OTTAWA — The governments of Canada and Ontario have announced $656.5 million in funding for school upgrades to address needs related to COVID-19.
The funding will support ventilation projects that improve air quality in classrooms, stated an April 14 release. Projects include HVAC renovations to improve air quality, installing water bottle refilling stations to improve access to safe drinking water, the development of network and broadband infrastructure to support remote learning, and space reconfigurations such as new walls and doors to permit physical distancing.
The federal government is allocating $525 million towards these projects through the COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and the province is spending than $131 million.
“Ontario’s government is focused on protecting the lives of students, staff and their families,” stated Minister of Education Stephen Lecce for Ontario. “We put a plan into action that leads the nation – delivering air ventilation improvements to over 95 per cent of schools, 7,000 additional staff, and improved cleaning, testing and stronger screening. This one-time investment will help improve the safety of schools, building upon Ontario’s annual investment of over $1.4 billion to maintain schools and $550 million to build new schools.”