Manitoba Liberal leader Dougald Lamont said Aug. 29 that if his party forms the next government, it would invest $20 million over four years in Manitoba Hydro’s fibre optic network to connect more communities and ensure that everyone in Northern Manitoba has high-speed internet and cell phone coverage within three years.
“The north has been a huge source of energy and resources for all of Manitoba, but while the benefits flow south, people in the north face steep costs,” Lamont, who visited Norway House Cree Nation with Flin Flon electoral division Liberal candidate James Lindsay Aug. 29, said in a press release. “Northern Manitoba and its people have tremendous potential. We must ensure that northerners share in the benefits from their land.”
The Liberal leader said that other policies announced by his party would directly benefit the north, including a 10-year, $1.6-billion-per-year infrastructure plan that would ensure roads are built and maintained with a focus on trade routes, as well as a plan to establish a Manitoba Business Development Bank to support entrepreneurs and businesses anywhere in the province. Lamont also said his party would work in partnership with municipalities and First Nations, Métis and non-status Indigenous communities and not pick fights with them like Progressive Conservative leader Brian Pallister’s government has.
“In our commitment to reconciliation, we need to move beyond just consulting to working in a true partnership with Indigenous communities,” Lamont said. “We need to ensure that Indigenous Manitobans always have a seat at the table and that government policy development uses a cultural analysis lens led by Indigenous people.”