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Legislative Update – November 2, 2020

2020 11/2 | Connects Page, Early Years, Education Finance, Legislative Updates, Ontario Newsroom

COVID-19 Update

As of the morning of October 30, 889 cases of COVID-19 cases had been reported in publicly funded schools in the past 14 days. Of those cases, 481 are students, 91 are staff, and 317 are not identified. None of the 4,828 schools in the province are currently closed.

COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream

On October 28, the government announced it would be providing up to $1.05 billion in combined federal-provincial funding through the new COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream. The funding is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. A majority of this is up to $700 million for education-related projects to be nominated and administered by the Ministry of Education.

Eligible projects under the COVID-19 Resilience Stream fall into four main categories:

  • Community, recreation, health and education renovations (e.g. retrofits, repairs or upgrades to long-term care homes, publicly funded schools and co-located childcare centre facilities, recreation centres or shelters);
  • COVID-19 response infrastructure (e.g. heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, new builds or renovations to enable physical distancing);
  • Active transportation (e.g. parks, trails); and
  • Disaster mitigation, adaptation, or remediation (e.g. flood mitigation).

School boards must submit project proposals by November 18, 2020. Approvals will be granted by the end of January 2021, with the goal of providing boards sufficient time to commence construction by summer 2021. Eligible projects must begin by September 30, 2021, be substantially completed by December 31, 2021, and be in viable schools that will remain open through January 2027.

OPSBA President Cathy Abraham’s statement

Memo B20: COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream: Education Related (CVRIS-EDU) Projects

Provincial Budget and 2021-2022 Grants for Student Needs (GSN)

The Minister of Finance, Rod Phillips will deliver a provincial budget on November 5, 2020. A review of the provincial budget and education funding will be discussed at the OPSBA regional meetings held on November 7, 2020.

Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA)

As previously noted, the Minister of Education has posted a Consultation Document regarding Proposed Regulatory Amendments under the CCEYA. OPSBA staff have reviewed the document and most of the changes are operational in nature for child care and home child care settings. Many other are technical and housekeeping changes. There are areas though that OPSBA will consider and discuss at upcoming work team meetings. Our commentary will focus on those areas that affect school age children and items that link between child care and schools. The deadline for comments is November 20, 2020.

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