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Ontario boosts school funding for COVID-19 safety, mental health support and remedial reading and math

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The government also announced that students will have a choice again next school year of enrolling in virtual classes. Author of the article: Jacquie Miller Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. Photo by Postmedia There’s no news yet on whether elementary and secondary students will return to in-person classes before the end of the year,…

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The government also announced that students will have a choice again next school year of enrolling in virtual classes.

Author of the article:

Jacquie Miller

Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. Photo by Postmedia There’s no news yet on whether elementary and secondary students will return to in-person classes before the end of the year, but the provincial government will provide extra funding for schools next fall to help cope with COVID-19 and its fallout, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Tuesday.

The funding includes for more mental health supports and reading and math help for children who have fallen behind during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students shifted to online learning at home on April 19 on the advice of Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams. That advice has not changed, Lecce said during a media conference. Community transmission of the virus remains high and hospital ICUs are overwhelmed, he added.

“While we all want in-class learning to return this spring, we will not take risks with your child,” Lecce said.

The funding announced Tuesday included “up to $1.6 billion” in “targeted COVID-19 resources.” That includes funding for special education, more technology and devices to help with online learning, public health nurses, cleaning and PPE and $384 million in “temporary COVID-19 staffing supports.”

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The $1.6 billion includes $508 million of potential money from school board reserve funds, contingent on the reserves being available and trustees agreeing to spend the money.

The government said $85.5 million would go toward helping students whose learning and mental health had been disrupted by COVID-19.

“Investments will support reading and math for young learners, student re-engagement, and mental health and well-being supports.”

The government also announced that students will have a choice again next school year of enrolling in virtual classes. All four Ottawa-based boards had already planned to offer virtual schools again in 2021-22.

School boards cannot ask parents to choose between in-person and virtual learning before June 1, the ministry said in a media release. That will disrupt planning at Ottawa’s English public and Catholic school boards, which have already asked parents to choose between the two options so administrators can plan for the fall.

Ontario MPP Marit Stiles, the NDP education critic, accused the government of pushing schools toward a system that included permanent online learning.

“Online learning has been absolutely horrible for so many families,” Stiles said in a video posted on Twitter. “It’s hurt kids’ mental health, it’s hurt learning, it’s hurt achievement and grades, it’s forced parents out of the workforce, it’s made the playing field very uneven.”

Asked Tuesday if the government planned to make virtual learning permanent, Lecce said the government was studying the issue. “We’ve committed ourselves to consulting on providing that choice beyond this year.”

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The education ministry also announced its annual grants for student needs, which are the backbone of school board funding.

The announcement included a year-over-year increase of approximately $561 million to a total of $25.6 billion, with per-pupil funding increasing from $12,525 to $12,686, said the association representing Ontario English public school boards.

“Given the relative uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic, (Ontario Public School Boards’ Association) is pleased that the government will continue to provide funding for many pandemic-related items, including personal protective equipment, public health nurses, and renewal of technology and devices,” president Cathy Abraham said in a statement. “With that said, many boards still continue to face funding pressures that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, such as increasing costs for capital projects.”

jmiller@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JacquieAMiller

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Minister Ng announces launch of Canada’s Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement Model

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Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, introduced Canada’s modernized and inclusive Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) Model, which will help provide a stable, rules-based investment environment for Canadian businesses investing abroad and for foreign businesses investing in Canada…. May 13, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario -…

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Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, introduced Canada’s modernized and inclusive Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) Model, which will help provide a stable, rules-based investment environment for Canadian businesses investing abroad and for foreign businesses investing in Canada….

May 13, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

Canadian-owned firms that invest and operate abroad create good middle-class jobs in Canada and around the world that are contributing to our country’s economic growth and prosperity, as well as to a speedy recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, introduced Canada’s modernized and inclusive Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) Model, which will help provide a stable, rules-based investment environment for Canadian businesses investing abroad and for foreign businesses investing in Canada.

The new FIPA model balances the interests of all Canadians, including women, Indigenous peoples and owners of small and medium-sized enterprises, so that the benefits of Canada’s investment agreements are shared broadly across society. The new model includes a number of innovations, clarifies core investment protections, and preserves the right to regulate in the public interest.

The new FIPA model is the result of extensive public consultations initiated in 2018 with a broad range of stakeholders, including from civil society and labour unions, legal experts, representatives of all sizes of Canadian business, representatives of provinces and territories, and Indigenous partners.

“Foreign investment is an important driver of Canada’s economy and will be critical in our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our government is committed to ensuring that Canadian businesses interested in investing abroad have the necessary protections to do so, including through robust and modernized FIPAs. Our modernized FIPA model will allow Canada to negotiate agreements that stimulate mutually beneficial business activities and economic cooperation with Canada’s international partners.”

    – Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Youmy Han

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Youmy.Han@international.gc.ca

343-551-0246

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Minister O’Regan and Minister McKenna to Make Climate Action Announcement

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The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Garth Frizzell, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, will make a virtual announcement for greener cities. OTTAWA  — The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and…

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The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Garth Frizzell, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, will make a virtual announcement for greener cities.

OTTAWA  — The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Garth Frizzell, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, will make a virtual announcement for greener cities.

A media availability will follow.

Date:                       May 14, 2021

Time:                      9:30 a.m. EDT

Location:                This virtual event will be held using LiveMeeting platform.

Notes:                      Accredited media are asked to pre-register to participate. 


Ian Cameron

Senior Communications Advisor

Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

613-447-3488

Ian.Cameron@canada.ca     

Media Relations

Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Ottawa

613-907-6395

media@fcm.ca

Steve Winkelman

Executive Director

Ottawa Climate Action Fund

613 216-9475

swink@ocf-fco.ca 

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Government of Canada taking steps with partners in Ontario to improve education for First Nations students

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Please note that the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, and Grand Chief Francis Kavanaughand of the Grand Council Treaty #3, will hold a media availability following a signing ceremony with the Grand Council Treaty #3 and the Province of Ontario. Ottawa, Ontario — Please note that the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous…

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Please note that the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, and Grand Chief Francis Kavanaughand of the Grand Council Treaty #3, will hold a media availability following a signing ceremony with the Grand Council Treaty #3 and the Province of Ontario.

Ottawa, Ontario — Please note that the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, and Grand Chief Francis Kavanaughand of the Grand Council Treaty #3, will hold a media availability following a signing ceremony with

the Grand Council Treaty #3 and the Province of Ontario.

Date: May 14, 2021

Time: 4:00 pm EDT

Where: Media will be able to view the media availability via Zoom

Meeting ID: 845 2744 6869

Passcode: 155426

Media should join 15 minutes prior to the event and identify themselves and their outlet when logging into Zoom.

Adrienne Vaupshas

Press Secretary

Office of the Honourable Marc Miller

Minister of Indigenous Services

adrienne.vaupshas@canada.ca

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