New outdoor learning spaces to be created for all public Nova Scotia elementary schools

News release

Halifax, Nova Scotia, April 13, 2021—The health and safety of Canadians are top priorities for the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia. Communities across Canada are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and need 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. 

Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for South Shore—St. Margarets, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Derek Mombourquette, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Sydney—Whitney Pier, announced funding to create outdoor learning spaces for all public Nova Scotia elementary schools.

The project will ensure all public elementary schools have access to funding to create an outdoor learning area for students, that can include: school gardens, outdoor seating areas from nature-based elements, shelters and outdoor performance areas. Outdoor learning promotes healthy habits for students and helps reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This project will ensure a lasting positive legacy for Nova Scotia students beyond the current pandemic.

The Government of Canada is investing $5.6 million towards this project through the COVID-19 Resilience Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Nova Scotia is contributing $1.4 million.

Quotes

“Our public schools are the heart of our communities, where families gather every day and lifelong friendships are born. To help our schools offer the best learning environments for our children, we’re creating outdoor learning spaces for all public elementary schools across Nova Scotia. Being outside is not only safer for our children right now, it’s great for their mental and physical health in the long-term. This investment is one more way Canada’s Infrastructure Plan is creating better, greener, more livable communities across the country.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for South Shore—St. Margarets, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“I am very happy to announce our commitment to outdoor learning. One of the lessons from COVID-19 is the overwhelming benefit that we see from teaching and learning outdoors. We continue to see and hear about the positive mental, physical and academic benefits that come from teaching and learning in nature. Our outdoor learning fund will ensure these benefits remain in place for Nova Scotia’s students once the pandemic is over.”

The Honourable Derek Mombourquette, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Sydney—Whitney Pier

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. 

  • To support Canadians and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a COVID-19 Resilience 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. 

  • Under the COVID-19 Resilience 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.

  • To support smaller-scale projects, the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is providing up to $31 million in existing federal funding to help communities adapt spaces and services to respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19 over the next two years. 

  • The Government of Canada has invested over $831 million in 205 infrastructure projects across Nova Scotia under the Investing in Canada plan.

Associated links

Contacts

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
613-941-0660
Chantalle.Aubertin@canada.ca

Violet MacLeod
Nova Scotia Education and Early Childhood Development
Cell: 902-237-7367
Violet.MacLeod@novascotia.ca

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
613-960-9251
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Email: infc.media.infc@canada.ca
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