In 2019, Island wide broadband internet is a must.

NDP Leader Joe Byrne announces commitment to Island wide high-speed internet broadband services.

NDP PEI Leader Joe Byrne, Candidate in District 12, says it is essential for the prosperity of Prince Edward Island to follow through on delivering Rural high-speed internet access province wide.

“We’ve seen more than a decade of Island governments announce their commitment to invest in this integral service for rural Islanders, yet here we remain, in 2019, without consistent high-speed internet access from tip to tip. ” said Joe Byrne at an announcement at the NDP Headquarters on Friday.

Since 2007, Islanders have paid millions of tax dollars to Bell Canada with the understanding that high speed internet to rural PEI would be provided. Despite these large investments, in a private corporation, many rural communities continue to struggle to maintain good access speeds or have no access at all. This has an impact on community development, business, families, education and health services.

“As one who lives in rural PEI ans as a small business owner, I know the government has not succeeded at delivering on their promises” explains NDP PEI Deputy Leader Leah-Jane Hayward, and Candidate in District 15. “Once again election promises from both of the traditional parties has been made to bring high speed internet to rural PEI and I for one do not have faith we will get the results we want. Bell Canada though certainly will.”

The contract between the province and Bell Aliant was never put through public tender and remains to be completed. Costs to Islanders have been on the rise since the contract was signed with the cooperation, and in 2019 the NDP consider this to be neglectful.

“We will make darn sure that Broadband will be available to every single home in rural PEI. Broadband access is essential and must be affordable for all. We are losing rural Islanders to urban centres due to the lack of this essential public service,” added Dr. Dickieson, Candidate in D24 and Rural Development critic for the party.

“It is time that Islanders receive what they need to thrive in rural areas. Access to high-speed internet is a key part of that equation.” says Byrne. “We are hearing on the doorsteps that Island students living in Rural PEI are having a difficult time completing homework assignments and accessing invaluable research for their studies due to the lack of internet services, it is unfair for rural youth and their communities.”
As part of the Rural Community Economic Development plan, NDP PEI MLA’s will work to:

  • Provide Island wide fibre broadband at national standards to the more than 80 communities which have been identified by Industry Canada as eligible for expansion of backbone.Fully review legislation on land use and governing arrangements in unincorporated areas.
  • Offer tax incentives for small businesses to start up in rural communities.
  • Encourage not-for-profit and co-operative enterprises to locate in rural areas.
  • Concerning amalgamation: fully engage residents in determining the pros and cons of municipal restructuring for their particular circumstances.
  • Base management offices (as well as operations) of new public services in outlying communities.
  • Fully review legislation on land use and governing arrangements in unincorporated areas.
  • Offer tax incentives for small businesses to start up in rural communities.
  • Encourage not-for-profit and co-operative enterprises to locate in rural areas.
  • Concerning amalgamation: fully engage residents in determining the pros and cons of municipal restructuring for their particular circumstances.
  • Base management offices (as well as operations) of new public services in outlying communities.