Goldie Ghamari, MPP with the Ottawa Catholic School Board

ONTARIO BUILDING AND EXPANDING SCHOOLS IN OTTAWA
Province more than doubles funding to build new schools, faster

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 7, 2024

[OTTAWA] — The Ontario government is investing $117.4 million in the Ottawa Catholic School Board for four school projects, helping working families in Ottawa, as announced by Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton.

This will support the creation of 2,735 student spaces and 78 licensed child care spaces in Ottawa as part of the government’s commitment to building state-of-the-art learning spaces for Ontario students.

These projects are part of a $1.3 billion plan that more than doubles funding to build new schools and expansions, including child care spaces.

“As our communities grow in the Carleton riding, so does our need for schools.” said Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton. “The new elementary school and high school announced for the Fernbank area will not only address the need for more classrooms in the rapidly growing Stittsville community, but it will also mean more students will avoid long bus rides as they will have a school closer to their homes. The addition at St. Philip Catholic Elementary School is also a welcomed project that will serve the growing village of Richmond.”

The overall investment, which is the highest ever made in a single year, supports the creation of more than 27,000 new student spaces and more than 1,700 licensed child care spaces at schools across Ontario.

Ontario’s government unveiled a new plan to build faster, including providing school boards with more flexibility and support to get shovels in the ground quicker and have more options to use existing buildings in their communities. These changes are part of the government’s plan to ensure that the public education system focuses on what matters most: important life-long skills such as reading, writing and math; improving accountability and transparency for parents and families; and maximizing capital assets.

“Our government is investing in new schools and improved infrastructure across the province to support the needs of Ontario’s students, families, and growing communities.” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “These are part of our historic investment of more than $190 billion over the next ten years to build and deliver the critical infrastructure Ontarians deserve today, and for future generations to come.”

The 2024 Budget: Building a Better Ontario continues to support the province’s work being delivered in the Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act to build schools faster and better use taxpayer-funded assets.

“This funding is a significant investment in the future of our students and communities. We are grateful to the Ministry and MPP Goldie Ghamari for their on-going commitment to Catholic education. Together, we’re not just building schools; we’re building brighter futures for our students. These projects address immediate needs while laying the foundation for brighter educational futures across our communities.” said Mark Mullan, Chair of the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

“I’d like to extend our gratitude to the Ministry of Education and MPP Goldie Ghamari for their invaluable support of Catholic education. Their commitment to our students’ growth and development is truly commendable. With this funding, we’re not just building schools but investing in our communities’ future. These projects reflect our dedication to providing modern, inclusive learning environments where every student can thrive. Together, we’re shaping brighter futures for generations to come.” said Thomas D’Amico, Director of Education, Ottawa Catholic School Board.

Highlights of these projects include:

  • An investment of $20.5 million for the new Fernbank North Elementary School at a site to be acquired in Ottawa, creating 507 student spaces and 39 child care spaces.
  • An investment of $66.6 million for the new Fernbank High School to be located at Cope Drive & Atlas Terrace in Ottawa, creating 1,439 student spaces.
  • An investment of $10 million for the expansion of St. Philip Catholic Elementary School located at 79 Maitland St S. in Ottawa, creating 282 student spaces.
  • An investment of $20.3 million for the Mer Bleue Elementary School at a site to be acquired in Ottawa, creating 507 elementary student spaces and 39 child care spaces.

QUICK FACTS

  • In December 2023, the Ministry of Education announced Ontario’s plan to help build schools faster through a transparent, accountable and more efficient process. In the recent Capital Priorities round, school boards were encouraged to standardize the design of new school construction, identify opportunities to work together on joint-use school projects, and bring forward shovel ready proposals.
  • Since 2018, the Ontario government has invested more than $3.6 billion in capital construction projects in education, including 139 new schools, 109 additions and renovations to existing facilities, creating more than 98,000 student spaces and over 8,000 new licensed child care spaces.
  • In 2023-24, the ministry provided renewal funding of approximately $1.4 billion to school boards to revitalize and renew aged building systems and components. The same amount has been allocated for the 2024-25 school year.
  • The investment is part of Ontario’s commitment to provide about $16 billion to support new school construction, renewal and improvement over 10 years.
  • The Better Schools and Student Outcomes Act, 2023 ensures the public education system focuses on what matters most: teaching important life-long skills such as reading, writing and math; improving accountability and transparency for parents and families; maximizing capital assets of boards to support building modern schools faster and better utilizing current school capacity.
  • Ontario secured a $13.2 billion agreement with the federal government that will lower fees for families to an average of $10 a day for children under the age of six under the Canada-wide Early Learning Child Care system.

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MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Candice Coates, Executive Assistant
Office of Goldie Ghamari, MPP
candice.coates@pc.ola.org
613-257-9522