Canada and British Columbia invest to improve ventilation in schools and social housing in Richmond

News release

Richmond, British Columbia, May 25, 2023 — Today, Wilson Miao, Member of Parliament for Richmond Centre, Parm Bains, Member of Parliament for Richmond East, the Honourable Rachna Singh, B.C. Minister of Education and Child Care, the Honourable Ravi Kahlon, B.C. Minister of Housing, and Debbie Tablotney, Board Chair for Richmond School District 38, announced a joint investment of more than $2.4 million to improve ventilation systems in eight schools and in one social housing building in Richmond.

Through this investment, elementary and secondary schools in Richmond will renew their ventilation systems, including in their labs, and replace fume hoods. They will also make improvements to make-up air units, which pull in fresh air from outside the building into areas where frequent ventilation is needed, and to the schools’ direct digital controls, which will simplify heating and cooling processes by instituting a single control point for the facilities’ HVAC systems. Together, these improvements will reduce these schools’ energy consumption, leading to cost savings.

This investment will also enable ventilation improvements at Rosewood Towers, a social housing building in Richmond. Ventilation upgrades include replacing make-up air unit systems, dampers, bathroom exhaust fans, and new ventilation ducting throughout both towers.

These improvements will increase outdoor air intake and air cleaning, as well as upgrade system efficiency and sustainability, improving the comfort, health, and safety of students and residents.

British Columbia is on the front lines of the climate crisis, which is why the Province is taking action through the Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy introduced in 2022 – supported by more than half a billion dollars – to build a better, more resilient future for people and communities across British Columbia. It includes a suite of actions to respond to and prepare for climate impacts including our response to extreme heat.

By investing in infrastructure, the Government of Canada is growing the country’s economy, increasing the resiliency of our communities, and improving the lives of Canadians.


“Today’s announcement is an example of what we can achieve when we work together. By investing in local projects like these, we are putting Canadians first. These upgrades will help ensure Richmond residents have access to modern, efficient, and safe environments in which they can work, live, learn, and play. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

Parm Bains, Member of Parliament for Richmond East, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of good ventilation in public facilities. The funding announced today will help safeguard the health of students, staff, and public housing residents in Richmond and protect the overall wellbeing of the community. The Government of Canada will continue to invest in local public infrastructure to build stronger, more resilient communities across B.C.”

Wilson Miao, Member of Parliament for Richmond Centre

“Our government understands the importance of providing students and school staff with modern and safe classrooms. The Federal Government’s continued partnership and investment in the maintenance of our schools adds to our provincial commitment to make sure that students in B.C. are learning in the best possible environments.”

The Honourable Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care

“With this investment, we are continuing to deliver on our commitment to protect and improve social housing in our province. These upgrades with improve residents’ comfort and safety, which is a priority of our government when it comes to housing.”

The Honourable Ravi Kahlon, B.C. Minister of Housing

“Improving the air quality in our schools is a priority for the Richmond School District, and we welcome this investment by the federal and provincial governments to support this important work. This funding will allow us to respond to our parents who urgently requested upgrades to our ventilation systems. It will also allow us to improve energy efficiency, and create a safer and healthier learning environment for our students and staff.”

Debbie Tablotney, Board Chair, Richmond School District

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is investing $1,812,536 in these projects. The Government of British Columbia is investing $368,300 towards the improvements for Rosewood Towers through BC Housing and $241,274 towards the school ventilation improvements through the Ministry of Education.

  • The Government of Canada’s funding comes from the COVID-19 Resilience Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

  • 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.

  • Including today’s announcement, 151 infrastructure projects or project bundles under the COVID-19 Resilience Stream have been funded in B.C., with a total federal contribution of more than $127 million.

  • Through the Investing in Canada 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.

  • Infrastructure Canada helps address complex challenges that Canadians face every day—ranging from the rapid growth of our cities, to climate change, and environmental threats to our water and land.

  • The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program is delivered through bilateral agreements with all provinces and territories to make investments in public infrastructure.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada 
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
Web: Infrastructure Canada

Ministry of Education
Government Communications and Public Engagement

Ministry of Housing
Media Relations

David Sadler
Director, Communications and Marketing
Richmond School District

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