New funding will help make Midwestern Ontario schools safer

Students wearing face masks in the classroom. (© Can Stock Photo / halfpoint)

School boards across Midwestern Ontario are getting funding to upgrade infrastructure at local schools and protect against COVID-19.

Boards in Huron-Bruce will receive more than $8.4 million in funding from the governments of Ontario and Canada through the COVID-19 Reliance Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). School boards serving Perth and Wellington counties will receive over $17.6 million in total from the same fund.

Funding 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 Avon Maitland District School Board will get $2,974,509, The Huron Perth Catholic District School Board receives $1,700,000, the Upper Grand District School Board gets $10,969,000 and the Wellington Catholic District School Board will welcome $1,999,490 in funding.   $3,447,500 goes to the Bluewater District School Board. and  $305,532 to the Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board

“This pandemic has turned our world upside down and make every day a challenge and every week uncertain. These funds will help us get back to a more regular regimen sooner,” said Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson.

“Today’s announcement of support for Ontario’s schools will help provide critical infrastructure to keep students, teachers, and staff in Huron-Bruce and across the province safe through the pandemic and into the future,” said Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb.

“In times like these, we need to do everything possible to keep schools safe, healthy, and open for students. Families are counting on it, and these investments will go a long way to make that happen. I am very pleased that we in Perth-Wellington will benefit, “said Randy Pettapiece, MPP, Perth-Wellington

“Both as MP and as a father with children in our local schools, I am pleased to see this important investment. We all want to see our children back in class as soon as possible,” said John Nater, MP, Perth-Wellington

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.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly highlighted, investments in the health and wellness of Ontarians is more critical than ever. Supporting air-quality and other infrastructure projects in schools helps to protect our communities, making them stronger, healthier and safer today, and for years to come,” said Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure for Ontario

“Ontario’s government is focused on protecting the lives of students, staff, and their families. We put a plan into action that leads the nation — delivering air ventilation improvements to over 95% of schools, 7,000 additional staff, and improved cleaning, testing, and stronger screening,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education