Brampton Will Still Get a University, Says Ryerson


It seems the dreams of bringing a full fledged university to Canada’s ninth largest city may not be as dead in the water.

At least, according to the university that is caught up in the middle of the recent cancellation of the intended campus by the Doug Ford government.

Representatives from Ryerson University joined Brampton city staff in a special council meeting on Friday, November 2 to assure councillors that Ryerson still intends to set up shop in Brampton by next year.“What we heard from the province was that the cancellation was due to their finances. They left the door open to come back with a further proposal and that’s what we’re looking to do with Brampton,” said Ryerson deputy provost and vice-provost, Glenn Craney.

Brampton PC MPP Prabmeet Sakaria, while echoing the fiscal situation that Ontario is in with a projected $15 billion deficit, he did say that the university can still happen if a proper ‘business case’ was presented.

Craney and Brampton CAO Harry Schlange said that the Chang School for Continuing Education is still on track to open its doors in Brampton starting in January 2019, as well as the $100 million Innovation Centre.

In addition, Ryerson is currently lobbying Ottawa funding to keep the cybersecurity institute on track, indicating they already had “positive” discussions with Brampton’s five Liberal MPs.

As for that special council meeting, all but Mayor Linda Jeffrey were in attendance, including outgoing councillor Grant Gibson who just recovered from a stay at the hospital. Others in attendance include incoming councillors Rowena Santos, Paul Vicente and Charmaine Williams.

What was also noticeable was the presence of a group of former candidates such as John Sanderson, Mario Russo, Cody Vatcher and former mayoral candidate Wesley Jackson.

Overall the meeting seemed to serve little more than an assurance from the university and city’s representatives that Ryerson still intended to settle in Brampton, but with little concrete information as to who is paying for it.

Though early, and still more discussions to be had, I am hopeful that the province will eventually provide us with the funding we deserve,” Coun. Gurpreet Dhillon said.

But at the end of the day, the issue is over the money. With the province no longer providing the purse strings for the universities in Brampton, Markham and Milton (as well as many other things), the question of what exactly will Ryerson be able to deliver and who is going to pay for it now becomes the domineering question.

Has the cost benefit analysis been updated?,” Jackson asked after Schlange, Craney and the councillors finished asking their questions and giving their statements, to which Schlange said not at this time. Another resident asked if in any time the MPPs for Brampton knew about the pending cancellation before the election; councillors reiterated that none of them or their staff knew anything about the surprise announcement.

But that raises the issue if the city is going to have to foot the bill going forward, is Brampton going to get the same deal as they previously had with the province.

Jackson also had his own ideas for the federal government on what to spend money on in Brampton, since universities are a provincial matter.

Do you think the city should foot the bill for the university, or find another way to pay for it?

Or have it at all?

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that the Chang School was set to open in June of 2019. We regret the error.

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