March 11, 2021 – Today, across the country, Ontario’s universities commemorate the people who lost their lives and recognize the significant impacts of COVID-19 felt by every individual in every region of every Canadian province.
As we move forward, it is important to reflect not just on the challenges we have overcome but also look to the opportunities that lie ahead. Over the past year, we have witnessed individuals, businesses, communities and the postsecondary sector demonstrate resiliency, adaptability and an overwhelming display of the Ontario Spirit.
As many lost parents, siblings, friends and loved ones to COVID-19, and continue to struggle under the burden of isolation, economic hardship and the disruption to daily life, Ontario’s universities, our students, researchers, faculty, staff and communities were – and will continue to be – ready to help.
From the outset, Ontario’s universities have been fully committed to fighting the pandemic. Institutions have donated PPE, opened up their student residences to health care workers, helped business convert operations to produce PPE, adjusted programming to continue to train health care professionals and are investing time and resources in the development and distribution of vaccines.
In support of Ontario’s vaccination rollout, universities will continue to work with local health officials to provide critical support where needed. Looking to this fall, universities will continue to adapt in order to provide high–quality education and an enriching learning experience that supports the mental health and wellness of students. They are united by the common goal of delivering university programs that will support the success and prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty and the entire university community.
As the pandemic continues to take a heavy economic and social toll on our province, the vital contributions of our institutions will continue to be critical. Ontario’s universities remain committed to ensuring Ontario has the world-class talent, adaptable workforce and ground-breaking innovation it needs to reimagine industries, stimulate regional economic growth.
Rebuilding Ontario will take partnership – across all sectors, regions and levels of government to help build a brighter future – not just for the students we teach, but for the communities we serve.
Ontario’s universities look forward to continuing to work with government, community partners and industry to ensure that our institutions respond to changing demands of students and the job market and that ground-breaking innovations continue to be commercialized and brought to the global market place. By working together, we can support our economic recovery and build a stronger, more resilient Ontario for our students and communities.