Thursday May 27, I asked the Premier whether he would be preparing schools for the fall by taking measures to improve ventilation in schools in Manitoba. My question and his response (from Hansard) are below. Notwithstanding the Premier's statement that "some" money may be used for ventilation, there does not appear to be a real plan to increase school ventilation and humidity as a major effort.
Ventilation Systems in Schools
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Mr. Deputy Speaker, improving ventilation in schools decreases transmission of COVID‑19, as I table. We called on the Premier to act on this last fall, but nothing was done. Air dilution methods, opening doors, opening windows and using fans have an effect, but combined with the installation of HEPA filters can reduce COVID‑19 infections by almost half–48 per cent.
Will the Premier use the summer to make improvements in ventilation and air filtration in Manitoba schools before fall classes start, much like Ontario is already doing? And will he also ensure sufficient humidification to get schools to an optimum relative humidity of 40 to 60, which should also reduce transmission?
Hon. Brian Pallister (Premier): Well, we've–this year's capital allocation for Education is part of our $1.6‑billion commitment.
The largest in Manitoba history is a quarter of a billion dollars for capital investments in our schools, and I can assure the member that some of those projects will relate to exactly what he just raised.
So the commitment to educational funding and support has never been greater than under this government.