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On August 26, the federal government announced new a program – Safe Return to Class Fund - to assist provinces and territories in ensuring that schools can be safely reopened allowing, children and youth to return to classes and parents/caregivers to return to work.

According to the news release, “this [initiative] will provide the complementary funding [the provinces] 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 provinces and territories by supporting adapted learning spaces, improved air ventilation, increased hand sanitation, and hygiene, and purchases of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies” [emphasis added].

HRAI continues to work with provincial representatives, staff, and policy advisors to provide the HVACR industry’s expertise and recommendations.  Particularly in Ontario, the provincial government had previously announced $50 million in funding to address ventilation issues in schools.  It appears that the federal funds will simply supplement that spending.

The total allocation by province and territory breaks down as follows:

  • 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

More details can be found here:  https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2020/08/26/prime-minister-announces-support-safe-return-school