Our commitment is clear: We will help all Canadians to get ahead. We know that what makes our country beautiful and ensures our prosperity are not just our big cities. It is also all towns and villages across the country, outside big centres, that contribute every day to our collective wealth.
With our plan to support rural communities, a Conservative government will take the following measures:
- Ensure that all regions receive their fair share of infrastructure funding with a budget specifically for them.
- Appoint a Minister of Rural Affairs.
- Ensure that all Cabinet decisions have a rural perspective.
- Ensure that government programs consider the life conditions and unique experiences of Canadians in rural regions.
Making access to high speed internet a priority
The lack of access to high speed internet access is a major challenge for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke. This lack of access puts individuals and businesses in the riding at an economic disadvantage. A new Conservative government will make sure that public resources like wireless spectrum are prioritized for rural Canadians. And, we will require internet data providers to connect the maximum number of Canadians to high-speed internet by redirecting existing rural broadband funding towards strategic priorities.
A focus on fishery and small craft harbours
The west coast salmon population is at a critical point. The salmon stocks are absolutely interconnected with the southern resident killer whale populations, our local fisheries infrastructure, and the well-being of recreational and the few remaining commercial fishermen.
The approach that we have seen under Justin Trudeau has been top down and heavy handed, and simply isn’t working. We need political leadership on this important file. If we lose our fishery, we will never get it back.
To renew engagement and consultation to support our fisheries, a new Conservative government will:
- Create advisory panels with Indigenous groups, fish harvesters and anglers, and other experts as appropriate, to rebuild critical stocks and ensure that everyone is working together.
- Enhance and rebuild wild Atlantic and Pacific salmon stocks by increasing support for community-led conservation and enhancement projects and increasing the price of the Salmon Conservation Stamp for non-residents to benefit the Pacific Salmon Foundation.
- Complete new recovery plans for all of Canada’s critical fisheries and develop strategies for managing predators and invasive species where necessary.
- Repeal measures that bypass community consultations for Marine Protected Areas while ensuring that the process is robust and timely. Justin Trudeau’s changes have short circuited important community consultations for Marine Protected Areas.
- Work with industry to develop a strategy for preventing seafood fraud.
- Create a modern aquaculture act.
- Support the advancement of technology and practices that reduce contact between wild and farmed salmon.
It is important to note the important role that fisheries play in our local economies. To maintain infrastructure and support communities, a new Conservative government will provide $250 million in additional support for small craft harbours.