MPPs Coteau and Simard propose government support libraries to provide Wi-Fi internet

QUEEN’S Park — Ontario Liberal MPPs Michael Coteau (Don Valley East) and Amanda Simard (Glengarry–Prescott–Russell) today asked the provincial government to step up to support public libraries to provide workers, students and small businesses with Wi-Fi hotspot devices.

“In rural and remote parts of our province, we know that access to broadband Internet remains a challenge. This gap in our infrastructure is made more pronounced as millions of people must work from home,” said Simard, the Liberal critic for small business, rural affairs and culture.

“We believe Ontario’s public libraries can better support workers, students and small businesses to access the Internet by loaning out Wi-Fi hotspots with the support of the provincial government,” Simard, a former local library board chair, said.

Coteau, himself a former Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, added: “Many public libraries already loan out Wi-Fi hotspot devices, with which residents can access the Internet from home. Other public libraries provide data-enabled tablet devices. Most also loan out laptop computers. With support and coordination by the government, we believe our public libraries could help address the gaps that we know exist. As segments of the economy open back up in a gradual way, our public libraries are uniquely suited to provide Internet services to the public.”

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