Rural municipalities right across the country are facing challenges in delivering services that families and businesses need. That is why I am committed to working closely with municipalities in our province, to help them meet these challenges in ways that make life better for families. The eight municipalities on the southwest shore faced a unique challenge related to loan guarantees they signed on behalf of the former South West Shore Development Authority. That is why the province took action that protects the municipalities against a costly legal battle and saves them from having to repay the interest, both of which would have cost taxpayers a lot more. Municipalities signed these loan guarantees directly with the bank, on behalf of SWSDA. They didn’t sign guarantees for other creditors. It’s only because of the loan guarantees that I intervened in this case. I’d like to thank the municipalities, the districts of Shelburne, Yarmouth, Argyle and Barrington, and the towns of Lockeport, Shelburne, Yarmouth and Clark’s Harbour, for making the repayments. Now is the time for all of us to focus on the most important issue, creating jobs and opportunities in southwestern Nova Scotia. We know the region is facing serious challenges. Many people and businesses in those communities are looking for ways to build economic activity. The province is too. Since June 2009, the province has created hundreds of jobs, in dozens of projects worth about $15 million, in the southwest region. And we are encouraging municipalities in the region to work together to form a new regional development authority. As Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, I am committed to working with all municipalities. We have a common goal, to keep our communities great places to live, work and raise a family. Through our Towns Task Force, a joint venture with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, we are tackling the most pressing issues head on. We will find creative solutions that will cut costs, improve services and help us keep our communities strong and vibrant. -30-
TORONTO — Rogers has announced an LTE roaming agreement with U.S. carrier AT&T for it mobile phone customers.The news comes the same day as the CRTC’s deadline for telecom companies to submit their roaming fee rates for customers who travel to the U.S. and any network sharing agreements between Canadian and American carriers.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has said it wants to review rates from the industry to “assess its competitiveness” on the country’s wireless industry and what choices are available to consumers.Rogers says its $7.99 daily roaming rate in the U.S., which was set independently of the roaming agreement with AT&T, was first announced in May.Bell recently cut its U.S. travel bundle and Telus has said its rates have consistently been lower than its competitors.The CRTC’s new wireless code, which will apply to new contracts for cellphones and other mobile devices starting on Dec. 2, requires additional roaming charges be capped at $100 unless the customer has agreed to pay more for use.