For Immediate Release
April 27th, 2016
Mayor Crombie to University Leaders: Investing in Education is City-Building
Toronto – Investing in education is city-building. This guiding principle shapes the responsibilities Canada’s mayors undertake, as we work to build more promising and thriving futures for Canada’s cities, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said during a keynote address delivered yesterday at a policy conference organized by national advocacy organizations Universities Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), respectively.
“While education is the purview of the provincial government, all three levels of government – and especially cities – have a role to play in supporting our post-secondary institutions,” Mayor Crombie said to a room of nearly 100 government and academic leaders. “In Mississauga there is a conscious effort by Council to look at issues through the lens of: how can we advance the priorities of our local post-secondary institutions?”
Mississauga is the site of the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) and Sheridan College. Mayor Crombie highlighted Mississauga Council’s commitment to grant $10 million dollars toward developing UTM’s new Innovation Complex, adding that “this grant remains a bold and unprecedented move by a municipality.” Phase two of Sheridan’s Hazel McCallion Campus is well underway, “on nearly nine acres of prime land made possible through a partnership between Mississauga and Sheridan.”
“To compete globally, Canada must continue to produce world-class post-secondary graduates and invest heavily in our colleges and universities.” Mayor Crombie highlighted recent investment missions to India and Japan saying that “the common thread woven throughout our international working meetings was our educational linkages and educated workforce.” Over 66% of Mississauga’s workforce population has a post-secondary education.
“Our investment mission to Japan took us to Osaka – Japan’s global life sciences hub,” Mayor Crombie said. Mississauga is Canada’s second largest life sciences cluster by employment, home to over 390 life science companies employing over 25,000 people.”
UTM’s Academy of Medicine undertakes cutting-edge research and graduates talented men and women into the fields of medicine, healthcare and commerce. UTM offers a Masters of Biotechnology – one of the few programs of its kind in Canada.
Building regionally-integrated transit was also a leading focus of Mayor Crombie’s keynote, saying that “students shouldn’t have to re-arrange course schedules to accommodate transit schedules.” The Mayor highlighted the Wynne government’s commitment to fully fund the Hurontario LRT amounting to $1.4 billion. The LRT will serve 22 stops including direct connections to Sheridan’s Hazel McCallion Campus.
The LRT will be linked to GO Transit’s Milton and Lakeshore West rail lines – important routes to the University of Toronto’s St. George Campus, Ryerson University, the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology and McMaster University.
Mayor Crombie also spoke at length about Mississauga’s plan for all-day two-way GO Train service on the Milton and Kitchener rail lines with the Missing Link plan. “The Missing Link will make life easier for students to get to and from campus. It will improve their school-life balance. It will help universities more easily recruit accomplished students to choose them and entice experienced academics and talented administrative professionals to work with them.”
“The Missing Link will help us exceed the potential of the Toronto-Mississauga-Waterloo innovation corridor. It will shuttle students, scholars and professionals to and from leading academic institutions like the University of Waterloo to global businesses that have head offices along this corridor and especially in cities like Mississauga.”
Mayor Crombie added that “the Missing Link is as much about investing and building knowledge infrastructure as it is about building transportation and economic development infrastructure.”
Mayor Crombie concluded “working together, municipalities and our university partners are making lasting inroads. We are building complete cities. Communities where people can earn an education, find a good paying job, start a business, pursue their aspirations and enjoy an unrivalled quality of life.