Investment in Local Schools Boards to Protect Against COVID-19

Joint investments by Canada and Ontario will upgrade infrastructure to support response to the COVID-19 pandemic and keep students and staff safe

YORK REGION — The governments of Ontario and Canada are providing over $32 million to school boards in York Region to upgrade infrastructure at local schools to protect against COVID-19. This includes $15,119,007 for York Region District School Board and $17,582,500 for York Catholic District School Board. The funding is being provided through the COVID-19 Reliance Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

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 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.

“Today’s investments of more than $15 million for the York Region District School Board and more than $17 million for the York Catholic District School Board are crucial to improving and enhancing our local schools. I know these funds will be put to excellent use upgrading facilities to ensure they are modern, safe and healthy for our students, teachers, and staff.” - Paul Calandra, MPP for Markham-Stouffville

QUICK FACTS

  • 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 stream has 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.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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MEDIA CONTACT

Rita Smith

647-242-5505

Email. rita.smith@pc.ola.org

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