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Liberal MP Addresses SARM Convention

The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities is holding its Annual Convention virtually this year.
 
In 2019 high speed broadband was available to 99 per cent of urban households, but only 24 per cent of rural ones and 2 per cent for First Nations.
 
Federal Liberal Minister Jim Carr told the group that high speed internet access is no longer a luxury it is essential.
 
"It's critical for the economic development of rural and remote communities and for Canada's overall recovery from the pandemic. Over the last five years, our government has approved projects that will connect 1.2 million Canadian households to better faster internet, and we are on track to meet our goal to connect every Canadian to high speed internet by 2030."
 
SARM emphasized their support for the Canadian Federation of Municipalities request that the Federal Government invest at least $400 million dollars in rural broadband over the next 10 years.
 
The increased costs of the Federal Carbon Tax was another key issue for SARM saying that some estimates put the increase in the carbon tax at $4 per acre of direct and indirect costs for an average Saskatchewan grain farm by 2022.
 
Carr told the group that Ottawa is aware of the issue and has been working on it.
 
"Minister Bibeau announced just last week along with Minister Wilkinson that there will be rebates. We understand that this is a serious irritation among producers particularly in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. We are acknowledging that there has to be policy shifts. We have already said through these pronouncements by Ministers that were on it, there will be significant changes."
 
He notes they are also investing $165 million in the Agricultural Clean Technology Fund and an additional $185 million through the Natural Climate Solutions.
 
 
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