FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is investing $70.5 million in fiscal 2020-21 to help build a world-class education system, a $10 million increase from last year.

In tabling his department’s capital budget today, Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy said that the process for choosing school infrastructure projects will be transparent. He said the provincial government will ensure that community needs are carefully considered in the decision-making process.

“Our government is making the capital budget process for education fully transparent, and protecting it from political influence and interference,” said Cardy. “From now on communities will know where their schools stand on this priority list. Also, New Brunswickers can support their schools as part of broader government and community-led initiatives, projects like the Saint John community school which has shown the best of our province: government, community, and the business community working together.”

In the coming weeks, the department will make public a provincial priority list of capital projects to provide communities with transparent and objective information on asset management.

“Making this list public will ensure that communities are aware of the priorities for life upgrades, school additions, new schools or school rationalization projects, all while removing the opportunities for subjective or partisan perspectives,” said Cardy.

The list is established annually with the participation of school districts and is based on a data-driven analysis process that provides a provincial perspective to long-term planning regarding infrastructure projects in education.

The government is allocating $44.1 million to support construction projects already underway. In addition, $23.5 million dollars will go towards repairs, upgrades, equipment and the dust collector program to ensure schools remain safe for students.

The current construction projects already underway are:

  • École Arc-en-Ciel (K-8) in Oromocto;
  • École secondaire Assomption in Rogersville;
  • the K-8 school in Hanwell;
  • the K-8 francophone school in Moncton; and
  • the 6-8 anglophone school in the northern part of Moncton.

“We have a responsibility to work together and ensure that our province’s budget allows us to support New Brunswickers while living within our means,” said Cardy. “I believe our budget achieves an important balance of providing for the needs of our students and educators while ensuring we are making prudent, informed and data-driven decisions with taxpayer funds.”