Doug Ford government cancels funding for three new GTA university campuses
Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government is cancelling funding for three university campuses in the Toronto area, blaming the province’s poor finances.
Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, said the government is no longer in a position to fund the three satellite campuses in Markham, Milton and Brampton owing to the province’s “new fiscal restraints.”
The campuses were set to open in 2021 and 2022 and serve a total of 8,000 students.
Ms. Fullerton cited a review of the province’s finances that found the deficit has more than doubled to $15-billion this year. During the provincial election campaign, Doug Ford, now Premier, also promised a line-by-line audit of government spending.
“Our government committed to restore accountability and trust in Ontario’s finances. This includes making difficult decisions about projects across the province,” Ms. Fullerton said in a news release issued late on Tuesday.
The cuts total around $305-million in funding promised by the previous Liberal government. A spokeswoman for Ms. Fullerton blamed the Liberals for making “empty promises” and said the ministry is working with the institutions to understand what has been completed “and if there are termination or reasonable wind-down costs.”