Joint federal and provincial funding of more than $5 million for 66 projects in Eastern Ontario to protect students and staff from COVID-19 has been announced by Francis Drouin, Member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell.

The Government of Canada is investing $5,005,622 towards these projects through the COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. On April 14, 2021, Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure for Ontario, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education for Ontario, announced $656.5 million in joint funding through the COVID-19 Resilience Stream to support more than 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 to 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 per cent in projects that support provinces and up to 100 per cent in projects which support territories and Indigenous communities in their response to the pandemic.

“As we all fight the pandemic together, it is essential for the federal government to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for school staff and students in our region.” Drouin said. “School boards in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell are doing a great job and the federal government is and will always be there to help them fight COVID in our schools.”