Le Soleil de Châteauguay asked October 21 federal election candidates in Chateauguay-Lacolle a question regarding high-speed internet. This service is not offered in several rural zones in the riding. This deficiency poses a problem for enterprises as well as for individuals and institutions. What does your party plan on doing in this regard? Here are the answers that we received. Considering the limited space in the paper edition and the high number of candidates, a 200-word limit was established for each response.
Hugues Laplante Conservative Party
«While Montreal is looking to increase its Internet speed, it is inconceivable that we are still having to struggle to get an appropriate cellular network and Internet speed within our range in Chateauguay-Lacolle, just a few kilometers away. The implementation of a high-speed cellular and internet network is more critical than ever for our residents, our businesses, industries, organizations and folks in the farming industry. With the goal of developing our industries, attract independent workers and young professionals, in order to prevent the permanent departure of our younger generation, the modernization of these networks is essential to the socio-economic development. It is unacceptable that the folks in our county be treated as second class citizens. We know within the Conservatives party that access to a fast and reliable cellular network is critical for all the different regions of our great country. A Conservative government led by Andrew Scheer will insure all Canadians have access to a high-speed internet and cellular network but also that each rural areas receive their fair share of the of the infrastructural financial resources with its own independent budget.»
Meryam Haddad, Green Party
«For the Green Party of Canada, access to a fast, reliable and affordable Internet connection is essential for the full participation of individuals and communities. Such an infrastructure is as crucial today as electricity and telephone lines were at the beginning of the last century, since a green economy is largely a digital economy. There is currently a digital divide between those who have such access and those who do not. The Green Party supports high-speed access for all of the government’s Canadian Connectivity Strategy. This Strategy aims to deliver the target speed of 50/10 Mbps to 90% of Canadians by 2021, to 95% by 2026, and to Canadians currently under-served by 2030. Canadians will also benefit from improved mobile connectivity along highways and major roads. The Green Party of Canada will ensure that the investment and promised time to bridge the digital divide between Canadian households is respected. In the meantime, the Green Party wants to establish high-speed public Internet access services in post offices, particularly in isolated or underserved communities, without banks or libraries.»
Brenda Shanahan, Liberal Party
«Improving Internet connectivity is my priority for the constituency. Over the last four years, I have been involved in this issue as my office and I were in contact with municipalities and MRC as a liaison with Federal agencies in the development of projects. I am aware that a dozen of our municipalities still have connectivity issues. In 2017, I announced the first regional project under the Connect to Innovate federal program. Then, in 2019, we pledged a reinvestment of $6 billion, which includes the renewal and the creation of funding programs and the support of the Canada Infrastructure Bank to better leverage private investments. We know, however, that money and good intentions are not sufficient. We have therefore become tougher with the telecom giants. Our Liberal government set the target at 95% of Canadians to be connected at high speed by 2026, and 100% by 2030. It is essential to unite our efforts to achieve this – and that is why we have developed a plan to improve collaboration with stakeholders. I am committed to continuing this work in a second mandate in order to ensure citizens and businesses in Châteauguay-Lacolle have access to a high-speed, reliable and affordable service!»