The Ontario government is investing $12 million to improve and expand École secondaire catholique Paul-Desmarais to help families and students in Stittsville. The announcement was made on December 2, 2021 by MPP for Carleton Goldie Ghamari and the Ontario Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce. Also in attendance at the virtual announcement were the Director of Education for the CECCE, Marc Bertrand and the President of the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Center-Est (CECCE), Johanne Lacombe.
The funding will provide 389 new French-language student spaces and 18 new classrooms. In October, 2021 MPP Ghamari created a petition for the community emphasizing the importance of increasing the capacity at Paul-Desmarais.
At the virtual announcement Ghamari recognized the community for supporting her petition. “The new addition of 389 student spaces at ÉSC Paul-Desmarais is great news for the growing community of Stittsville,” said MPP Ghamari. “I believe everyone should have the opportunity to learn in French. This $12 million investment is critical to supporting the growing French-speaking population in Stittsville and will go a long way to adding much needed French-language student spaces. Thank you to everyone, especially the parents of Stittsville, who signed my petition in support of expanding student spaces at ÉSC Paul-Desmarais. Your support for this local initiative was instrumental.”
“This announcement is excellent news for the francophone community of Stittsville,” said Marc Bertrand, Director of Education for the CECCE. “I would also like to recognize the invaluable support of MPP Goldie Ghamari, who has consistently demonstrated to the province the critical need to fund school expansion projects in the area, including École secondaire catholique Paul-Desmarais.”
This new school is part of a province-wide investment of more than $600 million to build new as well as expand current school and childcare spaces recently announced by Ontario’s Minister of Education. The overall investment will support 78 school and childcare related projects. As part of this investment, the province dedicated more than $565 million to create more than 19,700 new student spaces and 1,500 childcare spaces at schools across the province. Since her election in 2018, MPP Ghamari has made it her commitment to bring new schools to the riding of Carleton and has confirmed funding for seven schools. There are currently 100 schools under construction across Ontario.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made safer schools a priority, which is why we continue to invest in modern and accessible learning spaces with improved ventilation,” said the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce. “This investment is part of our multiyear plan to build, expand, and update schools and childcare spaces across our province. It will leave a lasting legacy that benefits working families for years to come.”
The Ontario government has allocated more than $600 million to support ventilation improvements in schools across Ontario as part of its plans for a safer return to school. The CECCE has benefited from an investment of $10.5 million for ventilation improvements and has over 1250 HEPA filter units in place.
During the announcement, Joanne Lacombe, President of the CECCE commented, “I would like to thank the Minister of Education for recognizing the growing needs of the school community at the École secondaire catholique Paul-Desmarais, which have been growing rapidly over the past three years. The expansion will add 18 new classrooms and will improve the learning experience for students while reducing the number of on-site portable classrooms”.
École secondaire catholique Paul-Desmarais is located at 5315 Abbott Street in Stittsville.
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