In just a few weeks, the province’s municipalities will virtually gather for the 2020 Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) conference to discuss early lessons from the pandemic and rebuilding for a stronger future. As regions look ahead towards a post-pandemic world, Ontario’s universities stand with our communities and remain strong partners in their recovery.
Rebuilding our communities will not be easy, but universities, researchers and students will continue to work with municipalities to reimagine public services and strengthen community resiliency.
Ontario’s universities have deep roots as economic anchors in our province’s communities, helping foster a strong economy that keeps our industries growing, our diverse regions thriving and supports the health and social services of our communities.
Our institutions serve as community hubs and catalysts for innovation – providing important services for families, and sharing infrastructure with local industry to help small businesses find solutions and scale operations.
Universities collectively employ more than 110,000 Ontarians in administration, catering, skilled trades and more. Often acting as large purchasers of local goods and services, institutions spend more than $5 billion each year, leading to the creation of more than 478,000 jobs across Ontario.
University researchers are also partnering with municipalities to find the type of innovative solutions that will support our most vulnerable communities, improve digital connectivity between regions and work with industry to drive regional economic development.
These partnerships are strengthening the services we’ve come to rely on, such as public transit and traffic systems, broadband Internet and digital infrastructure and access to roads and bridges.
Throughout this pandemic, we have also seen many of the 515,000 students who attend an Ontario university demonstrate their adaptability and commitment to their communities. They are volunteering to help health-care workers and vulnerable populations, developing new products and services for businesses and working with professors to create new tools, equipment, testing methods and treatments and much more.
As September nears, Ontario’s universities look forward to welcoming back these remarkable students – Ontario’s future makers – as well as a fresh, new cohort of students for technology enhanced, in-class or hybrid learning this fall. With an emphasis on providing a high quality education and an enriching experience that prioritizes the health and safety of our students, institutions are developing local solutions to prepare for a safe education that contributes to the success of our students, our communities and our province.
As we move forward to rebuild, Ontario’s universities will continue to partner to build a brighter future – not just for the students we teach but for the communities we serve. Because together, we will emerge stronger, more resilient and better prepared, as we overcome the pandemic and build back better our province.
President & CEO
Council of Ontario Universities