Eastern Ontario needs better mobile broadband and cellular infrastructure. Residents of Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes know well that the expansion of broadband is a critical gateway for the digital economy. In a digital world, being disconnected means being disadvantaged.
Here in Eastern Ontario, we are all too familiar with cellular dead zones. Our government committed to improving cellular coverage in the election. I was proud to have the Minister of Infrastructure, the Hon. Monte McNaughton, in our riding on May 17 to announce that we are following through with that commitment.
We are committing $71 million to the Eastern Ontario Regional Network’s project – one that would virtually eliminate cellular gaps in Leeds and Grenville and across the region. Let’s not forget that this project is also expected to generate up to 3,000 jobs over 10 years and potential revenues of $420 million.
I am happy to say: Promise made, promise kept.
However, in order to go ahead, this worthwhile project still requires the support of the federal government. We are all waiting for them.
Earlier in May, the federal infrastructure minister posted a news release claiming Ontario’s priorities were his priorities. The people in my riding of Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes need more than words from their politicians. They need action – and they need it now.
Existing and planned networks in our region are not robust enough to meet increased demand. Eastern Ontario needs both coverage and capacity to thrive.
Our government is committed to protecting what matters most for people of Ontario and residents of Leeds and Grenville. We will continue to work with all levels of government to deliver reliable broadband service, which is so critical to both our economic growth and public safety.
Steve Clark, MPP
Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes