Ford Conservatives Sitting on Billions Meant for Schools, Health Care, and Jobs: CUPE Ontario

The Government of Ontario is falling far short when it comes to financially supporting people and public services, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, drawing on a new report by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO).

The report reveals that the provincial government’s share of direct support measures compared to the federal government is only three per cent. Additionally, out of two funds to support COVID-19 response measures, a Health Sector Response Fund and a Support for People and Jobs Fund, the majority ($6.7 billion) remains unused. This is also the case for the majority of the Safe Restart Fund, $3.1 billion, and half of the Safe Return to School Fund.

“Doug Ford keeps telling Ontarians that he’s willing to do anything to support our communities and keep us safe,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario, representing 280,000 public sector workers. “But this report is

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Ontario school boards lose 20% of education directors as daunting pandemic year looms



a person sitting at a table in a room: As school boards head into a challenging year, a significant amount will coincidentally have new leaders to guide them through it, in boards big (Toronto District, York Catholic) and small (Wellington Catholic, Trillium Lakelands).


© Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
As school boards head into a challenging year, a significant amount will coincidentally have new leaders to guide them through it, in boards big (Toronto District, York Catholic) and small (Wellington Catholic, Trillium Lakelands).

Heading into a school year as unpredictable as this one, you would think school boards and their leadership would want as much stability as they can get.

Yet a significant portion of Ontario’s education directors are leaving, either having retired this summer or will retire this school year. This includes 14 of the province’s 72 education directors in publicly funded school boards, about 20 per cent of all directors.

Departures range from heads of big boards (like Toronto District, Toronto Catholic, Ottawa Catholic, York Catholic) to smaller ones (Simcoe Muskoka Catholic, Wellington Catholic, Limestone District, Bluewater District).

“The number is large relative to a typical year,” said Tony Pontes, a former

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Ontario outlines where additional federal funding will go for back-to-school plans



a man in a suit standing in front of a flag: Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce makes an announcement at Queen's Park in Toronto, on Thurs., Aug, 13, 2020.


© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce makes an announcement at Queen’s Park in Toronto, on Thurs., Aug, 13, 2020.

The Ontario government said Wednesday where it will spend $381 million that the federal government has offered up for back-to-school plans.

The money is on top of the $900 million the province has already provided boards to prepare for the upcoming school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the government said.

The federal government will be providing provinces and territories $2 billion to help them to ensure kids can safely go back to school in September. The $2 billion is added to the previous $19 billion Prime Minister Justin Trudeau already promised.

Read more: Coronavirus: Canada to give provinces $2B to ensure kids can go back to school in fall

Trudeau confirmed the $2 billion in a press conference Wednesday.

“Ontario’s investments lead the nation in supporting

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Ontario school boards urged to spend air quality funding by Thanksgiving



a group of people standing in a room


© Provided by The Canadian Press


TORONTO — School boards need to pick up the pace of air quality improvements as schools reopen this fall, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Friday, urging them not to move “on government time” as they rush to spend millions in funding allocated earlier this week.

Ford’s remarks came just days after the province told school boards they should spend $50 million by Thanksgiving to upgrade air quality in schools in an effort to bolster COVID-19 safety measures.

School boards, opposition politicians and school repair advocates said the government timeline will be difficult to meet.

But Ford said Friday that the money is there, boards need to move now as students return to the classroom in weeks.

“Everything is immediate nowadays with this pandemic,” Ford said. “We can’t wait, we can’t go on government time and dawdle along. We’ve got to go on lightning speed

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