February 25, 2021
Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg, MB – Today the Manitoba NDP met with Finance Minister Scott Fielding to urge him to make reliable, high-speed internet for families everywhere in Manitoba a priority in the PCs 2021 budget. The PCs have the ability to increase connectivity across the province but they are dragging their heels and making life harder for Manitobans by failing to deliver reliable high-speed internet to Manitobans when they need it most.
“Everything families do right now revolves around their internet connection,” said Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew. “Reliable high-speed internet is an essential service – but it’s one that too many families go without. The PC’s could immediately improve quality of life for families throughout the province by making a simple investment in high-speed internet. The only way we can improve internet services is by keeping Hydro public.”
Manitoba Hydro Telecom owns the dark fibre line that could be used to connect Manitobans with reliable internet throughout the province. They could have acted on this years ago. And now, in the middle of a pandemic, while kids are struggling with remote learning, and lack of internet access disproportionately affects rural, Northern, and low-income families, the PCs are still refusing to improve high-speed internet for families.
In addition to calling for reliable, high-speed internet for every family, the NDP presented the Finance Minister with their budget priorities that will make life easier and more affordable for families in the pandemic. Their priorities include increased investments in healthcare, schools, small business supports and keeping Manitoba Hydro public and affordable. They also called on the PCs to address the lack of supports for people without shelter, keep rent affordable and ensure every Manitoban has a safe, affordable place to call home.
Next week the NDP will be holding a town hall with thousands of Manitobans to listen to their priorities and fight to protect the things they care about.