FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question as he speaks with media following an announcement in Brockville, Ont., Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Feds roll out $2 billion to fund return-to-school safety amid pandemic

Additional $112M will go towards First Nations schools

The federal government is giving $2 billion in schools safety for the coming school year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday (Aug. 26).

The cash will come as part of a newly created Safe Return to Class fund to “help keep students and teachers safe as schools reopen,” the prime minister said during a press conference at a public school in North York, Ont.

Trudeau also announced a separate $112M for schools in First Nations communities.

Trudeau said the $2 billion was flexible funding and that it was not meant to sidestep provinces, as education falls under their jurisdiction. The money can be used for anything from hand sanitizer to remote learning options, he added.

The prime minister was peppered with questions about why the feds were funding a provincial responsibility, as well as the timing of the money. Students in Quebec have already return to classrooms, while other provinces will have kids in school within the next week or two. Alberta students are scheduled to return Sept. 2 or 3, while B.C. classrooms will fill up with kids by Sept. 10.

“Over the past week or so I’ve heard from… parents across the country that are worried about how that reopening is going to go,” Trudeau said. “What [the provinces] choose to do is up to them… but we know there is more to do.”

Of the $2 billion, B.C. will receive $242.36 million.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation has called on the province to use the money to reduce class size, density and bring in better cleaning and ventilation, as well as remote learning options for students who need them.

More to come.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusEducationJustin TrudeauSchools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna Rockets alumni Luke Schenn wins Stanley Cup

Schenn is the fifth Rocket alumni in history to hoist the trophy

Netflix star Francesca Farago seen hanging in Kelowna

Farago got her big break as a reality TV star in Netflix’s ‘Too Hot to Handle’ in 2020

Mandatory mask policy coming to Capital News Centre

The new policy comes into effect Oct. 1

RDCO to issue open burning permits for eligible property owners

Permits will be issued to those who qualify and meet the requirements of local fire protection bylaws

BC NDP nominate Spring Hawes as Kelowna West candidate

Hawes will be running against Ben Stewart the incumbent BC Liberal

B.C.’s top doctor encourages Halloween costumes to include masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry will soon be releasing guidelines on how to safely trick-or-treat this Halloween

Reincarnation, baby! Music-making B.C. couple celebrate ‘miracle’ pregnancy

‘I (said) to Adam, ‘I really think this is your brother reincarnated,’ Elise Estrada says

Boot takes leave of absence from Summerland council

Mayor is seeking election at provincial level on Oct. 24

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Explosion after early morning fire in Olalla

A trailer parked on Crown Land caught fire in the early hours of the morning

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Fire at North Okanagan pellet plant

Smoke fills valley as crews respond

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Most Read