Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Vaughan—Woodbridge for his comments.
What stood out for me in particular was what he said about connecting Canadians to the Internet, the issue of connectivity and digital development more broadly.
The throne speech mentions that “regional needs and differences really matter. Today’s regional economic concerns are both justified and important.” I am from a rural area and these are very important elements.
My concern is that we must not end up with two categories of Canadians: Canadians who are connected and live an “urban” lifestyle and have not just reliable cell service, but also broadband access to the Internet, and those living in rural areas who have no such access. I believe that the prosperity of our villages depends on it.
How can we hope to attract young families to Abitibi-Témiscamingue if parents are unable to help their children do their homework or stream television series, for example? How can we attract SMEs and economic development if we cannot make our towns appealing to investors?
My question is the following: Can the government ensure that all Canadians are connected, no matter where they live?