Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak to Motion No. 208.
I am also very pleased to see that some people on the other side of the House have had easy access to the Internet their whole lives. However, it is another story in rural areas.
It is now 2019, but it is difficult to access the waves, or signals, in rural areas. It all depends on the lay of the land and on whether you are in a hilly or mountainous area or on flat ground, because that can also affect the signals.
I would like to point out that having wireless Internet infrastructure in rural areas is vital. It is vital to the survival of our communities and of our world and to the economy we want to develop.
Connectivity is an important issue in the riding of Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix. It is just as important in all rural areas. There is an urgent need for access. However, this is not as easy as it seems.
Major companies such as Vidéotron and Bell do not want to go into rural areas because there are not enough potential clients. However, whether there are 10,000 or 50,000, it is now 2019, and everyone relies on high-speed Internet today.
It is clearly an extremely important tool. Everyone is connected to the Internet. That is easy in a place like Ottawa, but in my neck of the woods, in Saint-Urbain, which lies between two mountains, access is not a given.
I was very happy to have my riding host the G7. We got a lovely gift from the party opposite. They government built us some very nice towers. Unfortunately, it does not work in Saint-Urbain because we are between two mountains. Mayors and reeves even contacted the current government to say that their towers are great and everything, but in some parts of Charlevoix there is still no signal. Access is still a challenge.
Infrastructure is clearly of vital importance. I would like to thank the member for moving Motion No. 208, but I just want to point out that a motion was moved at the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology and the Liberals voted against it. Just now, they were talking about how this motion is important, but when a motion was moved at the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, the Liberals voted against it.
I would like someone to explain to my why our colleagues opposite voted against it. It is important. One of their members thinks it is so important he wants to have a debate in the House.
I think we have debated long enough. We need to get on with fixing a problem that has been around for a long time.
Sadly, high-speed Internet moves faster than legislators. We need to catch up to 2018, 2019 and 2020. We need to do better. There are certainly a number of factors to consider, like the CRTC, wireless Internet service providers and governments, which can also implement some things. However, we must move faster than endless debates and committee meetings. We have heard from everyone. We are in rural areas and we hear from businesses and ordinary people. Seniors are less concerned, since they feel they cannot keep pace with the Internet and new technologies. However, members of new generation, the one after ours, need the Internet and new technologies in their everyday lives.
Consequently, I support Motion No. 208. I can hardly be against it, because my riding needs these services. However, this should be automatic. Today, we need to move beyond debates and consultations. Most of the time, when a motion is drafted, on either side of the House, it gets sent to committee and then the people on the other side oppose it. It is time to rise above partisanship and work together to secure Internet access for rural communities from coast to coast to coast so we can catch up to 2019. That is the reality. That is what we need.
I have been the rural affairs critic for a year and a half, and I am still happy to have this job. Two or three weeks ago, the Liberals appointed a Minister of Rural Economic Development. Kudos to them for finally noticing we exist. They have been in office for three and a half years now, and in all that time, they have never talked about rural Canada.
Today, a member representing the regions is talking to us about rural life and the need for all rural Canadians to be connected. I commend him, because that is what rural residents need. This issue transcends partisan politics. Our rural regions need to be connected to the Internet immediately so we can finally catch up to 2019.
If this motion is studied by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, I hope that there will be no partisanship and that we will work together to connect our rural areas to the reality of 2019.