While cell phone service in parts of rural Manitoba is notoriously spotty, having a landline that works is usually a safe bet.
For the residents of Tolstoi, Man., just north of the Canada-U.S. border, however, it’s not possible.
Residents of the town say they’re incommunicado, without access to either mobile or landline service.
Dave Carlson, reeve of the Rural Municipality of Emerson, told 680 CJOB it’s a serious concern.
“(Tolstoi is) definitely a viable community, in an area that’s populated,” said Carlson. “To not have landline service is totally unacceptable.
“This is a big safety issue. We have emergency response here that does go to Tolstoi on occasion, and if someone can’t call when they’re in distress, that’s a real problem.”
Carlson said he visited the town this week and heard from some residents that landline service had been out of commission for as long as three weeks.
“It’s something you rely on, especially in an area like Tolstoi, which is not a good cell service area. Your landline is your lifeline, so I’m really surprised this has happened. This is a real necessity for people.”
Better cell coverage for Tolstoi residents, Carlson said, is in the works, with towers being erected, but that won’t help in the short term.
A Bell MTS spokesperson told Global News they’re trying to get to the root of the problem and hope to restore full services as soon as possible.
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