Provincial government votes down MPP Mantha’s motion to lower internet bills for Northerners

QUEEN’S PARK – During this pandemic when internet usage has increased and costs have skyrocketed, Northerners need relief on internet bills, said Michael Mantha, NDP MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin, who introduced a motion on Monday to bring down those costs. However, the Conservative government voted down the NDP motion. 

The Doug Ford Conservatives refused to offer relief on internet bills for Northerners, said Algoma-Manitoulin NDP MPP Michael Mantha after the Ford government voted down his motion on Monday that would have taken off the provincial portion of the HST from skyrocketing internet bills, and ensure no one loses their service during the pandemic.

“When (Premier) Doug Ford had the chance to provide some relief for Northerners on their sky-high internet bills during the pandemic, he refused, saying it is solely the responsibility of the federal government. Instead of blaming Ottawa, (Premier) Ford could develop a strategy and work in collaboration with the federal government to bring positive outcomes,” said MPP Mantha, in a release. 

“After three years in government, the Ford Conservatives failed to provide the internet infrastructure Northerners need for access to reliable and affordable broadband. That has created hardship for Northern families especially during the COVID crisis, yet the Ford government doesn’t care and has failed to act yet again,” continued MPP Mantha. 

In Northern Ontario where broadband is limited, many Northerners face monthly internet bills of hundreds of dollars. New Democrats have been fighting for broadband access for all  Northerners and communities left behind by both the Wynne Liberals and the Ford Conservatives, he said. MPP Mantha’s bill would have provided much-needed relief during this pandemic when internet usage has increased and costs have shot up for Northerners.

“Doug Ford has left Northerners stuck paying the highest internet bills in the province,” said MPP Mantha. “The pandemic is not over and Doug Ford’s cycle of lockdowns means Northern families will need to use the internet more than ever before.”