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42nd Parliament, 1st Session (December 3, 2015 - September 11, 2019)

M-208, Rural Digital Infrastructure

Report and Government Response

Report 18: Rural Wireless Digital Infrastructure: a Critical Role
  • Adopted by the Committee: June 13, 2019
  • Presented to the House: June 17, 2019
  • Government Response Requested
The Committee studied the subject matter of this Private Member's Motion before it received the order of reference from the House of Commons. As a result, additional information about the Committee’s study is available on the page entitled Subject Matter of the Private Members’ Motion M-208, on Rural Digital Infrastructure.


That, in the opinion of the House: (a) a reliable and accessible digital infrastructure, from broadband Internet to wireless telecommunications and beyond, is essential and enables Canadians to seize new business opportunities, create jobs and connect with the global economy; (b) a reliable and accessible digital infrastructure, particularly wireless telecommunications infrastructure, plays a critical role in securing the health and safety of Canadians, notably during emergency situations caused by extreme weather events; (c) innovation occurs everywhere, in rural and remote regions just as much as in urban centres, and all Canadians deserve an equal opportunity to succeed in the digital economy as a matter of fundamental fairness; (d) the government should (i) continue in its efforts to support Canadians, especially those in rural regions, in accessing the digital infrastructure they need to innovate, create economic opportunity and maintain public safety, (ii) examine the possibility of enabling further investments in rural digital infrastructure, including by reviewing the terms and conditions of the federal infrastructure program Investing in Canada, to incentivize investments in rural connectivity by the private sector and by leveraging funds from other orders of government, (iii) continue to work with telecommunication companies, provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and relevant emergency response organizations to enhance rural connectivity and ensure maximum preparedness in emergency situations; (e) the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology should be instructed to undertake a comprehensive study on rural wireless infrastructure, focusing particularly on (i) the underlying causes of, and prospective solutions to the gaps in wireless infrastructure deployment in rural Canada, (ii) the regulatory role of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, (iii) the fiscal and regulatory approaches to incentivize more significant investments in rural wireless infrastructure, and report to the House at its earliest convenience; and (f) the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security should be instructed to undertake a comprehensive study on the public safety dimensions of wireless infrastructure deployment in rural Canada, and report to the House at its earliest convenience