The Government of Ontario’s decision in October 2018 to withdraw funding for the proposed Wilfrid Laurier University/Conestoga College campus in the Milton Education Village came as little or no surprise to some, given the new Government’s inherited $15 billion operating budget deficit and rumours in and around Queen’s Park as early as last summer that no financial paperwork could be found related to the $90 million initial phase of the initiative promised by the previous Government.
The $90 million was earmarked to help Laurier establish an innovative academic centre of excellence in the Milton Education Village. Laurier, in partnership with Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, was eager to bring academic programming to the west side of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Building on its sector-leading expertise in Science, Technology, Mathematics and the Arts (STEAM), Laurier’s Milton site would introduce complementary Engineering undergraduate programs linking students to highly skilled STEAM opportunities.
The Milton Education Village was designed to bring to life our community’s vision for a comprehensively-planned neighbourhood, integrating
post-secondary education, residential, commercial and recreational uses into a 400-acre area alongside the Niagara Escarpment. It’s genesis dates back to 1993 and the establishment of the original Destiny Milton community plan, which helped to establish the parameters for the growth we are now experiencing.
When the announcement was made, some 36 hours after I was elected your councillor, I immediately reached out to Parm Gill, our Member of Provincial Parliament at Queen’s Park who represents Milton. Parm and I had constructive communications about the matter and have agreed to work together over the next four years to advocate for secure funding for the Laurier/Conestoga initiative at Milton’s Education Village, working within the operating and capital budget parameters long established by the Province of Ontario to ensure our community achieves its post-secondary school education vision. CR