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Clark says $40-million rural B.C. Internet infrastructure project creates jobs

Lights are illuminated on a modem in Chelsea, Que., on July 11, 2011. Canada's communications regulator is forcing the country's big Internet service providers to offer competitors access to their fibre optic networks.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
March 04, 2017 - 8:32 AM

MERRITT, B.C. - Premier Christy Clark says a $40-million high-speed Internet expansion project will build infrastructure and create jobs in rural British Columbia.

She was at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt today to highlight the government's rural economic development strategy.

About $246 million of the initiatives that form the strategy has been added to the 2016-17 budget for the fiscal year that ends on March 31.

Clark says the Internet improvement project will create jobs in rural communities and allow local entrepreneurs to explore new business ventures without moving to urban centres.

The government's rural strategy comes just weeks before the official start of May's election, where rural-urban economic differences are expected to be major campaign issues.

The latest B.C. Stats employment data shows unemployment at 10.5 per cent in the northeast region, while the jobless rate in the Lower Mainland is 4.9 per cent.

The regional council at Fort Nelson recently implemented widespread community cuts to weather the local economic downturn.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said $246 million for the strategy was part of the 2017-18 budget.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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