Ottawa promises $40M in carbon tax cash to upgrade 172 Ontario schools

·1 min read

The federal government says it's spending more than $40 million of carbon tax revenue to make Ontario schools more energy efficient.

The money will go to 172 schools across the province, funding projects such as replacing roofs and increasing insulation.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says the investment will make classrooms more comfortable and healthier for students and teachers.

He says the upgrades will help schools save on energy costs, while improving air quality -- a hot-button issue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government notes that in provinces such as Ontario, which do not have their own price on carbon and instead have the federal carbon tax, all of the money goes back to the jurisdiction in which it was collected.

It says 90 per cent of the cash is doled out to individuals in their tax returns, while the remaining 10 per cent is spent on projects meant to reduce pollution.

The dollar value on the investments may still change, but a list of projects ranges in price from $660 to nearly $2 million.

William Burgess Elementary School in Toronto is expected to see the biggest influx of cash, with $1.9 million earmarked to replace the "60-year-old obsolete steam boilers and associated equipment" with their energy efficient, modern-day equivalents.

North Park Secondary School in the Peel District School Board is due to get nearly $1.4 million to replace air handling units that are old and in poor condition.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously reported that 174 schools would receive funding. In fact, the number is 172.