Patrick Brown says 'we're going to have real issues' if Doug Ford doesn't invest in Brampton

Patrick Brown says he doesn’t believe the province slashed its funding for a new Ryerson satellite campus in Brampton because that city elected him as mayor. But he is taking it personally.

Mayor-elect says he’ll take any funding cut to Brampton personally

Brampton Mayor-elect Patrick Brown says he'll take any funding cut to the city personally. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Patrick Brown says he doesn't believe the province slashed its funding for a new Ryerson satellite campus in Brampton because that city elected him as mayor.

But he is taking it personally.

"Any cut that happens to Brampton I'm going to take personally," Brown told CBC Radio's Metro Morning in an interview that chronicles his tumultuous year in politics. You can listen to the full interview below.

On Tuesday, the Progressive Conservative government announced it won't fund satellite post-secondary campuses in Brampton, Markham and Milton because of Ontario's $15-billion deficit — a debt it's blaming on the previous Liberal government, which had offered $300 million in funding for the new facilities in 2014.

Brampton was set to welcome Ryerson University and Sheridan College campuses that thousands of students could have attended. Brown calls the move to cut funding a "short-sighted" decision.

"Young people in Brampton deserve to have an opportunity to go to post-secondary education in Brampton," Brown said.

Brown said he'd heard rumours the cut was in the works, but claims the government opted against breaking the bad news until after Monday's election.

"They were waiting until after the municipal election to announce the news as to not hurt the campaigns of incumbent mayors in those three cities," he said.

A government news release said the decision was made following the independent commission of inquiry into the province's finances.

Brown says he's open to working with Doug Ford

On Monday night, Brown defeated Brampton's current mayor, Linda Jeffrey, by 3,901 votes.

At the beginning of 2018, Brown was the leader of the Ontario PC party before allegations of sexual misconduct prompted his resignation (Brown is still embroiled in a legal battle over the publication of those allegations.)

Following that, he had hoped to lead Peel Region, before Premier Doug Ford's Better Local Government Act cut that position, leading him to run in Brampton's municipal election.

Brown said he's still willing to work with Ford, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for that matter, when it comes to getting funding for Brampton. Both leaders, he said, need support in Brampton if they want to keep forming majority governments, and that support won't come without investments in areas like healthcare.

Fresh off a win, Brown also issued a warning to politicians from other levels of government. If they show up looking for a photo op without an investment, he said, "we're going to have real issues."


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