(Queen’s Park) – On April 18th, the Ontario Government announced the final approval and a commitment of financial support for the proposed new Wilfrid Laurier University/Conestoga College campus in Halton Region.
“We’re delighted to hear that the Laurier/Conestoga proposal for a new post-secondary campus in Halton Region continues to move forward,” Wellington-Halton Hills Ted Arnott said.
Mr. Arnott was in attendance at the announcement event on April 18th, and informed the Ontario Legislature of the good news on April 19th.
“It has been an honour to represent a large part of Halton Region in the Legislature for the past decade,” Mr. Arnott continued. “I want to express my sincere appreciation to the staff of Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College, our municipal officials, and in particular Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr and Regional Council, as well as the many other local partners who have worked together to bring us to this point.”
Mr. Arnott has been supporting the Laurier project for almost 5 years, after first being informed of it by Dr. Max Blouw, who was then Wilfrid Laurier University’s President.
In recent years, the veteran MPP wrote to the Government on many occasions, arranged meetings at Queen’s Park, spoke about the merits of the Laurier/Conestoga proposal in the Legislature several times, and attended a number of related events to show his support.
“Laurier is considered to be one of Canada’s top comprehensive universities and scores as the top university in the country in terms of student satisfaction,” Mr. Arnott went on. “It’s a perfect fit for our area, and will give generations of students another local option for their post-secondary education.”
Mr. Arnott attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo from 1982 to 1987. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Political Science, and later received a Diploma in Business Administration. As most college and university students must do, he worked part time and in the summer to help pay for his tuition and accommodation expenses. Throughout the time he attended university, he worked on Saturdays at Sussman’s Menswear in his hometown of Arthur. Most summers, he worked as a construction labourer with Arnott Construction Ltd., but one summer he was an auto assembly worker at General Motors (GM).
Below is the text of the Statement Mr. Arnott delivered in the Ontario Legislature on April 19th, 2018.
Early Wednesday morning, I was pleased to be able to get back in Halton Region to congratulate and thank officials from Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College upon their plans to build a new, innovative academic centre of excellence in the Town of Milton.
Laurier is considered to be one of Canada’s top comprehensive universities and is considered to be the top university in the Country in terms of student satisfaction. Conestoga’s graduate employment and graduate satisfaction rates are consistently among the highest in Ontario.
Their partnership will become a beacon. This is nothing less than the future of post-secondary education in Ontario.
When completed, the new Milton Education Village will be a 400 acre purpose-built, fully integrated neighbourhood located near the 401 and adjacent to the Niagara Escarpment.
With a focus on the STEAM disciplines, meaning science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, the new post-secondary campus is planned to eventually serve 2,000 students in the coming years.
For my constituents in Wellington-Halton Hills, it represents a new post-secondary learning option, close-to-home, bringing together “theory and practice” and “rethinking the way we train people,” as was said at the event.
This project has been in the works for many years, and successive Councils and Staff of the Town of Milton, as well as the Region of Halton, and the other community partners, all deserve enormous credit for their commitment and vision.
As a Laurier alumnus, as a Waterloo Region MPP from 1999-2007 working with Conestoga College, and for the past decade a Halton MPP, I was glad to add my own voice in support of this proposal and express that support on the floor of this House.
We all look forward with anticipation to its completion, as together we embrace the promise of Ontario’s future.
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Ted Arnott, MPP