The head of FedNor recently announced broadband will no longer be funded across Northern Ontario.
Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus is saying his biggest concern is the government doesn’t see the importance of broadband funding and development. Angus says broadband is more than just a luxury. He says it’s essential for young people being able to do their homework, for residents to pay their taxes and to ensure proper medical services are available in the North. The MP says without proper broadband we’re falling behind and there’s a digital divide in this province.
Angus says by the Liberals undermining the position of the FedNor minister there’s nobody advocating for northerners at the cabinet table anymore. He says the Liberals need to restore FedNors budget as they’ve seen some serious cuts recently. Angus points out that FedNor has lost half of it’s budget and a quarter of their staff. He says without the proper funding, Northern Ontario is losing out on economic development projects and is falling behind.
A national program called Connecting Canadians was introduced this year to provide 280,000 households across the country with high speed, broadband internet access. Angus says the program is now closed to new applications and it could take up to two years to get the necessary funding.