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Prime Minister of Canada announces support for a safe return to school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces an investment of up to $ 2 billion through the Safe Back to School Fund. It will help provinces and territories, for example, to support adaptation of learning environments, improved ventilation, increased measures for handwashing and hygiene, as well as the purchase of 'personal protective equipment and cleaning products.

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TORONTO, Aug.26, 2020 / CNW / - School is essential for children's development and their future success. As schools have had to close and students have been separated from their friends and classmates, the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for families. As we gradually and safely revive our economy, parents should be able to return to work knowing that their children are learning in a healthy environment. This is why the Government of Canada wants to support the provinces and territories to ensure a safe return to school, while protecting the health of students and staff.

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an investment of up to $ 2 billion through the Safe Back to School Fund. This will help support the provinces and territories. They will be able to obtain the additional funding they need as they ensure the safety of students and staff throughout the school year, in collaboration with local school boards and service centers. For example, the Fund will help provinces and territories by supporting the adaptation of learning environments, improved ventilation, increased measures for hand washing and hygiene, as well as the purchase of 'personal protective equipment and cleaning products.

In addition, the Prime Minister announced an additional $ 112 million intended for First Nations to support community measures that will ensure a safe return to reserves. The government will continue to work with its First Nations partners to help protect the health and safety of students and staff throughout the school year.

As we reopen our schools and revive our economy, we will continue to show leadership and work collaboratively with provinces and territories to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.

“As a former teacher and as a parent, I know well the importance of school for the social development and mental well-being of children, not to mention their ability to learn. The start of the school year is also an important step to take in order to revive our economy and ensure that parents return to work without worrying about the health of their children. The Government of Canada will remain an important partner with provinces, territories and First Nations as we all work together to ensure the health and safety of children, families and all Canadians during this difficult time. "  

The Right Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Children in Canada have shown immense strength throughout the global pandemic. As the school year begins, our government is committed to helping Canadian students and teachers return to school safely. "

Hon. Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“The past few months have been particularly difficult for students who are physically separated from their friends and classmates and for parents who have had to juggle their family and work responsibilities. The provinces and territories have all worked hard to ensure that students, teachers and staff can return to school safely. The federal government therefore wants to support them. These funds will help the provinces and territories in their efforts to create healthy and safe learning environments for our children and teachers, as we begin this year like no other. "

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

“We know that schools, students and parents have been hit hard across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment will allow First Nations to implement their own plans and prepare for the safe reopening of their schools, so as to follow public health guidelines and continue to support students. "

Hon. Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services

“We know that families are worried about their children's return to school. The COVID-19 pandemic has put pressure on our schools and families. This is why today's announcement is so important. She will help schools across Canada get the supports and equipment they need to keep children, teachers and families safe. "

Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Highlights

  • The funds will be returned to the provinces and territories in two installments. The first payment will be made in the fall of 2020, and additional funds will be available to them in early 2021. This will provide the provinces and territories with support throughout the school year.
  • Funding will be allocated to provinces and territories based on the number of children aged 4 to 18. These funds will be added to a base amount of $ 2 million per province and territory.
  • Here are the maximum amounts allocated by province and territory:
    • 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
  • The Safe Back to School Fund is in addition to the more than $ 19 billion already announced in the Safe Stimulus Accord to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies. This agreement provides funding to increase virus testing and contact tracing, support vulnerable Canadians, provide child care services and provide income support to people who do not have paid sick leave so all Canadians stay healthy.  

Related links

This document can also be found at: http://pm.gc.ca

SOURCE Office of the Prime Minister of Canada


Middle reactions

Canadian teachers welcome $ 2 billion in federal education funding

OTTAWA, ON, Aug.26, 2020 / CNW / - The Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF / CTF), which represents more than 300,000 teachers in the various provinces and territories, thanks the federal government for intervening in offering additional financial support to allow the safe and sustainable reopening of schools across the country. We are also pleased to see additional funding for First Nations to support community action to ensure a safe return to school on reserve.

Today's announcement of the $ 2 billion injection under the Safe Back to School Fund responds directly to requests from the CTF / FCE, which has argued for the need to provide masks and screens. facial features, allow physical distancing, provide well-cleaned common areas and improve ventilation. We urge provinces and territories to use federal funds to implement these essential health and safety measures. 

The national voice of the teaching profession, the CTF / FCE has been very concerned about the grossly insufficient, inequitable and variable plans drawn up by the territories and provinces in anticipation of the reopening of schools, plans which are not without health risks and the safety of children and young people, but also of the adults who accompany them in their learning and support their education. Last week, the CTF / FCE made a declaration in favor of precisely the measures the federal government is proposing today.

We know that the provincial and territorial education organizations that make up the CTF / FCE will continue to push for the various ministries of education across the country to do their utmost to ensure a safe and sustainable return to schools and have no doubts. that these additional federal funds will be of great help. Safe conditions for the return to school are possible if governments are prepared to plan them well and to invest the necessary sums in them. We hope that the federal government's commitment will encourage the provinces and territories to do the same.

The Canadian Teachers' Federation

Founded in 1920, the Canadian Teachers' Federation is the national voice of the teaching profession. A national alliance of provincial and territorial education organizations, it represents more than 300,000 elementary and secondary school teachers in Canada.

SOURCE Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF / CTF)


New proof of the Quebec government's disengagement from education

MONTREAL, Aug. 26, 2020 / CNW Telbec / - Representing nearly 200,000 members working mainly in the education sector in Quebec, the Centrale des unions du Québec (CSQ) considers that the Canadian government's announcement of 2 billion dollars in education is further proof of the Quebec government's withdrawal from education.

With federal government assistance estimated at approximately $ 432 million for Quebec, the CSQ believes that the high amount confirms the lack of resources criticized for several years in schools, particularly in the context of the pandemic. In comparison, the Centrale recalls that the Minister of Education announced, a few days ago, a non-recurring sum of 20 million for educational success in schools, or the equivalent of 6,500 dollars per school: an amount ridiculous. If the sums allocated by the federal government allow us to hope that there is no longer any reason to compromise the health and safety of students and staff in the context of a pandemic, the president of the CSQ, Sonia Ethier, launches a call for proportional and equitable aid to higher education. “Beyond security in institutions, there is the essential question of education. For several months, we have been hammering out the consequences of the pandemic on the success of pupils and students, at all levels. There is an urgent need to improve resources on the ground in order to have the best possible care, in particular to intervene with the most vulnerable whose success is compromised. The consequences of dropping out are too serious to ignore, ”she explains.

In addition, the president of the Centrale deplores that the financial assistance of Canada is being made in a context where the government of Quebec has just proceeded to a general reduction of the school tax, thus depriving the education network of 800 million. dollars in potential additional income. “As nature abhors a vacuum, the Government of Quebec's underinvestment in education and health has been met by Canada. After the Canadian army intervened to urgently support our CHSLDs, whose underfunding has been criticized for several years, the Canadian government is now supporting Quebec schools on the eve of the start of the new school year. Faced with a CAQ government that turns a deaf ear to the demanded needs in education and health, Canada is responding to a disengagement. Prime Minister Legault said he made education his priority, we are still waiting for this to materialize on the ground! », Says Sonia Ethier, president of the CSQ.

A new marketing campaign to avoid taking action

Along with the federal government's announcement, an article from Journal of Montreal yesterday reported the will of the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, to launch a new advertising campaign to promote the recruitment of education personnel. In response to this campaign, the CSQ denounces short-sighted management consisting in sticking your head in the sand and denying the realities experienced in educational establishments. The announcement of a new marketing campaign has something to raise eyebrows, especially in light of the change in the bar called for in the working conditions of education staff as well as for the improvement of resources for students and families.

“Rather than investing in structuring solutions that allow students, families and staff to breathe and have the services they are entitled to expect, we are being told of a new marketing campaign to make us believe that the education community is shining and all is well. To govern is to make choices. The minister has now chosen advertising twice before improving resources on the ground. We are waiting for the Minister to stop turning his back on structural measures to improve the working conditions of teachers, support staff and professional staff. This must change now! », Explains Sonia Ethier.

In response to the quantity of advertising campaigns carried out by Minister Jean-François Roberge and for the sake of representation of his functions, the CSQ proposes that its official title be changed from now on to that of "Minister of Marketing of Education" . In addition, the CSQ recalls survey results held among Quebeckers from July 22 to 29, where, among the options offered to respond to the shortage of manpower in education, the dissemination of an advertising campaign was the least chosen option. To this end, only 12 % of respondents felt that holding an advertising campaign was an appropriate and relevant solution.

SOURCE CSQ


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