More broadband and mobile connections are needed in rural Canada.
Following a meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that was one of the major takeaways.
The Federation had its spring board meeting last week in Penticton, BC. These are held to identify some key goals for local governments across the country.
The District of Muskoka Chair John Klinck attended as a member of the FCM Board representing the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO).
One of the main points from the meeting, says Klinck, is the need for rural areas across the country to have equal access to mobile and internet connectivity.
“We have a situation where Canadian households are struggling to connect and businesses are unable to unlock their full potential,” said Klinck. “In Muskoka, we know this strategy can be most successful through long-term, predictable solutions and major investments.”
Local Ontario Secondary School Federation President Colin Matthew says broadband infrastructure will be needed based on the announced $1.5 billion cuts last week. He says e-learning is going to replace one-on-one time with teachers, and a lot of students won’t have high-speed internet to do the lessons at home.
“We know in our rural areas what that looks like because the internet infrastructure simply doesn’t exist, Matthew says. “All families don’t have good access to technology and that disadvantages many students, especially those with special needs who are not equipped to take courses by e-learning necessarily.”