Support for a safe return to school

Employment and Social Development Canada

September 4, 2020              London, Ontario      Employment and Social Development Canada 

School is critical for kids’ development and future success. The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for families, with schools closed and students separated from their classmates and friends. As we gradually and safely restart our economy, parents should be able to return to work and trust that their children are learning in a healthy environment.

That is why the Government of Canada is working to support Ontario in its efforts to ensure a safe return to school and protect the health of students and staff.

The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, today announced up to $763.34 million in support for Ontario through the Safe Return to Class Fund. This will provide the funding they need, as they work alongside local school boards to ensure the safety of students and staff members throughout the school year. For example, the Fund will help Ontario by supporting adapted learning spaces, improved air ventilation, increased hand sanitization and hygiene, and purchases of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies.

As we reopen our schools and restart our economy, the Government of Canada will continue to take leadership and work together with provincial and territorial partners to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.

Quick facts

  • Funding will be provided to Ontario in two instalments, with a first disbursement in Fall 2020 and additional funding available for early 2021, to ensure that Ontario have support for the whole school year.

  • The funding by province and territory will be allocated based on the number of children aged between 4 and 18 years old, with a $2 million base amount provided to each jurisdiction.

  • Maximum total allocation 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 Return to Class Fund is in addition to the more than $19 billion previously announced for the Safe Restart Agreement to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies. This agreement included funding to increase testing and contact tracing of the virus, support vulnerable Canadians, ensure the availability of safe child care, and provide income support for people who do not have paid sick leave so all Canadians can stay healthy.