IssuesRural Connectivity (Broadband)

Rural Connectivity (Broadband)

First Published: Oct 04, 2019
Last Updated: Oct 04, 2019
Monitored by: Hugues Théorêt

Background

In January, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Bernadette Jordan as Minister of Rural Economic Development. The first priority of the new minister was to increase high-speed broadband coverage in rural Canada. This includes the rollout of existing investments, programming towards further improvements, and ensuring that investments by the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial partners, and the private sector are co-ordinated to best prepare rural Canada for success in the digital economy.

Through the Connect to Innovate Program, the government is extending high-speed internet access to more than 380,000 households in 900 rural and remote communities. That includes 190 Indigenous communities.

Current Status

Budget 2019 stated the CIB is “examining opportunities to apply its innovative financing tools to stimulate private sector investment in high-speed internet infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities” and is “well positioned to work with jurisdictions, including northern communities, to plan and finance projects that improve access within Canada to affordable, reliable and clean electricity […] that improve interconnections between provincial electricity grids.”

High-speed internet projects are also eligible for funding under a $2-billion fund to renew the infrastructure of rural and northern communities. In addition, this year’s budget commits a further $1.7 billion in new investments to extend high-speed internet service to rural and northern communities. The Canada Infrastructure Bank is looking to invest up to $1 billion over the next ten years to extend high-speed internet service to Canadians living in rural and remote communities. In the process, it aims to attract an additional $2 billion in private-sector investment.

Liberal

No specific proposals yet.

Conservatives

No specific proposals yet.

NDP

A New Democrat government will change that, delivering high-speed rural broadband to all communities in Canada without delay, and ensuring that reliable cell phone service is expanded to every area of Canada – while keeping rates affordable for families and businesses.

Green Party

No specific proposals yet.

People's Party

No specific proposals yet.

Bloc Quebecois

No specific proposals yet.

October 4, 2019
Naomi Shuman

A Liberal government will ensure that every Canadian has access to high-speed internet by 2030. It will help lower monthly cell phone bills by moving forward with cutting the cost of services by 25 per cent in the next two years using government’s regulatory powers.

September 23, 2019
Roberto Chavez

The Liberal leader Justin Trudeau  promised to cut cellphone bills by 25 per cent. He said he would encourage companies to reduce their bills by that amount over the next two years, and if they are unable to meet that target, the Liberals would introduce further competition.

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