The Fraser Institute says children will pay the price for a long time for having schools closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ontario closed its schools the longest.

In-class learning was restricted for 135 days, nearly two-thirds of a normal school year.

The Institute says children experienced significant learning loss and will suffer lifelong impacts.

It points to the decline in provincewide test scores and the rise in mental health problems among youth 15 to 24.

"There was information available to policymakers early on showing school closures would do more harm than good, but schools were closed up until 2022 anyway, and Canadian children will be paying for it the rest of their lives," says Paige MacPherson, study author and associate director of education policy at the Fraser Institute.

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, socializing, schooling and commerce were shut down.

The Institute says data emerged that suggested school closures were unnecessary and would have negative effects on children’s academic performance and mental health.

"We won’t know the totality of the damage done by the school closures for some time, but what is clear is that governments didn’t use the best information available to them when deciding to close schools, and students have already suffered and will continue to pay the price," says MacPherson.