LETTER: There is a rural-urban divide in PEI.
Urban-rural divide online
The most reliable network to provide high-speed Internet access to all Islanders is fiber delivery. Wireless broadband is spotty and inaccessible in many rural areas of Prince Edward Island. Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service is expensive and inconvenient for most people.
It is widely recognized that high-speed Internet is essential for Islanders and Canadians to participate in the digital economy, including telecommuting, education, agriculture, fishing, business, economic development and personal use. This fact has become very clear during the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years, with more people working from home and more students requiring virtual education.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) sets minimum broadband Internet service levels of at least 50 Mbps downloads and 10 Mbps uploads for Canadian homes and businesses. The PEI Broadband Deployment Gap Analysis prepared for the Government of Prince Edward Island by Stantec Consultants (August 2021) identified many rural island communities that are underserved by the internet.
Although current and former governments have given Bell and Xplornet millions of dollars for Internet contracts over the past 15 years, often at the expense of local Internet Service Providers (ISPs), they have failed to ensure minimum Internet service levels for much of rural Prince Edward Island. . This costly and egregious accountability failure by the King government and its predecessors deepened the island’s urban-rural divide, depriving rural residents of access to goods and services via the Internet, and businesses the opportunity to survive and grow. grow in the digital economy.
It is incumbent upon all governments, including the King Government of Prince Edward Island, to act to ensure that all of its citizens have equal and equitable access to all areas of civic participation. These days, that must include accessible, reliable, and affordable high-speed fiber optic Internet service.
Dr. Herb Dickieson,
High fees for unwanted services
Am I the only one who sees injustice, stupidity and outright abuse of power being used to steal even more taxes from residents who have been denied their democratic rights under the Municipal Government Act? I’m talking about the handful of advisors and financial managers in the community of Three Rivers. They decided to raise taxes on non-resident property owners who have no say. The problem is that these landowners are already double taxed. They pay for services that most never use, spend or contribute to the community during the short time they reside here. What happens in the next few years when these people decide to sell and leave? The short-sighted council and its chief financial officer will pass on the higher rates to other residents in the community. These higher taxes are needed to pay for the overpaid councillors, mayor and chief financial officer, and so many things most area residents don’t want. Under the old law, a budget was tabled and the community voted on it. If it was too high, projects were cut or redesigned. Now the inhabitants do not have the right to vote. The CFO controls the council and the mayor. The CFO is controlled by the minister. Now I see the City of Cornwall following, people from the new amalgamated community of Bonshaw West River will be next. You better wake up soon, or you’ll run out of money and all your democratic rights will disappear.
Climate policy is the best we can get
As for the government’s new climate policy, I think it doesn’t go far enough, but given the current political climate in this country, it has gone as far as it can go.
The country’s other major political party is neck and neck in the polls, and at their last political convention they were unable to pass a motion declaring climate change was real.
Most of their members come from the Prairie provinces, which are heavily dependent on fossil fuels.
So I think the government pushes the boundaries as much as they dare.
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