by Bob Nault MP
KENORA – POLITICS – Every Northerner has a particular aspect of rural life that they love: perhaps it is the sprawling landscape, the untouched nature, or living a more quiet life. Each corner of our riding provides a different perspective on rural living and having our population spread out over such a vast area means that it encompasses a variety of challenges and a broad spectrum of opportunities.
This diversity, along with the affordability, friendliness, and beauty of rural areas, are some of the reasons people choose to live in places like the Kenora riding. In order to continue to make this lifestyle attractive, we must continue to invite businesses and investment opportunities. Many innovative ideas come from rural areas, but in order to continue fostering this entrepreneurial spirit, we need to provide the necessary 21st-century technologies, such as reliable and affordable access to broadband. Promising new and growing businesses locally will not only create jobs here at home but also regionally which is great for our economy.
These jobs are critical to ensuring that our citizens have meaningful employment, which plays an important role in inspiring our youth to stay in our communities. Innovative, attractive employment opportunities make rural living more appealing to youth because it shows them that they can raise a family and have fulfilling employment right here at home. Technological innovations, such as broadband availability, is not only critical to ensuring that these employment opportunities exist, but it also engages youth to stay because they want to be able to access the same services that would be available to them in larger city centres.
In order to continue growing and building our rural communities, we must continue to invest in them. This means repairing and updating existing infrastructure like our roads and bridges but also building new infrastructure such as community and multipurpose centres. These types of things will improve the everyday lives of Northerners, but also invite youth to stay, and even encourage newcomers to our rural communities.
The variety and diversity of the North means that one-size-fits-all solutions simply don’t always work in our region. It’s pretty clear that what may work in cities won’t necessarily work in rural areas, and what works in one rural community might not work in another.
We must continue to work together from every corner of the riding to make our region and even better place to work, live, and raise a family.
We live in a unique part of Canada with abundant opportunities. My priority, along with my rural colleagues, is to ensure that our voices are heard in Ottawa.