Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens speaks with media at Windsor City Hall, May 13, 2015. (Photo by Mike Vlasveld)

City Funding To Fix Up New Law School Location Still In Play

Asked when he would ideally like to have the University of Windsor move its law school downtown, Windsor’s mayor responds, “yesterday.”

The project received a significant boost in the last provincial budget when the Wynne Liberals committed $20-million for the move, and Drew Dilkens says another $15-million pledged years ago to fix up the downtown location is still on the table.

He also does not believe the provincial cash hinges on a Liberal win in the upcoming election on June 7.

“Not as I understand,” he says. “I”m told that the money was approved in the budget and it’s irrespective of who actually wins the election.”

Tuesday, the three local candidates running for the New Democrats, said their party would honour the pledge if the NDP win on election night.

However, Lisa Gretzky, Taras Natyshak, and Percy Hatfield quickly added they think the announcement is an election ploy by the Liberals. They note the Liberals had five years in power to come to the table and were silent until the budget six weeks ago.

Dilkens expects the downtown will be the biggest winner with about 600 students attending the law school.

“The students who attend that law school just have to be in that one building. Their library is there. Their services are all there. When you think of 600 students, about 95% of which do not hail from Windsor or Essex County — they will want to live as close as possible to that building,” he says.

Monday night, a city standing committee approved a recommendation to give three projects more than $528,000 in tax breaks and grants to build downtown. Two of those projects will add residential units.  The recommendation still needs to go to city council.

Back in August 2015, the City of Windsor bought the Paul Martin Building for $1 with the hope the university would relocate its law school.