Quebec Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge announced Sunday an investment of more than $2.3 billion in school renovation projects. The money is for the current fiscal year, but school boards will have up to three years to complete their projects.
Accompanied by the President of the Treasury Board, Christian Dube, in Montreal, Minister Roberge promised to restore 60 per cent of schools across the province by 2022.
"Today, we are launching a major catch-up operation to repair our schools, which have been so lacking in love in recent years," said Roberge. "This is great news not only for students but also for teachers and all school staff."
According to Roberge, the funds for building maintenance and the elimination of the maintenance-deficit is two-and-a-half times greater than what was invested by the Liberal government in its last year in power.
Renovation projects for schools considered the most in a state of disrepair will be prioritized.
Dube estimates that 60 per cent of the approximately 3,000 schools in Quebec can be upgraded.
"That means there are 1,800 schools that are going to be affected and that are currently with a rate of obsolescence, that is to say that they are outdated, that we need to improve them, "said the treasury board president.
The Minister responsible for the Montreal region, Chantal Rouleau, was also at Montmartre Elementary School in Pointe-aux-Trembles this morning, as nearly $625 million of this sum will be granted to the five Montreal school boards.
The amounts for each of the other regions of Quebec will be announced in the coming weeks.
The complete list of school renovation projects will be available next fall.
Earlier this summer, the CAQ government announced the injection of $1.7 billion for the construction and expansion of schools.
Upgrading schools was among Francois Legault's election promises during his campaign.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2019.