AIDE-TIC works directly with mayors, RCMs, governments and the departments involved. We always approach the issue in the same way.
For example, when we meet a group of mayors from the same RCM to discuss the construction of cell sites, we ask them which ones to prioritize in order to serve the population, for safety reasons or to provide adequate coverage to tourists, the latter being a concern that recurs on a regular basis.
Once we have established contact with the mayors, they take responsibility and become aware that the priorities also determine the development periods. We also make it clear to them that this site development project is often the beginning of regional coverage. In this context, I would say that these groups of mayors are systematically aware of the most pressing local concerns and therefore want to prioritize them.
On the other hand, current programs generally require that any development project be endorsed by a municipal resolution. No mayor will refuse this resolution to a company if it wishes to improve its network. However, previous programs always talked about the Internet, but never about cell phones. Allowing a company to offer Internet access at a download speed of five megabits per second therefore prevented the development of any other technology in the territory.
Because we work closely with the Fédération québécoise des municipalités, we see that mayors—particularly in Quebec—now want to be involved in setting these priorities. Again, if the decision were left to large companies, these priorities would depend on the size of the population and the number of vehicles passing through. We must therefore remember local concerns and involve our mayors, since they are accountable and want to establish their local priorities.