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Our nation was created, against the odds, by building a railroad that stretched from one side of the continent to the other. From sea to sea, we became connected.
Once again, we need national leadership to connect us, but this time for the 21st century.
COVID-19 has accelerated what we already know - reliable high-speed internet connection is essential for all Canadians who want to work and connect in a digital world. Students, those in the workforce, entrepreneurs, and all who want to connect with family and friends need reliable digital access.
It’s not just a matter of convenience. Education is moving online. Health care is being accessed virtually. Critical information Canadians need to stay safe and healthy is found on the internet. More and more Canadians are working from home, where a reliable wireless connection is a necessity for many jobs.
But not all Canadians have access to this essential lifeline.
According to a recent media report, in rural Canada, nearly 41 per cent of households don’t have access to high-speed internet. In northern communities, this is even worse. Without internet access and cell phone reception, we are leaving parts of the country behind.
Justin Trudeau doesn’t seem to care about communities like where I grew up in rural Nova Scotia. He doesn’t care that these communities cannot take advantage of what technology can offer.
I won’t accept that so many Canadians are being left behind as the world changes.
My government will bring high-speed internet access to all parts of Canada. In our vast, disparate nation, we don’t discriminate based on geography.
It is long overdue. It has been promised many times.
I will do it.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Canada electrified much of the nation. Towns and cities, rural and northern, were brought into the system and were given service as a fundamental right. And think where we would be without having done that. We now need to do that for the digital age. We will do what we have to do to bring equality to all our citizens, rural and urban, northern and southern.
We are a country founded on a bold vision. We owe it to those who came before and to those yet to come to be bold once again.