School boards were recently notified that the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will be eliminated, resulting in the cancellation of $100 million meant to be spent on repairs for this year due to the discontinuation of the cap-and-trade program that was to pay for the fund.
In a memo obtained by The Canadian Press, schools have been advised to stop spending the money they were allotted immediately, which is disappointing for school boards including the Toronto District School Board, which is facing a $3.7 billion backlog of repairs. More than 200 of the TDSB's 588 schools have outdated boilers, roofs, windows and more which are in need of "urgent repairs".
“Please maintain detailed records of the contracts that have been signed as ministry staff will contact boards to collect information on the scope of the work underway,” the memo explained.
The TDSB, like many other boards, had planned to use the funding to fix windows, lighting and other basic necessities, and had planned on spending $300 million to do so, including $25 million directly from the fund. However much of the money would not have been spent right away because the board must hire contractors through a specific time-consuming process.
Cutting the cap-and-trade program had impacts that were known to the public, but now we're beginning to understand the extensive amount of initiatives that were funded by it. This funding move is a big example of the new government moving too quickly and carelessly without thoroughly thinking through its decisions.