Wednesday, October 28, 2020

With time running out for residents on Haida Gwaii, MP Taylor Bachrach wants a sign of some plan from Ottawa on internet access

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach, who is the NDP's
infrastructure critic in Parliament raised issues of Internet access
this week during Question Period in the House of Commons

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach is back in Ottawa this week, using his time in the House of Commons to call attention to some key issues of note for the Northwest and Haida Gwaii.

For one of his first talking points of the week, the MP has raised the prospect of the ticking clock on Haida Gwaii towards the end of internet services for a number of residents, particularly in the Tlell area.

"These residents need to  run businesses, attend school, book medical appointments, bank on line and stay connected with their families, all over the Internet. This pandemic has shown us that broadband internet access is far from a luxury, it's essential for daily life" -- MP Taylor Bachrach raising concerns over the soon to end access to the internet for Tlell residents and the issue of internet service for rural Canada 

In just over two months the only service provider to the Tlell are is set to shut down its operations, something which will send the residents a few decades back in time, to an era when the Internet was but a rumour of things to come.

Speaking on Monday, the MP posed his question to the Government side of the House, with the MP noting the vital role that connectivity provides for day to day use now.

Specifically, Bachrach was seeking some guidance as to what action the Federal Government has planned to ensure that residents of Tlell and other rural areas continue to have access to the internet.

Mr. Bachrach and residents of Haida Gwaii didn't exactly get a full answer to the question, with Parliamentary Secretary Gudie Hutchings taking the inquiry on behalf of the Government; though she mostly recited the recent themes of the Liberal throne speech and promises of accelerating the plan to increase high speed access to rural Canada.

Mr. Bachrach reviews the current situation for Tlell through his Facebook page here.

The MP has also submitted a wider overview on the theme of rural connections through a piece he provided for the politics focused news service the Hill Times, you can read his notes on the theme here.

After a significant pause, the CityWest/Strathcona Regional
District Connected Coast project is set to make some progress

Earlier this month CityWest announced that it's somewhat delayed Coastal Connection project is now back in motion, that project which is a joint venture with Strathcona Regional District on Vancouver Island will deliver an extensive broadband infrastructure network to Haida Gwaii, the Central Coast and North and Central Vancouver Island.

It also will provide for a second backbone of internet connectivity for the Prince Rupert area and all of Northwest British Columbia.

For more notes on the CityWest project see our archive page here.

An overview of the work of Mr. Bachrach at the House of Commons can be found here.

No comments:

Post a Comment