The province’s surplus from 2003-04 will help universities keeptuition increases to a minimum and libraries expand theircollections and hours of operation. Universities received $8 million in additional operating funds onMarch 31. Finance Minister Peter Christie today, April 19,announced the additional funding as part of his address to theMetropolitan Halifax Chamber of Commerce. The library boards received an increase of $750,000. It was thelargest increase in library funding since 1999. “Education continues to be a priority for this government,” saidEducation Minister Jamie Muir. “We recognize that universitiesneed more support and have responded with additional funding thattaxpayers can afford. The additional $8 million will help theuniversities keep tuition fee increases to a minimum.” The province is currently discussing a multi-year fundingagreement with universities. The agreement will ensure stable andadequate funding for the universities over three years to putthem in a better position to plan and minimize tuition increases. “It is our intention to add at least $8 million to the universitysystem’s operating grant base funding for 2005-06,” added Mr.Muir. The province is also working with other Atlantic provinces on aproposal to the federal government to help universities addressthe cost of maintaining buildings.