Brampton Set to Dissolve University Panel


Although there's been intense discussion and a certain degree of hand wringing, residents can rest assured that Brampton's upcoming university is a done deal.

So done, in fact, that the city has announced that it's dissolving its university-focused Blue Ribbon Panel because the group has "fulfilled its mandate."

According to the city, the panel members unanimously agreed their mandate had been filled at a Blue Ribbon meeting on Feb. 15. As a result, staff brought a report to Committee of Council that recommended the panel be dissolved.

The members have been thanked for their contributions.

"Each member of the Blue Ribbon Panel volunteered hundreds of hours for this initiative - I want to personally thank them for their commitment and contribution," said Mayor Linda Jeffrey. "Everyone in the city of Brampton owes them our gratitude for a job well done. I know that our dedicated staff will continue to reach out to these talented individuals for advice and expertise as needed."

The panel was established by Jeffrey in 2015 to provide recommendations with respect to Brampton's post-secondary options and a "realistic and achievable work plan" for a university campus in Brampton.

The panel developed an Economic Impact Statement for a university, reached out to universities and the province and liaised with key stakeholders in Brampton and surrounding areas.

Staff also updated the committee on other university progress.

According to the city, members of council heard about interest and excitement from the Brampton business community. Staff is also assisting universities with their application to the province, so that they may more easily bring a post-secondary institution to the city.

The city also reports that progress is being made on stakeholder engagement for the university. City staff participated in focus group sessions hosted by the Brampton Board of Trade. During the event, city social media channels took questions and delivered video answers to top questions from residents. Youth engagement strategy development is underway, with participation from partners across the region, including the school board.

The next key milestone is the province's March 6 deadline for universities to respond to the Call for Expressions of Interest to establish a presence in Brampton.

The province's plan is to create new postsecondary facilities focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) subjects. Ideally, the new university will bring economic opportunities to one of Canada's fastest growing communities and provide both local and non-local students with rich, diverse and unique academic opportunties.

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