Investing in Guelph and Wellington County schools to protect against COVID-19

April 15, 2021

Safer schools for kids and teachers

The health and safety of Canadians are top priorities for the governments of Canada and Ontario. Communities across Canada are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and requires immediate assistance to ensure their public infrastructure is safe and reliable.

That is why governments have been taking decisive action to support families, businesses and communities, and continue to look ahead to see what more can be done in these unprecedented times. 

Yesterday, Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, Randy Pettapiece, Member of Provincial Parliament for Perth-Wellington, along with the Upper Grand District School Board’s Martha Rogers, Director of Education, and the Wellington Catholic District School Board’s Michael Glazier, Director of Education, announced joint funding for Guelph and Wellington County to protect students and staff from COVID-19. Together the funding announced will support 87 individual schools in their Boards.

The Upper Grand District School Board will receive a total of $10,969,000 with the Government of Canada investing $8,775,200 and the Government of Ontario investing $1,193,800.  The Wellington Catholic District School Board will receive a total of $1,999,490 towards these projects with the Government of Canada investing $1,599,568 and the Government of Ontario contributing $399,892 through the COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

The projects will include upgrades to ventilation systems, improvements to plumbing that will allow for better hand hygiene and touchless water refill stations as well as partitions and HVAC improvements to ensure the reduction of transmission and to improve air quality for students, staff and teachers.  

On April 14, 2021, 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.

 

Quotes

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the wellbeing of students, parents and teachers. As we continue to battle this crisis, ensuring a safe learning environment for our kids is critical. That’s why the Government of Canada is investing 80 cents on every dollar for a total of over $500 million to make schools across Ontario safer for students and teachers. 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.”

 -The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Students, teachers, and staff deserve to learn and work in safe, modern learning spaces, and these investments will improve the safety of schools and classrooms in Guelph-Wellington and across Ontario by improving air quality and the touchless water fountains that will help to reduce the airborne and surface transfer of COVID-19.”

 -Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph

“The Upper Grand District School Board is very happy to receive this funding.  We will continue to make improvements to the ventilation systems in several of our schools, which will support our immediate and long-term needs.  Our Board will focus on HVAC renovations and upgrades to the Building Control Systems, which will help improve the indoor learning environments for our students and staff.”

-Martha Rogers, Director of Education for the Upper Grand District School Board

“We are grateful for the support provided by the Federal and Provincial Government through this funding announcement.  Student and staff safety is of paramount importance to us and this funding will continue to add to the investments being made in our schools to ensure this outcome is achieved. Upgrades, such as touchless taps in each of our schools, will help promote safety and good health for all. We look forward to having these projects underway shortly so our students and staff can enjoy their benefits.”

-Mike Glazier – Director of Education for the Wellington Catholic District School Board

 

Quick facts

  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities. Ontario is investing $10.2 billion in this program.
  • To support Canadians and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure stream has been added to the over $33-billion Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help fund pandemic-resilient infrastructure. Existing program streams have also been adapted to include more eligible project categories.
  • Through the COVID-19 Resilience stream, over $3 billion is available to provide provinces and territories with added flexibility to fund quick-start, short term projects.
  • Under the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure stream, the federal cost share for public infrastructure projects is 80 per cent in the provinces, and 100 per cent in the territories and for projects intended for Indigenous communities.
  • The Government of Canada has invested over $8.3 billion in 2,876 infrastructure projects across Ontario under the Investing in Canada plan.

 

Associated links

 

Contact: Lianne Cassidy

Executive Assistant to MP Lloyd Longfield

Lloyd.longfield.c1@parl.gc.ca

226-821-5979