Laurier Milton campus expansion denied

Wilfrid Laurier University’s proposal to build a campus in the town of Milton has officially been declined.

Wilfrid Laurier University’s proposal to build a campus in the town of Milton has officially been declined by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, according to a press release issued by the university Wednesday.

In the press release Max Blouw, president of Laurier, said the proposal’s rejection was a “profound disappointment for the university and for their community partners.” According to Blouw, the proposal contained “all the key requirements and objectives set out by the province of Ontario,” as well as an approach to “satisfy the growing need for higher education in Milton.”

“I’m told that we will be getting a debriefing from the ministry, which will enable us to understand in a detailed way what the criteria were against which proposals were evaluated and how we scored against those criteria,” said Blouw in an interview Wednesday.

Photo by Heather Davidson
Photo by Heather Davidson

Blouw said a review panel consisting of deputy ministers, including Harvey P. Weingarten, president and chief executive officer of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, determined only one proposal will be recommended to cabinet — a new campus in Markham that will run as a partnership between York University and Seneca College.

Blouw also said MTCU will open up another call for proposals in a year specifically for a campus in the Halton-Peel region. He anticipates Laurier will submit another proposal.

“We might modify that position, but today our intent is to move forward and to continue to pursue a Milton campus.”

The proposal included a 150-acre university campus placed within the 400-acre Milton Education Village, which borders to the Niagara Escarpment greenbelt. It was also said to “fuel economic growth by creating opportunities for business and research and education partnerships,” said the release by Laurier.

According to Blouw, Laurier’s Milton partners have also expressed their disappointment to the news.

“They have issued a press release that says that they are as disappointed as we are, but they’re just as committed as we are to further explore the options and try to build a campus in the community of Milton,” he said.

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