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

April 22, 2021 

Oakville North-Burlington — MP Pam Damoff and MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos announced today that the governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $3.7 million in 32 schools in Oakville North-Burlington to upgrade infrastructure and protect against COVID-19. The funding is being provided through the COVID-19 Reliance Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

The funding will support building retrofits, updates and upgrades to their schools and co-located childcare 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 childcare 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.

Please see the attached list of specific investments in individual Oakville North-Burlington schools

Quote from Pam Damoff, MP (Oakville North-Burlington)

“Investing in the health and safety of students in our schools is one of the most important things our government can do. This joint federal and provincial investment in Halton schools will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission through better air quality, better physical distancing and more hand washing stations. This investment ensures Halton students will have the best, healthiest possible environment to learn and succeed in.”

Quote from Effie Triantafilopoulos, MPP (Oakville North-Burlington)

“Our government is focused on safety in our schools for students and staff. Investing an extra $3.7 million in 32 Oakville North-Burlington schools means improved ventilation, upgraded facilities and a safer learning environment for our kids. Since 2019, Ontario has invested more than $1 billion in new schools, childcare spaces and school additions to ensure high quality and state-of-the art learning for students.”

Quote from Andréa Grebenc, Chair of the Halton District School Board

“The federal and provincial investment partnership will create new outdoor learning opportunities for students, improve air quality and ventilation in portable classrooms, increase Wi-Fi connectivity to augment learning possibilities and enhance partner childcare spaces within Halton District School Board schools. The funding initiatives are greatly appreciated. They contribute to enhancing student achievement and well-being both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Quote from Melinda Chartrand, Chair, Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir

“This financing is extremely important to Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir.  It will help our schools improve facilities to make the environment safer for all.  Thanks to this special provincial and federal funding, our schools will benefit from a myriad of improvements such as automatic water bottle refill stations, non touch taps and door stoppers.  The federal and provincial investment partnership is greatly appreciated, and we look forward to completing these projects as soon as possible.   Student and staff well-being are our top priority.”

Quote from Patrick Murphy, Chair of the Halton Catholic District School Board

“This additional funding comes at a very critical time, and will be used to undertake a number of facility improvements, including accessibility upgrades, HVAC enhancements and additional Wi-Fi access points across our schools. We are grateful for this significant investment by the federal and provincial governments to support our efforts to maintain safe and healthy learning environments so we can continue to provide quality instruction for our students as we live and learn through a pandemic.”  

QUICK FACTS

  • The COVID-19 Resilience stream will deliver up to $700 million for education-related projects including $656.5 million to support individual school board submissions.
  • The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) is a 10-year, $30-billion federal, provincial and partner program that provides funding to improve public transit; community, culture and recreation; green; and rural and northern community infrastructure. Ontario is investing over $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 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.

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Media Contact:     David Lancaster, Executive Assistant

                              david.lancaster@pc.ola.org