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MPPs call for two-year moratorium on closure of Kemptville, Alfred campuses

Progressive Conservative MPPs Steve Clark and Lisa MacLeod want Premier Kathleen Wynne to put a two-year moratorium on the closure of the University of Guelph's Kemptville and Alfred agricultural campuses.

Clark and MacLeod hand-delivered the letter to the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment ahead of an announcement scheduled in Alexandria Friday afternoon.

The hope is that the moratorium would give the community some time to put a business case together to keep the campuses operational.

"We've got so many folks in Kemptville and from Eastern Ontario that have come forward to say they want to work on a solution, but I think the key point as far as I'm concerned is that we need the students that they turned away at that Discovery Day, those new students that would be starting in the fall, we need them to come to Kemptville in the fall," Clark told CFRA.

La Cité Collégiale and Sudbury's Collège Boréal have already signed an agreement in principle to keep the campus in Alfred open, but so far there hasn't been a similar offer in Kemptville.

"It's quite surprising that the Liberal government can find funding for private corporations in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, and at the same time they're announcing two agricultural colleges closing in Eastern Ontario, and one being in the Town of Alfred, which is in the riding," said Roxanne Villeneuve-Robertson, the PC candidate for the riding.

The University of Guelph announced earlier this week that it would shut down the campuses as part of a plan to deal with a $32-million deficit.

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