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$5-million Gift Boosts Job Prospects For Poor
The Ottawa Citizen, Wednesday, October 18, 2000
By Michael Prentice

Carleton University has received a $5-million gift to support a program that helps low-income people get jobs.

The donation, from the Montreal-based J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, is one of the largest gifts ever made in the Ottawa region. It equals a $5-million gift to the university three years ago by Eric Sprott, a Toronto investment banker, who was a student at Carleton in the mid-1960’s.

Earlier this year, Carleton received a $2.7 million gift from David Azrieli, a Montreal developer, now in his 70s, who completed an architectural degree at the university in 1997.

Barbara McInnes, president of the Community Foundation of Ottawa, said a charitable donation of more than $5 million was made in the region, but said she could not disclose the amount because the donor insisted on absolute secrecy.

John Wilson McConnell, who died in 1963, established his charitable foundation as a legacy “to promote initiatives and ideas helpful to Canada society.” It is the largest private foundation in the country, and has given away tens of millions of dollars.

Earlier this year, the McConnell foundation gave $1 million toward the cost of building a new Canadian War Museum beside the Rockcliffe Parkway.

The $5-million gift to Carleton University will support a project that helps community organizations create jobs. Called the Community Economic Development Technical Assistance Program, it helps community organizations to plan or finance new businesses hiring low-income residents.

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