Tag Archives: Stephen Harper

Can public schools get in on this pre-election spending spree?

In May 2015, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the new Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial. This program will “provide financial support for the renovation, expansion and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure that provides community and cultural benefits for the public. Projects under the following categories may be eligible for funding: community centres (including Royal Canadian Legions), cultural centres and museums, parks, recreational trails, libraries, recreational facilities, tourism facilities, docks, cenotaphs and other existing community infrastructure.” Hmmm…no mention of school buildings yet public schools are often the hub of communities.

On June 18, Harper announced details regarding the new Public Transit Fund (PTF), a program to promote public transit infrastructure. Part of this announcement was a $2.6-billion commitment from the federal government to build SmartTrack in Toronto.

Great news that the federal government is supporting the development and maintenance of quality public infrastructure across the country. Fix Our Schools believes that public schools ought to be considered integral to our public infrastructure and would like to see Canadian public schools get in on some of these pre-election spending commitments!

Feds fund public infrastructure – are public schools included?

“Curling rinks, arenas, walking trails and bike routes, theatres and community halls in small towns and big cities alike, these are places where people come together. They are literally the beating hearts of the communities we live in.”

Stephen Harper’s quote above suggests how the new Canada 150 infrastructure plan might be spent to benefit Canadians. Earlier this month, Harper announced that $150-million will be spent over the coming two years to support existing community and cultural infrastructure across the country as one way of marking Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Public schools across the country are in a state of disrepair and surely also serve as the “beating hearts of the communities we live in”. Yet public schools are notably absent in any lists of potential projects that could be approved for this Canada 150 infrastructure plan.

Hmmm…those who see this infrastructure spend as merely a pre-election PR tactic might say that public school children aren’t voters yet so why would the Feds bother spending money on them leading up to the Fall election?