The Conservative Party of Canada released a plan to "Secure Jobs and Opportunity for Rural Canadians" on Monday. "We will ensure that rural Canadians have their voices heard and their concerns addressed."
"Canada’s Conservatives understand the importance of rural Canada and have seen how the current government has ignored rural Canadians," reads the press statement. "Whether they live in rural Nova Scotia, or rural Saskatchewan, or a remote community in Northern Ontario, or anywhere else in the country, the interests of our rural populations must never be ignored by urban politicians."
They claim their jobs plan will create jobs across rural Canada, and not solely prioritize metropolitan hubs, with a commitment to get "Canadians back to work."
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole spoke to his party’s plan, stating, "Rural communities are key to Canada’s economy, culture, and our way of life. But for six years, under the Trudeau Liberals, NDP, and Greens have completely ignored the needs of rural Canadians." He assured that would not be the case under the Conservatives.
"Through Canada’s recovery plan, we will ensure that your voices are heard and your concerns are addressed," said O'Toole. "Our plan will create jobs throughout the country." Though vague on details, the plan highlighted several specific preliminary steps on how to address the concerns of rural Canadians.
By building digital infrastructure to connect all of Canada to High-Speed Internet by 2025, they indicated that "high-speed internet is essential for Canadians to learn, work, and compete, and to connect with loved ones."
He claimed the Trudeau Liberals moved too slowly with their commitment to universal high-speed internet by 2030. "Canadian cannot wait nine years. They deserve action now," said O'Toole. He said Ontario and Quebec were "tired of waiting," and moved ahead without input from the federal government.
“Many Canadians still lack adequate high-speed internet. We will put a stop to the endless delays of bureaucracy and become a true partner to the provinces, delivering broadband across the country," O'Toole promised.
With a commitment to get rural broadband built over the next four years, they will also speed up the spectrum auction process to get more spectrum into use and apply, use it or lose it, provisions to ensure that spectrum, particularly in rural areas.
O'Toole reiterated: "I believe all Canadians deserve access to high-speed internet, so they can connect to the world. Canada’s Conservatives will make this a reality.”"
The party will also require that Huawei equipment not be used, to protect national security against cyber security threats, appoint a Minister of Rural Affairs to Cabinet, and set aside a portion of federal infrastructure funds for projects in rural areas.
Given the struggles of Canada’s tourism industry, the Conservatives will also implement a strategy that supports rural tourism and encourages Canadians and visitors from around the world to explore remote parts of the country, including the "hidden gems that are off the beaten path."
The party also committed to tackling rural crime by adding a sentencing consideration for courts based on evidence that an offence was "directed at a property or person that was vulnerable because of their remoteness from emergency services."
O'Toole said: "too many politicians and commentators who live in our big cities talk as if crime is less and less of a concern in Canada because they ignore it, don’t understand it, or don’t care about what’s happening outside our big urban centres."
He added that it’s time for a federal government who prioritizes the safety of families and residents in small towns and rural communities.
They will also significantly reduce the amount of money the government spends on advertising with big foreign tech companies like Twitter, and instead directing federal ad dollars to Canadian media, including the regional media that keep rural communities connected.
He concluded that "help is on the way" and that under his leadership, his party will "secure the future."
The Conservatives released their recovery plan on Sunday, with a commitment to recover 1 million jobs in a year, balance the budget over the next decade, and to stimulate economic growth and get spending under control.
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