Canada to give provinces, territories up to C$2 billion for school restart
By Kelsey Johnson OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will give up to C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) in additional funding to provinces and territories to help reopen schools safely as students return to classrooms amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday. 'Students and staff are anxious about what the school year may hold
By Kelsey Johnson
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will give up to C$2 billion ($1.5 billion) in additional funding to provinces and territories to help reopen schools safely as students return to classrooms amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday.
"Students and staff are anxious about what the school year may hold. As a dad and as a former teacher, I get that," Trudeau said at a public school in Toronto where he announced the federal funding.
"We've made this funding flexible so provinces and ultimately schools can use it for what they need most from hand sanitizer to remote learning," he added.
Schools across much of the country have been closed since mid-March, with most students moved to online learning until schools paused for their traditional summer break.
The Canadian school year typically starts in early September, but many districts have said they will either delay or stagger the return this year as they get plans in place to try to limit the spread of the virus among children.
Tensions between teachers, unions, parents, and provincial governments have been mounting ahead of the fall term, with many worried current restart plans do not go far enough to protect students from the coronavirus.
Many want class sizes capped to ensure physical distancing, while critics say some school districts lack the necessary resources, staff and ventilation systems needed to ensure a safe return to school.
(Reporting by Kelsey Johnson; additional reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom Brown)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.