The federal government is moving forward on a plan that will link regions across Canada to critical economic infrastructure. Minister of Rural and Economic Development, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, announced a $40 million investment yesterday through the Rural and Northern Infrastructure Communities Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan for the Province of New Brunswick. This announcement was welcome news to leaders in the Winnipeg METRO Region and anyone who is championing access to high speed internet infrastructure in their community.
Leaders across Canada know just how important having access to high speed internet is to ensure business and industry can relocate, grow and expand while bringing investment and good jobs to our communities. Like water, sewer, transportation and energy infrastructure, high speed internet has moved up the list from something nice to have, to critical infrastructure. Not having access is, in fact, a deal breaker for investment.
Leaders of the Winnipeg METRO Region banded together more than a year ago to form JohnQ Public Inc. (JohnQ) – a municipal participation corporation that allows them to partner and work together. JohnQ moves communities from competing with each other to a collaborative model that recognizes the collective strength necessary to ensure everyone has access to critical Internet infrastructure. Winnipeg METRO Region leaders, through JohnQ and the Connecting to Opportunity project, are hopeful that the model they have created and worked hard on, will leave no one behind and will soon receive some shared sought support from Ottawa.
Well done, New Brunswick, on Bernadette Jordan’s announcement! The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission determined that internet is a basic service. As we begin to see Canadians receiving support for this necessary service, we will continue to work hard to ensure all residents in the Winnipeg METRO and Manitoba, get connected to the digital economy as well.