The RM of St. Laurent has had some harrowing experiences lately, and grappling with a cellular service dead zone isn't helping. Reeve Rick Chartrand isn't pleased.

"One of the concerns we have with the current ice jam and the current marsh fire is the poor quality of cell service," notes Chartrand. "There's certain areas where people know from St. Laurent that, it's a dead zone and they know not to make calls. We are in the works of trying to get this addressed. We were told by Bell MTS that they would be putting up a new tower in 2022. They've now indicated to us that it won't be until 2026."

He adds the issue impacts their First Responders when they're going out to respond to a call. Chartrand says requests for assistance or backup can't be made. 

"It is a big concern and we're going to be addressing it as the days go along. The Dead Zone is pretty well from the Petro Canada (on highway 6) to the four-way stop at Veterans Memorial. And then there's another one that goes from the Petro Canada pretty well up to the Lake Francis area. And then if you go anywhere further east along Highway 6, once you get to a certain distance, you have no cell service."