Categorized | Education

Laying the groundwork for a future university in Brampton

Posted on 31 October 2013 by admin

Linda Jeffrey, MPP

In the course of my ten years representing the people of Brampton-Springdale at Queen’s Park and in cabinet I am constantly amazed at the growth and vitality of our community.

We have accomplished a great deal from the opening of the Brampton Civic Hospital to extending Highway 410 to the redevelopment of the Peel Memorial Hospital as well as improvements in our schools, recreation and cultural centres over the past decade.

The next exciting phase in our growth is championing a university campus in Brampton.

Not long after this very successful Brampton Civic Hospital project was complete I began to hear from residents about a new dream for our community – a university campus.

The growth of the Brampton community has resulted in many post secondary age students having to commute to campuses in Mississauga, North York, Scarborough or downtown Toronto. The other alternative is to choose schools outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) where they incur residency costs.

During the election our government announced an intention to expand university enrolment in and around the GTA. Sources speculated that this expansion would take the form of satellites of existing universities – Kitchener Waterloo’s Wilfred Laurier University would likely have a new Milton campus; Sudbury’s Laurentian University would locate a Barrie campus; and best of all, the potential of a Brampton campus linked to York University, the University of Toronto or Ryerson University.

I know families across our city were excited by the prospect and if given the opportunity I want Brampton to receive serious consideration.

There are many benefits from hosting a campus in Brampton. The economic benefits include attracting highly qualified professors and researchers; providing well paying jobs in a variety of settings; and acting as a resource to companies in the business community. I could go on but I think you get the idea.

Brampton is also uniquely qualified to partner with international universities that have close ties to multicultural communities living here.

We know from past experience that there is no time to waste – we need to do our homework and assemble the right ingredients in order to ensure our future success.

We must work with existing institutions to find a partner who is willing to expand to Brampton. We must find a site that will be home to this institution that is close to transit and close to the centre of the city. And we must put in place a funding plan that will ensure that this future institution has the strong foundation it needs.

There is no magic or short cuts to getting projects approved. It takes vision, cash and political leadership.

Government alone cannot build these great institutions – nor can one group in isolation build it.

None of us by ourselves can bring this university to Brampton but none of us is as strong as all of us working together. Our hospital is more than bricks and mortar and it is one of the most important institutions that now helps define our community.

Join me in setting a new course and new vision for Brampton that includes a university campus that will make us all proud.

Linda Jeffrey is Liberal MPP from Brampton-Springdale.

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