Mr. Speaker, last year, schools across the country received $2 billion in funding to see COVID-19 safety measures implemented before the school year began, including schools within SD38, the district where I once held the honour of serving as a board of education trustee.
This year, schools are still facing uncertainty as the pandemic continues. I must bring to the government's attention that vaccines for people 12 years or older alone are not enough. Richmond schools require enhanced sanitization and staff to disinfect high-touch areas. They also need support for essential health and safety supplies and PPE, including child-sized masks and hand sanitizer.
As well, with learners having been greatly impacted by the isolation, mental health supports for students and staff are also critical. There is still work to be done to prepare our nation for reopening and to ensure our children and youth have a safe return to school this fall.