A recent article from local publication The Pointer suggested that Ryerson University may be abandoning its plans to expand to Brampton, but the school officially disputes those claims.

Earlier this week The Pointer published an article stating that Ryerson was officially cancelling its expansion to Brampton and that the city would have to look for a new university partner to realize its post-secondary dreams.

Back in October, just one day after the municipal election in which Patrick Brown won in a narrow race against former Mayor Linda Jeffrey, the Ford government announced it would be pulling $90 million in funding previously earmarked by the Liberals for Brampton’s university campus. Funding was also pulled from Markham’s York campus and Milton’s Laurier campus.

Despite the loss of funding, Ryerson remained at the table and continued to collaborate with the city on plans for expansion in various areas and the university says the Pointer article is unequivocally incorrect.

“Ryerson’s position on and commitment to Brampton has not changed,” the school’s Manager of Public Affairs Johanna VanderMaas told Bramptonist.

When the news broke about the provincial government’s decision to cancel funding Ryerson publicly reaffirmed its support and commitment to investing in Brampton, and VanderMaas says the proof is in the pudding.

“Ryerson is already offering educational courses through our Chang School in Brampton. We are developing plans with the City of Brampton for an innovation hub, and the Cybersecurity Centre will be located in Brampton when all of the operational and governance details are completed,” she says.

So where does that leave the university campus? It’s still a huge question mark which ultimately it comes down to funding.

When the news first broke some city councillors suggested using the previously allocated $150 million for an innovation centre as a financial commitment to getting the campus built. While it’s certainly a viable option, it doesn’t cover the issue of operational funding. The province would need to commit to funding the day to day costs of the school once students start being admitted,

In the meantime, the continuing education courses, the Cybersecurity Catalyst — which is the first of its kind in Canda — and collaboration on the Centre for Innovation are promising partnerships with Ryerson and show its willingness to continue to work with Brampton and other local partners.

Should the Ford government come around again with a funding commitment, it puts Ryerson and the city in an advantageous position to capture the opportunity.

VanderMaas went on to say, “Ryerson remains absolutely dedicated to working with its partners at the City and Sheridan to help bring education and innovation to Brampton that offer the critical thinking and problem solving skills needed to succeed and thrive in the modern economy.”

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