It was my pleasure to host Premier Brian Pallister along with Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen and Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton in Thompson this week to announce our government’s investment of $380 million in an important upgrade of the province’s public safety communications service by Bell Mobility. The new system will replace the outdated FleetNet service and provide expanded coverage over a more secure network, while significantly improving the safety of Manitoba’s first responders.
It is essential that we have reliable communications service across the province, including in rural and remote areas, and especially during emergencies. This upgrade will provide public safety personnel such as firefighters, paramedics, police services, conservation officers and forest fire crews with superior communications technology.
The new system, to be implemented over the next three years, will include radios with GPS that can track first responders to improve their safety. Advanced encryption will ensure police operations are secure while the equipment will be compatible with systems outside the province. Five telecommunications towers will be added to expand coverage in Northern Manitoba, and new mobile tower units will provide additional coverage where they are required on an emergency basis. The improvements will enable public safety services to cooperate more effectively and to remain safe while they protect Manitobans.
Separately, I want to congratulate the Thompson Golf Club for hosting a successful event last weekend commemorating and celebrating its 50th anniversary. The club has sustained itself through dedicated volunteers, members, sponsors and donors, and everyone benefits from their hard work. We thank them for the lasting memories at the club’s picturesque location, and look forward to many more years of slicing, duffing and the occasional beautiful shot.