Investment in Local Schools Boards to Protect Against COVID-19Published on April 14, 2021
Joint investments by Canada and Ontario will upgrade infrastructure to support response to the COVID-19 pandemic and keep students and staff safe
The governments of Ontario and Canada are providing $56,825,820 to local Ottawa school boards to upgrade infrastructure at local schools to protect against COVID-19. The funding is being provided through the COVID-19 Reliance Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to the following boards:
- Ottawa-Carleton District School Board $25,600,000
- Ottawa Catholic District School Board $13,905,000
- Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario $4,035,000
- Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario $4,361,820
- Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Centre-Est de l'Ontario $8,924,000
The funding for these school boards will support building retrofits, updates and upgrades to their schools and co-located child care facilities. Projects can include HVAC renovations to improve air quality, installing water bottle refilling stations to improve access to safe drinking water, and space reconfigurations such as new walls and doors to enhance physical distancing.
“The Ontario Government continues to provide the necessary support to the education sector to keep students and teachers safe and healthy at school,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, MPP for Kanata-Carleton and Minister for Long-Term Care. “I am pleased that Ottawa is receiving this additional $56.8 million investment to complete the critical upgrades that will improve connectivity, and ensure safer classrooms and better learning environments for students.”
“This investment in our Ottawa school boards will ensure that our local students and teachers have a safe and improved learning experience,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries and Nepean MPP. “$56.8 million will go a long way to helping fund retrofits, updates and upgrades as well as ensuring our schools can continue to offer safe learning environments.”
“This investment in schools shows our government’s commitment to safe and modern learning environment for students,” said Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton. “This funding will allow schools to enhance their classrooms to support physical distancing, and improve air quality and ventilation.”
The investments build on the more than $1 billion the Ontario government has invested since 2019 in new schools and child care spaces and additions to provide working families with access to quality, safe, and state-of-the-art learning spaces. Supported by provincial funding, 95% of Ontario schools have reported upgrades or enhancements to their air filtration systems, with over 40,000 HEPA filters and other ventilation devices in classrooms.
The Government of Canada is investing up to $525.2 million towards these projects through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Ontario is contributing $131.3 million to the projects. Annually, the Ontario government invests $1.4 billion in continuous maintenance and improvements to school facilities.
- The COVID-19 Resilience stream will deliver $656.5 million to support individual school board submissions for education related projects.
- The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) is a 10-year, $30-billion federal, provincial and municipal program that provides funding to improve public transit; community, culture and recreation; green; and rural and northern community infrastructure. Ontario is investing $10.2 billion in this program.
- The federal COVID-19 Resilience streamhas been adapted from ICIP to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. This ICIP stream, delivered through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories, has been designed to help add flexibilities, expand project eligibility and accelerate approvals.
- Ontario schools have been provided with more than $1.6 billion to better protect students, staff and families from COVID-19 including support for online learning, promoting student mental health, hiring additional staff and investing $100 million ear-marked for immediate improvements to air quality and ventilation.
- Ontario is conducting voluntary targeted testing for asymptomatic students and school staff as an added layer of protection against the transmission of COVID-19.
- The Ontario government invests $550 million annually to build new schools.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect the people of Ontario from COVID-19.
Media Contact for MPP Merrilee Fullerton: