Local School Boards Receive $3.6 Million

Published on April 15, 2021

PHOTO previously taken during Summer of 2020

Local School Boards to receive $3.6 Million for School Infrastructure Repairs and Upgrades

MP Marcus Powlowski and MPP Greg Rickford announce funding infrastructure upgrades to improve air quality in schools and protect students and staff safe from the spread of COVID-19

KENORA — The governments of Ontario and Canada are investing up to $3,623,140 in four school districts in Kenora–Rainy River to upgrade infrastructure and protect against COVID-19.

 “The safety and security of our children in schools is paramount,” said Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora–Rainy River. “That’s why our government is working with the Federal government to invest over $3.6 million dollars to ensure that school infrastructure in Kenora–Rainy River is up-to-date and improved to protect our students and teachers now and into the future.”

The funding will support building retrofits, updates and upgrades to their schools and co-located child care facilities. Projects can include HVAC renovations to improve air quality, installing water bottle refilling stations to improve access to safe drinking water, and space reconfigurations such as new walls and doors to enhance physical distancing.

“Ensuring the health and safety of our children and teachers in our schools is a top priority, which is why our government has committed to funding up to 80 percent of these projects,” said Marcus Powlowski, MP for Thunder Bay-Rainy River. “Getting monies out the door quickly to school boards across the region was a priority for both our governments and I’m pleased to see these much-needed infrastructure improvements coming to schools in the region.”

 The funding is being provided through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. 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. The Government of Canada is investing up to $525.2 million towards these projects through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Ontario is contributing $131.3 million to the projects.

 The following School Boards in Kenora –Rainy River will receive funding through this announcement:

 •       Keewatin-Patricia District School Board – $1,252,000

•        Kenora Catholic District School Board – $137,140

•        Rainy River District School Board – $2,068,000

•        Northwest Catholic District School Board – $166,000 

“We are appreciative of this support by the provincial and federal governments, which includes Energy Ventilation Recovery upgrades in many of our schools,” said Heather Campbell, Director of Education, Rainy River District School Board. “This targeted funding assists the Rainy River District School Board in improving the health and safety of our facilities and in reducing our environmental impact, thus ensuring healthier, more efficient schools for our students, our staff, and our school communities.”

The investments build on the more than $1 billion the Ontario government has invested since 2019 in new schools and childcare spaces and additions to provide working families with access to quality, safe, and state-of-the-art learning spaces. Supported by provincial funding, 95% of Ontario schools have reported upgrades or enhancements to their air filtration systems, with over 40,000 HEPA filters and other ventilation devices in classrooms.