Ongoing moral offense

The Toronto Star reported this week that the federal government is giving Queen’s Park $525.2 million to help schools pay for Covid-19 related health measures. The provincial government is adding $131.3 million to this amount for a total of $656.5 million that school boards in the province will receive to better protect the lives of students against the Covid pandemic.

In announcing the provision of the funds to Ontario, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the well-being of students, parents and teachers. As we continue to battle this crisis, ensuring a safe learning environment for our kids is critical”. The projects to be funded by the federal government’s disbursement “will improve air quality, install more hand washing stations and support better physical distancing.”

Provincial Education Minister Stephen Lecce Lecce said “this one-time investment will help improve the safety of schools.”

It appears however this investment – like the preceding federally funded “investments” – is intended to improve the safety of only some Ontario schools. The Star story indicates that six school boards in the GTA will receive funding. The independent schools will receive – as David Hunt, the Education Director at the Cardus Think Tank, coined in his recent thought piece on this issue – “not even a dime.”

Again, we are obliged to point out the moral offense in Queen’s Park’s ongoing disregard of the Covid 19 related health and safety concerns for children in Ontario’s independent schools.

Why does the government treat these children with such hard-nosed indifference to their Covid health risks?

The Toronto Star article can be found at:

https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2021/04/14/ottawa-province-pledge-6565m-for-schools-for-covid-19-costs.html

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Be safe. Be well.

Shabbat shalom. 

GAJE, April 16, 2021

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