Madam Speaker, I do not see what the government has to brag about, given that we know 63% of rural regions do not have access to high-speed Internet. This has been a source of frustration for years. Internet service is becoming a must for farmers, students and all rural business owners. Economies depend on it.
Fourteen municipalities in Salaberry—Suroît have written to us to say that the situation is untenable. High-speed Internet is available in the village cores, but further out in the country, service is intermittent, inaccessible or too slow. In Franklin, an Internet connection costs $90, and the big companies are under no obligation to serve rural residents.
In the 2019 budget, the government promises to invest millions of dollars until 2030, but it fails to require the big companies to serve small rural regions. Furthermore, co-ops like Coop CSUR get no regulatory assistance from the CRTC to deliver their services. Co-ops are motivated not by profit, but by a desire to help people. However, no one is helping them. The government has been aware of this situation for years, but it is not doing a single thing to fix it.