Investing over $7 million in area schools to protect against COVID-19

Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Economic Development (FedNor), and Ross Romano, MPP Sault Ste. Marie, announced joint funding for Algoma District School Board and the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board to fund infrastructure improvements for area schools, in order to protect students and staff from COVID-19 yesterday in the Soo.


The Government of Canada is investing $5,692,000 towards these projects through the COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Ontario is contributing $1,423,000 to the projects.


Recently, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure for Ontario, and the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education for Ontario, announced $656.5 million in joint funding through the COVID-19 Resilience Stream to support over 9,800 projects at almost 3,900 schools and co-located childcare facilities across 74 school boards in Ontario.


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.


The COVID-19 stream, implemented in response to the pandemic, allows Government of Canada to invest up to 80% in projects that support provinces and up to 100% in projects that support territories and Indigenous communities in their response to the pandemic.


Rose Burton Spohn, Director of Education, Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board explained, “The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board is excited and honoured to receive this very generous funding from the federal government.  Of the $3.4 million our board was awarded, $2.6 million of it will be applied towards upgrading ventilation in St. Mary’s in Blind River, Our Lady of Fatima in Chapleau, Our Lady of Lourdes in Elliot Lake, St. Joseph in Wawa, and St. Basil’s in White River.  These important upgrades will significantly increase the comfort and safety of our students and employees.”

“We also are very grateful to have received $80,000 in funding for water bottle re-filling stations in our elementary schools in Chapleau, Elliot Lake, and Wawa.  These stations will encourage our students to maintain and develop ecologically friendly habits that protect our natural environment and planet.”


Brenda Stockton
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