Volume 93, Issue 26

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


Throne speech fails to enthral

Robotic arm helps make history

Biotech incubator to attract research business

Harris makes hushed appearance at Western

Gas stations disconnect cellphones

Organization is key to conference


Caught on campus

Harris makes hushed appearance at Western

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

Local and campus Tories were out in full force yesterday to welcome Ontario Premier Mike Harris to Western.

Huron College hosted a luncheon for London area riding associations as well as the University of Western Ontario Progressive Conservative Association.

"I wanted the opportunity to get together and say thank you to the riding associations and volunteers who were key last June," Harris said of his re-election victory.

Welcoming more than 150 constituents to talk and shake hands, Harris answered questions about the future of post-secondary education. "We have a throne speech next week that will not be a surprise to you," he said. "You'll have to wait for the throne speech, but I think it's a safe bet we'll be talking about education."

Pierre Leduc, press secretary for Harris, said the new Ministry of Training, Universities and Colleges is definitely a priority for Harris. "He's planning for the future. He plans to make the new Ministry successful for years to come."

Memeber of Provincial Parliament Diane Cunningham also decided to drop in on the luncheon. On hand to support Harris, Cunningham said the premier was making history by allocating $742 million for new buildings at colleges and universities across Ontario.

Cunningham explained the Ontario government has invested in post-secondary education only three times. She explained the first was after the First World War, the second was when John Robart was premier and the third time is now. "[We're] in the middle of history. It's not easy to distribute that kind of money," she said.

Both politicians agreed the money invested into Ontario's post-secondary education will subsidize programs and buildings to not only aid the looming double cohort, but also keep education competitive.

"The timing of changing high school from four to five years also coincides with a substantial bulge in enrollment that's coming about from demographic changes," Harris said.

Jason Valentin, president of the UWOPC association, said he was confident there would not be any serious problems caused by the double cohort. "I think Mike Harris' visit here today is a demonstration that he's committed to the youth of Ontario."

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999