NEW LIBERAL BROADBAND PROGRAM TELLS NORTHERNERS CUPBOARD IS BARE
July 8th, 2016 - 10:09am
Charlie Angus is calling on the Liberal government to explain why northern broadband projects are being told to apply for funding to a program that isn’t accepting any applications. The government has been touting the Connecting Canadians program after it was revealed that they had turned down all the broadband applications that were being dealt with by Fed Nor. But Angus says the new program is closed for applications for another year.
“The Liberal government needs to explain why they’re playing political shell games over badly-needed broadband funding. The government walked away on numerous Fed Nor projects and then told everyone to start from scratch with another program that isn’t taking any applications. Broadband is a key component for economic diversification in the north and these kind of political games are not helpful.”
Angus says he was surprised to hear Liberal Cabinet Minister Patti Hadju boast that the government is committing $500 million in rural broadband when projects across the north are being told there is no money. The Liberal budget made serious promises for the rural north but the walkaway on broadband projects is troubling.
“We have had companies who worked hard and in good faith to bring projects to the table. Now those projects are sitting stalled or cancelled. At the very least, it means that new projects won’t get off the ground until at least 2018. Northerners deserve better.”
Before the new Liberal government took office, Fed Nor had provided $3,883,320 in broadband projects for the north.