BRAMPTON, ON: At the last Blue Ribbon Panel meeting on February 15, all members present unanimously agreed their mandate had been fulfilled. The Panel members were congratulated for their hard work and contributions to the City.
As a result, staff brought a report to Committee of Council yesterday, recommending the Blue Ribbon Panel be dissolved, and that members of the Blue Ribbon Panel are formally thanked for their contribution to the initiative to bring a new university facility to Brampton.
“Each member of the Blue Ribbon Panel volunteered hundreds of hours for this initiative – I want to personally thank them for their commitment and contribution,” said Mayor Linda Jeffrey. “Everyone in the city of Brampton owes them our gratitude for a job well done. I know that our dedicated staff will continue to reach out to these talented individuals for advice and expertise as needed.”
Mayor Jeffrey established the Blue Ribbon Panel in 2015 to provide recommendations with respect to Brampton’s post-secondary options, and to provide a realistic and achievable work plan for a university campus in Brampton. Among the Panel’s achievements was the development of an Economic Impact Statement for a university, extensive outreach to universities and the Province, and liaison with key stakeholders in Brampton and surrounding areas.
Staff also updated the Committee on progress made on the City’s work plan in bringing a university to Brampton. Members of Council heard about interest and excitement from the Brampton business community, as outreach with businesses across the city continues. Staff is also assisting universities with their application to the Province to bring a university facility to Brampton.
Progress is being made on stakeholder engagement for the university. City staff participated in focus group sessions hosted by the Brampton Board of Trade. City social media channels took questions and delivered video answers to top questions from residents. Youth engagement strategy development is underway, with participation from partners across the region, including the school board.
The next key milestone is the Province’s March 6 deadline for universities to respond to the Call for Expressions of Interest to establish a presence in Brampton. Ontario universities are encouraged to work in partnership with local communities, businesses, and other institutions to develop proposals for the new facilities.
The Province’s plan is to create new postsecondary facilities focused on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics – skills important to current and future employers, and often grouped together under the acronym STEAM.Quick facts:
• The 2016 census showed that more than 80 per cent of the population growth in the Region of Peel happens in Brampton
• Brampton has a population growth rate about three times higher than the provincial average
• More than 60 per cent of recent Brampton applicants to universities are enrolled in STEAM related programs
The ninth-largest city in Canada, Brampton celebrates a diverse population that represents people from 209 distinct ethnic backgrounds who speak 89 different languages. Brampton residents and visitors have access to state-of-the-art recreation facilities and one of the fastest-growing transit systems in Canada. Opened in 2007, Brampton Civic Hospital is part of the William Osler Health System, which is one of the largest community hospitals in Canada. For more information, visit www.brampton.ca
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