Rural Nova Scotians were promised access to high-speed internet more than a decade ago. Too many families and businesses are still waiting. For them, it takes hours out of their day to update their business’ website, research a school project or download a movie.
“In 2017, access to high-speed internet is an essential service that should not be out of reach for anyone,” Bailllie said. “All Nova Scotians should be able to sell their products, cultivate new markets and have access to social media. A Progressive Conservative government will invest to connect all Nova Scotians to the world.”
As part of Baillie’s Rebuild Nova Scotia Fund, a PC government will spend $150 million, including federal funding, over 10 years to bring high-speed internet service to Nova Scotians.
Dr. Matt Durant is a Labrador Retriever breeder who owns Labridge Kennels in Glenmont. Because he doesn’t have high-speed internet, he is unable to reach new clients.
“Poor rural high-speed internet service means we can’t thrive as entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Durant. “My wife and I work hard, but we can’t even update our business website or answer customer emails. It’s very discouraging.”
Insufficient high-speed access also deprives the next generation of Nova Scotians. “I have four young children getting to the age where they need to look up information online, and it’s impossible for them to do that,” said Dr. Durant. “They’re at a disadvantage without reliable internet access.”
Baillie said the McNeil Liberals lack the vision to see how high-speed internet would create jobs and grow the province’s economy. And in nearly four years, the Liberals had no comprehensive plan or vision to get rural Nova Scotians connected.
“High-speed internet will allow rural businesses to grow and create jobs,” Baillie concluded. “Only the PC team has the vision and the plan to make that happen.”
In the 2017 federal budget, a commitment was made to investing $2 billion in priorities like internet connectivity for rural communities. A Progressive Conservative government will work with the federal government to obtain Nova Scotia’s share of the funding.
The Rebuild Nova Scotia Fund is Jamie Baillie’s plan to improve Nova Scotia’s infrastructure and create thousands of jobs. Rebuild Nova Scotia will grow the economy and create jobs by spending $2 billion on roads, bridges and other public infrastructure over the next ten years. These important investments will be made while anchoring the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio at its current level.