Ontario Construction News staff writer
The governments of Canada and Ontario have announced $656.5 million in funding for infrastructure upgrades at schools.
The majority of funding will support ventilation projects that improve air quality in classrooms across the province. Projects include HVAC renovations to improve air quality, installing water bottle refilling stations to improve access to safe drinking water, investing in network and broadband infrastructure to support remote learning, and space reconfigurations such as new walls and doors to enhance physical distancing.
“These projects will improve air quality, install more hand washing stations and support better physical distancing. They are part of the federal government’s support to help Canadians get through the pandemic safely, create good jobs across the province, and build stronger, more resilient communities,” said Catherine McKenna, minister of infrastructure and communities.
The Government of Canada is investing $525.2 million towards these projects through the COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Ontario is contributing more than $131.3 million to the projects.
The COVID-19 Resilience stream, implemented in response to the pandemic, allows the Government of Canada to invest up to 80 per cent in projects that support provinces, and up to 100 per cent in projects that support territories and Indigenous communities in their response to the pandemic.
“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, Ontario’s minister of infrastructure.