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Clark says $40-million rural BC Internet infrastructure project creates jobs

A woman uses her computer keyboard to type while surfing the internet in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, December, 19, 2012. The Canadian government is "simply not up to the overall challenge" of fending off cyberthreats on its own and must partner with the private sector and the United States to tackle the problem, warns a federally commissioned report. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

MERRITT (NEWS1130) – Premier Christy Clark says a $40-million high-speed Internet expansion project will build infrastructure and create jobs in rural British Columbia.

She was at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt today to highlight the government’s rural economic development strategy.

Almost $246 million of the initiatives that form the strategy were included in last month’s budget.

Clark says the Internet improvement project will create jobs in rural communities and allow local entrepreneurs to explore new business ventures without moving to urban centres.

The government’s rural strategy comes just weeks before the official start of May’s election, where rural-urban economic differences are expected to be major campaign issues.

The latest BC Stats employment data shows unemployment at 10.5 per cent in the northeast region, while the jobless rate in the Lower Mainland is 4.9 per cent.

The regional council at Fort Nelson recently implemented widespread community cuts to weather the local economic downturn.