Peter Tabuns MPP, Toronto-Danforth

Government of Ontario

Ford withholding money and actions needed to make schools safe

Published on January 29, 2021

QUEEN'S PARK — NDP Education critic Marit Stiles said more federal funding for school ventilation and sanitation is welcome — but children, teachers and education workers need smaller class sizes, a comprehensive in-school testing program and paid sick and family-care days to keep potential COVID-19 cases out of schools — all things for which Doug Ford is withholding the funding.

"As 280,000 students prepare to return to in-person classes on Monday, the Ford government is still withholding the investments needed to make those schools safe,” Stiles said. “Doug Ford is still sitting on tens of millions of dollars from the last batch of federal funding. Allocating money and having it sit in a bank account won’t stop a single child or educator from getting sick and making others sick.

“Ford was cutting in our schools before the pandemic started, and he doesn’t seem willing to change his ways now.”

The federal government provided $700 million for making schools safer from COVID-19 in the fall of 2020. The Ford government has spent roughly half of that and is sitting on the rest.

"Experts have been clear about what’s needed. If the NDP were in government today, we could cap class sizes at 15, bring in a comprehensive asymptomatic testing program, and give all workers paid sick days and family care days so parents can afford to keep a potentially sick little one at home.”