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Liberals look at quick changes in strategies targeting rural Canada

Working to expand broadband access.

June 27, 2019   by CP STAFF

OTTAWA—The federal government is promising to piggyback on existing projects and networks as much as possible to expand broadband access to rural communities as part of two reports being made public today.

Officials are also looking to rework some programs to make it easier for rural communities to benefit from federal spending as part of the related strategies.

But aside from specific targets to connect Canadians to high-speed internet service, the rural strategy is largely without benchmarks.

Rural Economic Development Minister Bernadette Jordan says the aspirational tone of the document reflects concerns from rural communities about a one-size-fits-all approach.

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The government isn’t announcing any new spending, but ways to more efficiently dole out promised cash, including $6 billion worth of plans to connect every household in the country to high-speed internet by 2030.

Jordan says the documents are not designed to help the Liberals in this fall’s federal election, but rather reflect the concerns rural Canadians raised during consultations.