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

Mission Mayor Pam Alexis to run for the NDP

Will take on Liberal Simon Gibson in the Abbotsford-Mission riding

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

MEDICAL MOMENTS: Dr. Andrew Edelson has served Mission for more than 45 years

Why Mission? ‘Mostly because it’s such a wonderful community,’ he says

BC launches 22 new primary care networks, including one in Mission

Will be adding family physicians, a nurse practitioner and a social worker

Missing Chilliwack woman last seen on Wednesday

Friends and family concerned for Joy-Lynn Leon, 42, who was last seen Sept. 23 on Mary Street

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read