Ford announces two new post-secondary campuses, LTC home coming to Milton, Ont.
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the province’s plan to support the development of new post-secondary campuses and a long-term care facility on Thursday as part of its work to build an “education village” in Milton, Ont.
The premier was joined by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark and Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano to announce the Milton Education Village — an education and community care hub.
The Milton Education Village will include new campuses for Conestoga College and Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as space for a new Schlegel Villages long-term care home, says the government.
The village will also include room for a potential hospice site, residential housing and an additional mix of commercial and retail uses.
Premier Ford told the media that the project “will create much-needed accommodations for 6,700 students, so they can focus on studying programs in high demand fields such as science Healthcare Engineering Technology and Business.”
“[These are] all areas that align with the hiring needs of this region, which made it vital that we proceed with no delay,” Ford said.
Conestoga and Laurier will also provide experiential learning and work-integrated learning opportunities for students, says a release on the announcement.
The Schlegel Villages long-term care home is scheduled to open in late 2023 and the government expects it to provide 192 new long-term care spaces in Milton.
“The progress announced today on the Milton Education Village means we are one step closer to building 192 safe, modern spaces for our loved ones to call home,” Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton said.
To fast-track the project, the Ford government will implement a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO).
MZOs allow the government to fast-track land developments in the Greater Toronto Area and immediately authorize development, regardless of local rules for land-use planning decisions.
“Today’s announcement is a perfect example of how our government is using tools like Minister’s Zoning Orders, in partnership with municipalities, to help quickly get shovels in the ground on important projects that will positively impact the community for generations,” Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing said.
The use of MZOs in the province has garnered criticism, with some worried the orders may allow for governments to push through new projects without full consultation.