June 21st, 2024

Gates and ETFO Niagara President call on province to take action on unsafe and overheated schools

NIAGARA FALLS – NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) and ETFO Niagara President, Brian Barker, are calling on the conservative government to ensure school children and staff are protected from the dangerously overheated schools in Niagara.

“This week we are witnessing in real time the danger of having so many schools without proper air conditioning,” said Gates. “I’ve heard from parents and educators who are seriously concerned. In some cases, temperatures in classrooms have been over 30 degrees. We have to do better for our kids”.

With a multi-day heatwave hitting most of Southern Ontario, Niagara schools without air conditioning have been facing scorching temperatures, leaving students and staff struggling to get through the day.

“With many classrooms having temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius, not only is it a barrier to learning, but it also puts students, educators and support staff at increased health risk”, said Brian Barker, ETFO Niagara President. “It wouldn’t be acceptable for our hospitals or government buildings to expect the workers or community members accessing those buildings to deal with those extremes. Why do we expect children and educators to?

"The Ford government needs to provide funding to school boards to address heat stress in our schools so learning isn’t interrupted. Every reasonable safety precaution must be taken to protect both children and their educators.”

The Ontario NDP has called on the government this week to take action right across the province to address the on-going heat issue in our schools.