As everyone who lives in rural Canada knows, there are many gaps in cellular service – and southeastern Manitoba is certainly no exception.
Many of you have contacted my office over the past few years regarding this issue and I have made the expansion of cellular services for southeast Manitoba a high priority.
Together with municipal and provincial leaders from across the region, I have frequently met with telecom providers to emphasize how important cell service is to our local communities. Our message was simple: cell service is vital to business development, personal communication and safety.
In 2015 I was very pleased to be on hand at the announcement by MTS that they would be building a new tower which would service a wide area in the RM of Piney. In 2016, I was pleased to attend another Bell-MTS announcement that brought news of three new wireless towers along Highway 75. And this week we received even more good news – three more towers for Provencher. The official announcement was made on Monday afternoon in the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie.
Credit must be given to Bell-MTS for hearing the concerns of people in rural Manitoba and acting on it. MLAs Dennis Smook and Cliff Graydon should also be acknowledged for their perseverance on this issue. And special recognition needs to be given to the Southeast Cellular Coalition led by Reeve Jim Swidersky. This dedicated group of municipal leaders has worked tirelessly for improved cell service on behalf of their residents. This has truly been an example of a great team effort with everyone working together for a common cause.
Of course, we all know that there is still a lot of work ahead of us to ensure that service is delivered to every area of Provencher. These three new towers are another step in the right direction but there are still many rural areas across Manitoba that remain either un-serviced or under-serviced. I will continue to work closely with the various telecom companies and provincial and municipal officials to ensure that cellular services continue to expand across our region.