Require mobility coverage on Dryden-Fort Frances Provincial Highway 502

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Ontario Provincial Highway 502 is a winding, desolate stretch of road over 120km long, that travels through the Canadian Shield, connecting the towns of Fort Frances and Dryden. In the summer, this highway is frequented by many American tourists; in the winter, Ontarians from across Northwestern Ontario travel it for business, family, hockey tournaments and more. 

In almost any inclement weather, this highway becomes treacherous, and can be extremely hazardous to drive; snow can accumulate quickly between the infrequent plow trips up and down the road, and the conditions can change without warning. Most residents of the surrounding regions can say they know of someone who has been injured - or killed - on this lonely stretch of road.
What makes this road even more dangerous Is the utter lack of mobility service. Along almost the entire length of this provincial highway, there is no phone service available. Individuals who are in accidents cannot dial 911 or emergency service numbers, nor can other travellers who discover an accident en route call for help. Neither of the carriers present in the region, TBaytel Rogers or Bell Mobility, have any towers located on Highway 502.

In this age of widespread access to mobile communications, this huge gap in service is unacceptable. Tbaytel especially has been a recipient of millions of provincial dollars assisting in the development of their mobility infrastructure over the last 20 years. This is not just a convenience concern: there are lives at stake every day driving Highway 502, and it is the direct responsibility of the provincial government and the Ministry of Transportation to ensure the safety of its citizens on this provincial highway.

We, the undersigned, call on the provincial government to swiftly and aggressively close this gap in safety for residents of Northwestern Ontario, by working with area mobility providers to establish network coverage over the entire length of Provincial Highway 502.