As Canada and Ontario grow increasingly diverse, it’s vital that universities reflect the province’s population and help create inclusive environments. Ontario’s diversity is one of the province’s greatest strengths, and ensuring inclusive and welcoming campuses is essential for both the sake of our students and the province.
- Ontario and Canada’s populations are growing today because of immigration. Statistics Canada estimates that immigrants will account for up to 30 per cent of Canada’s population, and 36 per cent of Ontario’s population, by 2036.
- The Aboriginal population grew by 42 per cent between 2006 and 2016, more than four times faster than the non-Aboriginal population. Twenty-seven per cent of that population is 14 and under. But Aboriginal peoples in Ontario and across the country are less likely to have a postsecondary education than non-Aboriginal people.
- Fostering inclusive campuses that reflect the population of Ontario and Canada is essential to ensuring the province thrives in the future and that it benefits fully from the knowledge and ideas of its diverse population.
- Universities are proud of their diverse campuses, but we also know that diversity brings a responsibility to ensure there are culturally sensitive supports on campus and spaces where all students can gather and feel comfortable.
- Committing to the work of reconciliation is also fundamental, not just on campuses but across the province. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) outlined recommendations in its 2015 report on how educators can help repair the harm caused by residential schools. Universities have since redoubled their Indigenization efforts.