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

MP Morrison faults federal Throne Speech as new Parliament session begins

Kootenay-Columbia representative criticizes a lack of focus on jobs, support for resource sector

Boil water advisory issued for Lower Kootenay Band

Bacteria was discovered in the Band’s water system yesterday

Creston residents invited to participate in scarecrow and pumpkin carving contest

In previous years, the contest was limited to local businesses and select artists who would display their scarecrows along Canyon Street for the event

Membership drive launched to attract input for new Creston Discovery Centre

For more than 40 years, environmental awareness and educational programs were offered at the Creston Valley Wildlife Area’s original Interpretive Centre

Rossland resident Aerin Bowers completes 19-km swim along Christina Lake

Bowers said her dad inspired her to complete the epic adventure

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read