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COVID-19: Guelph, Waterloo school boards receive a total of $53.6 million

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Guelph and Waterloo’s school boards are getting a total of $53.6 million from upper levels of government for infrastructure upgrades in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ontario government says the majority of funding will support ventilation projects that improve air quality in classrooms.

Read more: Ontario students move to virtual learning indefinitely amid record-high COVID-19 cases

Some funding is also to enhance remote learning and for renovations to enhance physical distancing and installing handwashing stations or touchless faucets and soap dispensers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the wellbeing of students, parents and teachers,” said Canada’s infrastructure minister, Catherine McKenna.

“These projects will improve air quality, install more handwashing stations and support better physical distancing. They are part of the federal government’s support to help Canadians get through the pandemic safely, create good jobs across the province, and build stronger, more resilient communities.”

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Ottawa is chipping in $525.2 million while the province is adding $131.6 million for a total of $656.3 to be spread out across Ontario’s schools.

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In Guelph, the Upper Grand District School Board is slated to receive $17.2 million while the Wellington Catholic District School Board is getting just under $2 million

For Waterloo, $26.2 million is going to the public board while the Catholic board is getting $8.1 million.

Read more: Calls grow for Ontario daycare workers to receive COVID-19 vaccine to prevent closures

“Ontario’s government is focused on protecting the lives of students, staff, and their families,” said Ontario’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

“This one-time investment will help improve the safety of schools, building upon Ontario’s annual investment of over $1.4 billion to maintain schools and $550 million to build new schools.”

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