$13 Million for Local School BoardsApril 28, 2021
Investments will upgrade infrastructure to support response to the COVID-19 pandemic and keep students and staff safe
NIPISSING – Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing announced that the governments of Ontario and Canada are providing a combined total of over $13 million to Nipissing’s four local school board 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.
“Supporting air-quality and other infrastructure projects in Nipissing schools helps to protect our communities, making them stronger, healthier and safer today, and for years to come,” said MPP Vic Fedeli. “These are extremely important investments that will upgrade our school’s infrastructure and systems — all part of the Covid-19 response,” added Fedeli.
“I am happy to see schools in Nipissing-Timiskaming taking the opportunity to become more energy-efficient. Energy-efficient schools will support better indoor air quality, leading to better health outcomes for Ontario students and educators, something that has become particularly important with the COVID-19 pandemic. Energy-efficient buildings also pollute less and help schools save on energy costs while fighting climate change,” said Anthony Rota, MP for Nipissing-Timiskaming.
Local School board allocations:
- Near North District School Board – $6,223,200
- Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board – $4,583,000
- Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord – $1,877,000
- Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario – $755,500
“Our Near North District School Board is grateful to receive this investment into optimizing air quality in our schools,’ said Jay Aspin, Board Chair of Near North District School Board. “The receipt of over $6 million dollars will have a meaningful impact on the well-being and safety of our staff and students.”
“The Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board is extremely grateful to the Federal and Provincial governments for their responsiveness to the needs of schools during this global pandemic,” said Leo de Jourdan, Board Chair. “This provides a timely opportunity to make improvements that will have a lasting impact on our learning environments and ensure the continued health and well-being of our students and staff.”
“The additional funding received will help us improve teaching and learning environments and range from water stations to ventilation improvement. They represent a significant investment in the health and safety and well being of our school communities and create jobs in our area,” said Ronald Demers, Board Chair of Conseil scolaire catholique Franco-Nord. “We are grateful for this government’s commitment to keeping students and staff in schools.”
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.
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.