TORONTO – Ontario Liberals are calling on Doug Ford to publicly disclose how he has spent more than $750 million in federal funding to make classrooms safe. With children returning to school this week amid a surging fourth wave that puts unvaccinated children under 12 and our economic reopening at risk, it’s critical that every dollar of safe school funding has been spent to protect children and the education workers in their schools.
“As the father of two daughters in publicly funded schools, one who’s too young to be vaccinated, I am deeply concerned that Doug Ford has shortchanged our children,” said Ontario Liberal Leader, Steven Del Duca. “He’s had months to plan for a safe return and more than $750 million in federal funding to reduce class sizes and protect kids. He didn’t plan, didn’t invest, and didn’t make our classrooms safe.”
Ontario Liberals have been consistently calling on Ford to adopt their Education Recovery Plan, which would see class sizes capped at 20, improved school ventilation and additional learning and mental health supports put in place. Ford refused, and parents are sending their children back-to-school without any confidence that all available safety measures have been taken.
“Keeping our children safe should be the government’s number one priority,” added Del Duca. “If I was Premier, I would have spent every penny of the Safe Return funding to prevent outbreaks and keep our schools open. Doug Ford needs to come clean on how he invested that money, and if he won’t, the Auditor General should investigate.”