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Fresh water treatment

RBC Foundation makes huge donation


From left, Christopher Loomis, Michael Feaver and Gary Corcoran of RBC, Eleanor Swanson and Rob Greenwood.

By Jennifer O’Neill

Fresh water issues in Newfoundland and Labrador’s communities will be addressed through enhanced outreach and research activities at Memorial University over the next decade thanks to a historic donation from RBC Foundation.

The $800,000 donation, which is the largest philanthropic contribution the foundation has ever made to an educational institution in Atlantic Canada, was announced in Memorial’s University Centre on Sept. 29.

Dr. Christopher Loomis, Memorial’s president and vice-chancellor pro tempore and Greg Grice, RBC regional president, Atlantic provinces, were joined by Environment and Conservation Minister Charlene Johnson and special guests at the announcement.

The funding will enable the university to strengthen its role as a leader in sustainable initiatives, and increase research opportunities for faculty and students through the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development.

The donation, allocated through the Foundation’s RBC Blue Water Project, will initially help provide research and regional targeted workshops on issues relating to municipal drinking water needs in rural and remote communities.

“We liked the approach of the centre in that it not only brings the resources, knowledge and expertise of the university to communities throughout the province, but also brings the knowledge and information held by those communities back to the university,” said Mr. Grice.

Dr. Rob Greenwood, director of the Harris Centre, noted that the support of RBC Foundation is recognition of the Harris Centre’s ability to link Memorial with the needs of Newfoundland and Labrador’s communities.

“This funding will enable the Harris Centre to continue its regional workshops, and initiate a whole new focus on the critically-important fresh water needs of the province.”

Dr. Loomis reiterated that Memorial is integral to the social, cultural and economic development of Newfoundland and Labrador, adding that the support of RBC Foundation will enable Memorial to further advance the rural and regional development goal in its strategic plan.

“Through this generous gift, Memorial will continue to partner with the provincial government and other community stakeholders to fulfill our shared vision of a prosperous and sustainable future,” he said.

Minister Johnson said the provincial government looks forward to working closely with the Harris Centre to share expertise and resources, adding that the funding will help strengthen the knowledge base of municipalities, and assist with government’s ongoing efforts towards drinking water safety and sustainability.

In conjunction with the announcement, RBC Foundation distributed 500 aluminum sports bottles to students throughout the day.
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