Ontario Liberal Party Leader Steven Del Duca has pledged that his first act if elected Premier will be to kill Doug Ford’s sprawl-spreading Highway 413 and redirect spending towards creating “best schools possible” instead.
“Doug Ford has got it all wrong – he’s focused exclusively on rewarding billionaire Conservative donors, while Ontario Liberals are focused on the millions of families whose children deserve the best schools possible,” said Del Duca.
“It is inconceivable to me that Doug Ford wants to spend billions paving over farmland, destroying wetlands and undermining the Greenbelt all for a highway that will only save some commuters mere seconds. Ontario Liberals stopped this reckless project once before and we will do it again. And I will use those same funds to modernize our schools and make our classrooms healthier, safer and climate resilient,” Del Duca added.
A Steven Del Duca led government, on the other hand, vows to invest an additional $8 billion over five years in education and childcare infrastructure for new infrastructure and renewal of the province’s existing schools and childcare centres.
According to a statement issued by the Ontario Liberals on Monday, this incremental investment of $8 billion over five years would support new schools and major additions to deal with population growth and schools beyond an adequate state of repair; in-school childcare centres to significantly increase spaces to build toward a Universal Childcare Program; and renewal of existing infrastructure to deal with the significant backlog of needs to attain a state of good repair.
In addition, this investment would allow for the upgrading of heating, ventilation, HVAC systems, boilers, plumbing and windows in existing schools and childcare centres. It would also allow for better access to high-speed broadband, the statement added.
New schools and childcare centres would also be designed and built to be more climate resilient and existing schools could be upgraded to be climate resilient. As part of this investment a new and publicly-reported standard of good repair for all of Ontario’s publicly-funded schools would be developed in consultation with school boards and key stakeholders, the provincial Liberals said.
Ontario’s Liberals believe their action plan to rebuild and repair schools “represents the first instalment of the greatest investment in our schools in more than a generation”.
“In addition to an unprecedented improvement in the province’s education system, the Ontario Liberal Action Plan would create thousands of new jobs in the skilled trades, thereby giving hard-working families the chance to help spur our economic recovery after the pandemic,” the party said.