Without a doubt, fast and functional Internet service has now become the next essential utility for households and businesses around the globe – and Hants East is no different. Very few of us can get through a calendar day without using the online network to connect with friends and family, to complete a sale or purchase, to find information or to share our thoughts with a world beyond our daily commute. Fast, reliable Internet is a game changer – it is the most powerful tool we have at our fingertips, providing countless socio-economic advantages to our people and our communities. Better connections will also pay digital dividends in the fields of education, health and public administration.
That’s why the Province is working with communities, municipalities, service providers and other levels of government to build a strong, vibrant high-speed internet system across Nova Scotia. And as your MLA, I am personally committed to improving high-speed internet service here in Hants East.
The Province’s creation of a funding program called the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust will fund high-speed internet projects to connect more communities, homes and businesses across the province. Not only did the Province establish this program to ensure the accelerated development of internet infrastructure, it also invested the necessary financial resources to make it happen. With a contribution of $193 million to the Internet Funding Trust, this investment will be leveraged against funding from other public and private sources, helping us connect more Nova Scotians – including right here in Hants East.
It’s clear that one of the barriers to economic growth in Nova Scotia has been Internet access – delivering it to rural and remote communities has been a challenge. Successive governments have tried and failed – that’s why the Province has taken an additional step and created a Crown corporation called Develop Nova Scotia, tasking it with the management and implementation of the rural high-speed program. Develop Nova Scotia’s team of highly-skilled professionals are uniquely positioned to achieve its mandate of providing high speed internet service to more than 95% of rural households in the province.
As your MLA, I will be taking an active role in ensuring Hants East takes advantage of not only provincial dollars dedicated to improving internet service, but Federal initiatives as well. As a community, we must pull together as citizens, as municipal representatives, as business leaders and as champions across sectors to move Hants East forward. In the coming weeks, I will be meeting with our municipal government on this file and am committed to working with our local officials so that Hants East can capitalize on the social and economic impacts of fast, reliable internet.
This commitment is about more than providing the ability to stream movies – this is about moving the needle in terms of the ability of rural Nova Scotians to compete and succeed in the digital economy. It’s about providing businesses and employers in Hants East access to markets around the globe. It’s about allowing individuals to work from home, instead of having to leave their community to find reliable Internet service. It’s about evening the playing field with urban areas and providing opportunity for the future of our communities.
It’s about improving the lives and livelihoods of all of us who call Hants East home.
Fall is almost here and the school year has begun. I wish all students the best for the 2018-2019 school year. And please remember that our door is always open to address your concerns. We also provide a notary service and have information on most government services.