Ford government pulls funding for 3 new university campuses

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The PC government’s decision to pull funding for the recently announced Brampton downtown Ryerson University campus as well as for a York University/Seneca College expansion and the Wilfred Laurier University/Conestoga College expansion in Milton has taken municipalities by surprise.

In a statement on the issue, the PC government stated that due to the independent commission of inquiry which revealed a massive $15 billion deficit, the ministry was no longer in the position to fund the following projects.

The previous Ontario Liberal government under Kathleen Wynne approved and announced funding for the project on April 19 at an event in Brampton.

The campus had been departing mayor Linda Jeffrey’s moment of crowning glory and now even that has been taken away.

Meanwhile Mayor-elect Patrick Brown expressed disappointment with the decision.

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“I believe Brampton deserves a full university, not just a satellite campus. This is a step backwards towards what the City of Brampton deserves,” he said.

However, it does seem that there is little that can be done at this point to reverse this provincial decision.

Reactions will have been slow given that the municipal elections just concluded and new councils are getting their own houses in order.

As per recent statements from Dr. Mohamed Lachemi president and vice-chancellor of Ryerson University (on the university website) and the City of Brampton, both remained committed to the project.

A press statement from the City of Brampton said: “Despite the provincial decision, we remain committed to the project. We are already engaging in discussions and actions to move forward. We are in discussions with leadership teams at Ryerson University and Sheridan College and CAOs of the affected municipalities. We are also continuing to work with Ryerson and Sheridan on key milestone projects that have been part of the overall initiative.

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“Over the coming days and weeks, we will be providing more details to our entire community regarding our work with Ryerson and Sheridan on an innovation hub in the downtown, cybersecurity programming, and Ryerson University’s Chang School courses that were planned for Brampton. We are looking at all options for advocacy and continuing discussions on solutions to bring a Ryerson and Sheridan university campus to Brampton,” it added. -CINEWS

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