The Ontario government has announced it is scrapping its contributions to the construction of three post-secondary satellite campuses in the GTA, an action that will save the province about $307 million.
In a statement, the Honourable Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, said: “Through our government’s independent commission of inquiry, we now know that Ontario faces a $15 billion deficit, about two and a half times the estimate provided by the previous administration. As a result, the Ministry is no longer in the position to fund [these] projects given the province’s new fiscal restraints.”
The affected projects include York University’s Markham Campus, in partnership with Seneca College, which was approved in 2015 and was scheduled to break ground this fall. Also impacted are Wilfrid Laurier University/Conestoga College’s Milton Campus and Ryerson University/Sheridan College’s Brampton Campus.
“Wilfrid Laurier University appreciates the financial challenges facing the Ontario government, but we are deeply disappointed by the sudden news to cancel the university’s new campus in Milton,” said the university in a statement. “The university looks forward to continuing its work with the Town of Milton and area partners to explore all options for keeping the dream of post-secondary education alive in this vibrant community.”
In a statement, Mohamed Lachemi, president and vice-chancellor of Ryerson University, said that in the coming days and weeks, Ryerson will provide more detail to its community regarding the aspects of the planned Brampton campus.