Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark said the urgent need for the federal government to work with Ontario and municipal governments to improve broadband connectivity emerged as the priority issue at the 2020 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Conference.
This year’s AMO conference was held in a virtual format and featured more than 480 municipal delegations with government ministers, associate ministers and parliamentary assistants, said Steve, who also serves as Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“The one issue that kept coming up was broadband infrastructure. Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott has been doing a fantastic job on this file and our government has made significant investments to improve connectivity,” he said. “But the one thing we kept hearing during our delegations was the need for the federal government to come to the table on broadband. We need a collaborative approach to address this pressing issue and it starts with getting the federal government on board.”
In his capacity as Minister, Steve Clark co-wrote a letter with Minister Scott to the federal government prior to AMO calling for “urgent federal action to provide immediate funding for reliable broadband across Ontario.”
“The lack of broadband access in rural Ontario puts everyone in unserved or underserviced areas at a disadvantage – students seeking help on homework while learning remotely, seniors and other vulnerable individuals looking to access critical services and business owners working hard to keep afloat and compete during challenging times,” wrote Ministers Clark and Scott.
Clark also thanked the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) and AMO for their tireless efforts to champion the issue and pledged to work hand in hand with them to secure a federal partnership.