HUNTSVILLE — Scott Aitchison says high-speed internet will be a priority for a Conservative government.

The Parry Sound-Muskoka candidate said this week that Andrew Scheer “will make sure that Canadians have access to high-speed internet.”

“Canadians – no matter where they live – should have access to high-speed internet,” said Aitchison. “Making sure that public resources like wireless spectrum are prioritized for rural Canadians will help achieve that.”

Aitchison said, in a candidate release this week, that the lack of access to high-speed internet access is a major challenge for the riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka. He said the lack of access puts individuals and businesses in the riding at an economic disadvantage.

“What’s more, a new Conservative government will require internet data providers to connect the maximum number of Canadians to high-speed internet by redirecting existing rural broadband funding towards strategic priorities,” said Aitchison.

“A new Conservative government will redefine the licence areas for internet providers to ensure that rural Canadians are not unfairly lumped in with urban centres in spectrum auctions. This is the right approach in order to expand broadband access in Parry Sound-Muskoka”

This plan is contrasted with Trudeau Liberals failed approach.

Former local Liberal MP and cabinet minister Andy Mitchell also promised his government would do the same when he was in office 1993-2006.

Aitchison said the Liberals have created a problem by forcing large carriers to allow small carriers to piggyback on their infrastructure.

He claims Justin Trudeau is now trying to solve this by throwing taxpayer dollars at the problem. It is clear that this is not working.

“We will take a smarter approach” said Aitchison, “that allows the private sector to do its work, while focusing government investment on areas that are less commercially attractive.

“In  Parry Sound-Muskoka our local carriers like Cogeco, Vianet, Lakeland and Interactive North stand ready to provide service to these areas with the support of the federal government. All our towns and villages deserve the same broadband coverage as the larger centres.

“Once telephones were a luxury, but now they are a necessity.  Broadband is the necessity for home and business today.  We can’t wait!”

According to the release:

In September 2019, Scheer announced the measures he would take to help rural communities across the country to ensure their prosperity:

  • Ensure that all regions receive their fair share of infrastructure funding with a budget specifically for them.
  • Appoint a minister of rural affairs.
  • Ensure that all cabinet decisions have a rural perspective.
  • Ensure that government programs consider the life conditions and unique experiences of Canadians in rural regions.
Parry Sound-Muskoka candidate Scott Aitchison says he and the Conservatives will prioritize high-speed for rural Canadians.