The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson and Minister of Infrastructure Catherine McKenna have announced that the federal government will provide $40.8 million funding through the Climate Action Incentive Fund to upgrade 162 schools in Ontario to be more energy efficient. All school boards operating locally will benefit, including:
- the Algoma District School Board ($288,237);
- the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board ($210,706)
- le Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario ($245,936);
- and le Conseil scolaire de district du Grand Nord de l’Ontario ($185,176).
“I am delighted that all four of our school boards are receiving this important funding. Better air quality and lowered pollution will benefit our children now and in the future.” – Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedNor)
Through a fair, minimal price on pollution, students and teachers will be provided with better indoor air quality, leading to better health outcomes for Ontario students and educators, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Energy-efficient buildings also pollute less and help schools save on energy costs while fighting climate change.
Canadians want to see action on climate change, and they know that pollution cannot be free. That’s why the Government of Canada is ensuring that there is a fair, minimum price on carbon pollution across the country and is returning the revenues back to households to make life more affordable and to communities to help them cut pollution and save on energy costs.
“We are extremely grateful for this investment in our schools. The money will be well utilized for much needed upgrades to ventilation, lighting and building management controls, all which will help to make the operations of our schools more efficient. We are thankful for the government’s support and recognition that it is a priority to ensure our students and staff have safe and healthy places to learn and work.” – Lucia Reece, Director of Education, Algoma District School Board.
Upgrades to schools across Ontario are made possible by revenues from the federal carbon-pollution pricing system, which ensures that it is not free to pollute anywhere in Canada. In jurisdictions like Ontario, where the federal backstop currently applies, all revenues are returned to the province in which they were collected—approximately 90 percent of revenue goes back to families through the Climate Action Incentive rebate, leaving the majority of families better off. The other 10 percent is invested in pollution reduction projects—such as these proposed for schools.
In December 2020, Canada announced its strengthened climate plan, which builds on and accelerates climate action already underway, so we can exceed our 2030 Paris Agreement emissions reduction target and establish the building blocks to get to net-zero by 2050. The plan will make life more affordable for Canadians and make communities more livable, while focusing on creating jobs, growing the middle class, and supporting workers in a stronger and cleaner economy.