The federal government is providing approximately $40.8 million through the Climate Action Incentive Fund to upgrade 162 schools in Ontario to be more energy efficient.

The energy-efficient schools will support better indoor air quality, leading to better health outcomes for Ontario students and educators, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Energy-efficient buildings also pollute less and help schools save on energy costs while fighting climate change.

“Through the price on pollution, we are supporting good projects in Ontario, which will provide students and teachers with healthier and more comfortable classrooms while tackling climate change,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “The price on pollution is also putting more money in the pockets of hard-working Ontario families, through the Climate Action Incentive rebate. This year, a family of four will receive $600 back after they file their taxes.”

Through the Climate Action Incentive Fund, students across Ontario will benefit from cleaner air and more comfortable classrooms. For example, St. Pius X High School, in Ottawa, will receive $431,455 for roof and insulation replacements; St. James Catholic School, in Guelph, will receive $230,169 to replace its entire HVAC control system and associated equipment; and École Élementaire Charles-Sauriol, in Toronto, will receive $346,477 to replace its ventilation system to improve energy efficiency.

Upgrades to schools across Ontario are made possible by revenues from the federal carbon-pollution pricing system, which ensures that it is not free to pollute anywhere in Canada. In jurisdictions like Ontario, where the federal backstop currently applies, all revenues are returned to the province in which they were collected—approximately 90 per cent of revenue goes back to families through the Climate Action Incentive rebate. The other 10 percent is invested in pollution reduction projects—such as these proposed for schools.

In December 2020, Canada announced its strengthened climate plan, which builds on and accelerates climate action already underway, so we can exceed our 2030 Paris Agreement emissions reduction target and establish the building blocks to get to net-zero by 2050. The plan will make life more affordable for Canadians and make communities more livable, while focusing on creating jobs, growing the middle class, and supporting workers in a stronger and cleaner economy.

“The federal CAIF funding, supplemented by Ontario Ministry of Education funding, is helping us to implement structural changes that are aligned with the views and actions of students across our school board,” said Thomas D’Amico, director of education, Ottawa Catholic School Board. “They are deeply committed to environmental issues and want to see the School Board do their part through energy-efficient retrofits.”

In Canada, the energy used in homes and buildings accounts for nearly a quarter of the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions.

For further information, visit: List of Ontario school divisions receiving funding

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