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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

FORSETH – While I’m NOT advocating government should be making these kinds of investments, should taxpayers not be getting a ‘return’ if they do?

 


THIRTY-FIVE POINT SIX ONE EIGHT MILLION dollars!

In little more than 10 weeks (since March 26th), that is how much the government of British Columbia has outright given to major telecoms and internet service providers. The reality is, however, Premier John Horgan’s NDP government has simply passed on money we are forced to give -- through taxes we have little to no say in.

And the major beneficiaries of this government largess, through the Connecting British Columbia program?

Rogers, who had net earnings of 1.725 BILLION dollars in 2020 -- and Telus who had a ‘55 percent revenue growth to $1.6 billion in 2020’.


June 8th ... up to $3.07 million to Telus and Swift Internet for four projects (Shuswap and around south Kootenay Lake) ...

June 3rd ... Telus will receive up to $3.6 million to upgrade the performance of internet access in northern communities...

May 18th ... will provide Telus up to $2.9 million toward the cost of improving the performance and reliability of internet access in Dogwood Valley, Squeah, Yale and parts of Skawahlook, Chawathil and Yale First Nations ...

May 5th ... providing Telus up to $844,000 for the cellular project in Wells and up to $911,000 for the infrastructure in Perow ...

May 4th ... ABC Communications received $334,100 to cover half of the estimated cost of connecting people in Clinton with modern high-speed internet ...


May 3rd ...
Rogers will receive up to $5.47 million toward the estimated $6.4-million cost of filling in cellular gaps along 68 kilometres of Highway 97 between Chetwynd and the Highway 39 junction ...

April 7th ... will provide Rogers $4.5 million towards the $11.6-million cost of installing cellular infrastructure to provide cellular coverage ... between Prince Rupert and Smithers ...

April 7th ... Rogers Communications Ltd. has been selected to receive up to $4.9 million towards the cost of building the infrastructure (Cellular service is being expanded to include a 70-kilometre stretch of Highway 14 between Sooke and Port Renfrew) ...

March 26th ... CityWest will receive more than $10 million to enhance connectivity for more than 2,800 households in places like Whaletown, Granite Bay and 4 mile, as well as communities within the territories of the Haida Nation, Nuxalk Nation, Ehattesaht First Nation and Klahoose First Nation ...


Are these rural communities and areas deserving of better telecommunications and internet services? Of course they are, however, why should tax-payers be footing the bills for the infrastructure being built by businesses already earning billions?

And while I’m NOT advocating government should be making these kinds of investments, should taxpayers not be getting a ‘return’ if they do? If nothing else, there should be a pay-back period on this money which is being given -- on our behalf -- to Rogers, Telus, and others.

Providing services to rural communities does come at a higher cost, but I’m not sure it should be the taxpayers of BC that should footing the bill for that cost. After all ... there’s little likelihood telecoms and internet service providers are in any danger of losing money given the revenues they continue to earn.

I’m interested in your thoughts – what say you?


 

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