This week, the Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic responsible for the Charter for Regions, Ms. Dominique Anglade, reminded Premier Legault of the urgent need to connect our regions to high-speed Internet as he asks Quebecers to work remotely from home. She also stressed that our regions should not have to pay for the Minister of Economy’s inertia in this file.
Recall that during the 2018 election campaign, François Legault had promised that everyone, without exception, would have access to high-speed Internet access and cellular network coverage by 2022. In fact, he was committed to a 100-megabyte connection and fees on par with those in larger cities.
What has come of this promise today?
This week we learned that students in grades 10, 11 and now students from grade 9 as well, had to physically attend class to be able to follow along. Why? Because they don’t have access to an adequate connection, neither via satellite nor fibre optic. No connection at all. Additionally, many Quebecers are not able to work efficiently because they lack an adequate connection at a time when the government is asking people to work remotely. It is completely unacceptable that the government is abandoning our regions in 2020, and in the middle of a pandemic. It forces citizens to be patient and make sacrifices when it comes to their quality of life. There is an urgent need to take action for the sake of the vitality and development of our regions. So, if high-speed Internet is not a priority for the Minister of Economy, can Premier Legault take charge of the file? Wouldn’t it have been more honest to paint a real portrait for Quebecers rather than promise something he has known for a year that he wouldn’t do?
—Dominique Anglade, Leader of the Official Opposition and Critic for the Charter for Regions.