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The Town of Fort Smith is pleased to support the transformation of Aurora College into a Polytechnic University and the wonderful benefits it will provide to our community.

Why is a University good for Fort Smith and the Northwest Territories?

  1. We will educate Northern students in a friendly, small northern community - It allows for the best "place based, Northern focused and Indigenous led post-secondary education opportunities".
  2. It will grow the knowledge economy in Fort Smith and the NWT - A strong educational base in Fort Smith will help build stronger bases in other communities, helping build leaders and educational supports in all communities.
  3. It supports the health of the Fort Smith economy - A strong economy in Fort Smith helps to balance the economic diversity in the North where other communities are based around a resource extraction economy. Fort Smith's economy is centred on education and the knowledge economy which stems from the educational programs offered in our community.
  4. It will grow the research capacity at the Thebacha Campus and foster innovation and research for the North
  5. It will provide opportunities for investment - It will create partnership and investment opportunities with southern universities looking to invest and do research in the North.
  6. It will diversify the Fort Smith economy and for the NWT through innovation - A university will drive innovation and support economic activity from the creation and sharing of ideas. Innovation and entrepreneurship skills provide students opportunities to compete in international markets.
  7. It will increase local economic activity  -  While Fort Smith looks for ways to diversify it's economy a university will provide direct and indirect opportunities for Fort Smith and the NWT. "The Conference Board of Canada’s research (shows that) over $40 billion in spending flows through Canada’s colleges and universities each year, which generates over $55 billion in economic activity after multiplier effects"
  8. Student spending will provide a direct benefit to the Fort Smith economy - A Polytechnic University in Fort Smith will be a boost to the local economy and improve the quality of life for Fort Smith residents. According to the Conference Board of Canada, "Off-campus student spending may generate a direct benefit to surrounding localities of up to $17.5 billion and about $1.9 billion in institution-related tourism spending"
  9. It will increase local jobs - Universities are staffed with a wide range of workers along with indirect jobs that service the university. "Almost 700,000 direct and indirect jobs are attributable to spending by post-secondary institutions", Conference Board of Canada.
  10. It will bring in extra funding - Northern research is an important part of the university and southern institutions, organizations and businesses will support a wide variety of northern research.
  11. It will bring Investment Opportunities - Universities can bring in large investments into civic infrastructure as the school, departments and programs grow, providing a positive effect for the community.
  12. It will improve the Quality of Life for residents and students - A successful university in Fort Smith would benefit everyone improving both social and economic opportunities.


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