Charlottetown, PE - This week MLA Hannah Bell questioned the Minister of Education why there were not enough clean water drinking stations made available in Island schools. Water fountains had been removed due to COVID restrictions leaving Island students without access to clean drinking water.
“My constituents have been highlighting to me this summer a number of issues impacting their ability to feel safe as they prepare to send their children back to school. The restricted access to drinking water came to my attention when students at Stonepark informed me they were fundraising to buy more water filling stations. Schools should not have to raise money for better access to drinking water,” said Hannah Bell, MLA for Charlottetown-Belvedere.
Today, the Minister of Education rose to announce that more water bottle refilling stations will be made available as soon as possible, with 65 water coolers being installed in Island schools at no cost to the schools, including doubling the amount of water filling stations at Stonepark.
“I am pleased the Minister responded so quickly to questions I asked on behalf of Island students, teachers and staff,” said Bell. “The COVID contingency fund provided by the federal government was designed to make improvements like this for a safe return to schools. We shouldn’t have to bring it up in QP for good decisions to be made for the health and wellbeing of our students and hardworking education staff.”
There are other measures that can also be done to improve and promote the dignity and wellness of Island students.
“When we listen and immediately respond to what Islanders are telling us they need, we have an opportunity to promote and protect the dignity and value of all people,” said Bell. “Other areas that I will be looking to the Minister for action on other outstanding issues including providing gender neutral washrooms in schools, and providing free menstrual products to students who need them.”