canada remains a very prosperous nation.
Today I am very pleased to welcome the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and more than 40 university presidents from coast to coast who have joined us here on Parliament Hill.
They are here to discuss ideas on research and innovation, international education, copyright reform and aboriginal access to higher education. I ask all members to join me in welcoming them to Parliament Hill.