Liberals promise funding for improved ventilation projects at schools, small businesses

Canada’s Liberal Party said if they are re-elected, they will provide hundreds of millions in funding for ventilation improvement projects across Canada.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made the campaign announcement on Friday in Winnipeg. He said these investments will improve air quality for children, youth, workers and customers and provide protection against the transmission of COVID-19.

“Our kids have to be safe in our classrooms. That’s non-negotiable,” he said.

“And their teachers and school staff, well, they have to be safe too.”

If re-elected, the Liberal Party will:

  • Provide an additional $100 million to the Safe Return to Class fund to improve air quality at schools, as well as $10 million for First Nations on-reserve schools;
  • Supply $100 million to the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative, with $70 million put towards a new pillar of increasing indoor ventilation; This initiative provides funding to a number of organizations, including not-for-profits, charities and Indigenous communities; and
  • Introducing a refundable tax credit so small businesses can claim 25 per cent of eligible ventilation improvement expenses of up to $10,000 per building location, with a maximum of $50,000 per company.

The small business refundable tax credit would be available from Sept. 1, 2021, to the end of the 2022 tax year.

“Whether you have a local restaurant that needs help affording a HEPA air filter or you run a family-owned grocery store that could really do with a better HVAC system, this new support will be there for you and your team,” Trudeau said.

The Liberal Party notes these investments are important because data shows COVID-19 spreads more easily when there are a lot of people indoors for extended periods of time with poor airflow or ventilation.