VIDEO: PC Government Pulls Funding For Paul Martin Building
The Doug Ford government has pulled funding promised by the previous government to renovate the Paul Martin Building in downtown Windsor.
Back in May 2018, the province under the Wynne Liberal government quietly committed $20-million to move the Faculty of Law from the University of Windsor into the historic building in downtown Windsor, bringing with it 600 students.
Ward 3 Councillor Rino Bortolin tells AM800 News he is not surprised.
"It's disappointing on many levels," admits Bortolin. "We've seen slowly this new Ford government erode a lot of funding that hurts this area and this is just another one."
The money was promised in May, before the provincial election, and Bortolin hopes the withdrawal of funding isn't a sign of things to come.
"We're waiting on funding for a regional hospital in this area. To be honest, I'm not optimistic at this point about that either," says Bortolin. "I think this Ford government sees southwestern Ontario and a drain on their resources and doesn't really care about supporting anything in this region.
Bortolin now expects the university to build a new law school on its main campus instead of downtown and the city will have to look at other uses for the Paul Martin building.
"We've talked about needing a location for a library. Discussions can and should happen there. The college was looking for more space so, obviously there are options but it's disappointing because a new university law school would be one of the most ideal circumstances for that building."
AM800 News has received a statement from the office of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. It says;
"Postsecondary education is critical to the future of Ontario and its prosperity. We will support measures that benefit students and job seekers.
In regards to the Windsor Law School, we promised the people of Ontario to restore accountability and trust in the province's finances. Our Government is being forced to clean up the irresponsible and reckless financial decisions of the previous Liberal Government. Part of that process means making tough decisions about projects across Ontario.
This includes empty promises made in an election year by the Liberals, leading to a $15-billion deficit.
We are making reasonable and pragmatic decisions on projects as we return to balanced budgets.
The government has identified a number of projects that are not aligned with current fiscal priorities at this time, and the relocation of the Windsor law school is not going ahead. "
Regardless of provincial funding, ferderal funding had yet to be confirmed as well.
In August 2017, former University of Windsor President Dr. Alan Wildeman announced the university was pulling out of plans to take over the Paul Martin building due to the lack of financial support.
Colonial Building Restoration, out of Scarborough, began the work to restore the facade back in April 2016 and finished the work last year.