June 5th, 2020

Broadband re-announcement shows Ford’s failure to invest in rural and northern Ontario

ELLIOT LAKE - Northerners and rural Ontarians deserve more than Doug Ford’s year old re-announcements on broadband that shows a lack of investment in their communities just when they need it most, said MPP Michael Mantha, NDP Northern Development critic.

“This week, Ford pretended to announce Broadband funding. But his announcement was actually made in 2019, and since then the provincial government has only spent a fraction of what they told Ontarians they would invest,” said Mantha.

“The re-announcement shows Ford is failing to invest in broadband during the pandemic when families need it most.”

New Democrats have called for $1 billion to be invested in broadband, and are renewing their call for the Ford government to get to work to deliver high speed internet to communities that need it now, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Families without broadband are struggling to work and have their kids finish the school year,” said Mantha. “Businesses whose clients depend on rural customers are hurting. They are all waiting for this government to take action, and they need that help now.”

According to the Infrastructure Estimates, the Ford government budgeted $31.8 million towards the broadband program in 2019-20, but only spent $13.1 million.

“Doug Ford has no excuse for not releasing the funds allocated to broadband,” said Mantha. “Families need it now more than ever, and the Ford government needs to act immediately to get workers, school kids and businesses online.”