Judith Monteith‑Farrell MPP, Thunder Bay–Atikokan

Government of Ontario

Northern Oppostion MPPs push to better internet access for rural and northern Ontario

Published on April 24, 2020

THUNDER BAY- Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Judith Monteith-Farrell was among eight Northern Ontario Opposition MPPs who wrote to Premier Doug Ford to guarantee access to affordable internet for rural and northern Ontarians.

The lack of access to internet has become an even larger concern due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing students to learn from home and individuals to work from home.

Bisson said that access to affordable, high-speed internet is not a new problem.

“My colleagues and I have been pushing the current and former governments for better access to internet in northern and rural Ontario but we’ve only received broken promises.”

According to the Northern Policy Institute, there is a significant lack of access to a target download speeds of 50 Mbps and upload speeds of 10 Mbps in Northern Ontario. 15.5% of the Northern Ontario population still have bandwidth speeds below this 50/10 Mbps target.

The Official Opposition is asking the government for a $1 billion investment in infrastructure to ensure that internet is available to all Ontarians, regardless of geographical location.

The Opposition members who signed the letter include: Gilles Bisson, MPP Timmins; Guy Bourgouin, MPP Mushkegowuk-James Bay; France Gélinas, MPP Nickel Belt; Sol Mamakwa, MPP Kiiwetinoong; Michael Mantha, MPP Algoma-Manitoulin; Judith Monteith-Farrell, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan; John Vanthof, MPP Timiskaming-Cochrane; and Jamie West, MPP Sudbury.