Support for a safe return to school
Surrey, British Columbia, August 28, 2020 – School is critical for kids’ development and future success. The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for families, with schools closed and students separated from their classmates and friends. As we gradually and safely restart our economy, parents should be able to return to work and trust that their children are learning in a healthy environment.
That is why the Government of Canada is working to support British Columbia in their efforts to ensure a safe return to school and protect the health of students and staff.
The Minister of Digital Government, the Honourable Joyce Murray, today highlighted up to $242.36 million in support for British Columbia through the Safe Return to Class Fund. This will provide the complementary funding they need, as they work alongside local school boards to ensure the safety of students and staff members throughout the school year. For example, the Fund will help British Columbia by supporting adapted learning spaces, improved air ventilation, increased hand sanitation and hygiene, and purchases of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.
As we reopen our schools and restart our economy, the Government of Canada will continue to take leadership and work together with provincial and territorial partners to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.
“As a former teacher and a parent, I know first-hand the importance of school for kids’ social development and mental well-being, not to mention their ability to learn. The return to school is also an important step to restart our economy and get parents back to work while not worrying about the health of their children. The Government of Canada will remain a close partner to provinces, territories, and First Nations as we work together to keep children, families, and all Canadians safe and healthy during this difficult time.”
—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“Keeping our children safe must always be our top priority and teachers and staff must also be kept safe on the job. This investment will help ensure their safe return to school for this fall, and give parents the reassurance that their children are learning in a healthy environment.”
—Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government
Funding will be provided to British Columbia in two instalments, with a first disbursement in Fall 2020 and additional funding available for early 2021, to ensure that British Columbia have support for the whole school year.
The funding by province and territory will be allocated based on the number of children aged between 4 and 18 years old, with a $2 million base amount provided to each jurisdiction.
Maximum total allocation by province and territory:
- Alberta: $262.84 million
- British Columbia: $242.36 million
- Manitoba: $85.41 million
- New Brunswick: $39.79 million
- Newfoundland and Labrador: $26.18 million
- Northwest Territories: $4.85 million
- Nova Scotia: $47.88 million
- Nunavut: $5.75 million
- Ontario: $763.34 million
- Prince Edward Island: $10.39 million
- Quebec: $432.15 million
- Saskatchewan: $74.90 million
- Yukon: $4.16 million
The Safe Return to Class Fund is in addition to the more than $19 billion previously announced for the Safe Restart Agreement to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies. This agreement included funding to increase testing and contact tracing of the virus, support vulnerable Canadians, ensure the availability of safe child care, and provide income support for people who do not have paid sick leave so all Canadians can stay healthy.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister for Digital Government
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
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