Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services, and Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, have released the following statement on closing British Columbia’s digital divide:
“We are excited to make this historic announcement that is years in the making, giving people, businesses and communities in every part of B.C. access to high-speed internet over the next five years.
“This is a key action in our StrongerBC Economic Plan that will make sure everyone in B.C. has equal and full access to high-speed internet by 2027.
“This joint record investment of $830 million between the federal and provincial governments means many First Nations communities will have high-speed internet access for the first time – advancing true, lasting and meaningful reconciliation and self-determination. Approximately 115,000 households in rural, remote and Indigenous communities that are still underserved will now have the same digital economic opportunities as larger urban communities.
“The StrongerBC Economic Plan addresses two long-standing challenges: inequality and climate change, and this action will ensure businesses throughout B.C. have equal opportunity to participate in the economy.
“Connectivity provides a life-changing opportunity to connect more people and businesses with the services and supports they need to succeed and compete in a global economy.
“COVID-19 demonstrated, like never before, the importance of connectivity for well-being, economic growth and building resilient communities. High-speed internet is vital to everyone, especially British Columbians who live in rural and remote communities, as well as Indigenous communities.
“Closing the digital divide is B.C.’s competitive advantage.
“Investing in connectivity through infrastructure methods, such as low-orbit satellites, and fixed and fibre internet to the home means investing in the people of this province. By giving everyone access to high-speed internet, we will level the playing field for more British Columbians, providing better access to jobs, education, training, health care, and so much more.”
For more information on the StrongerBC Economic Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan