IQALUIT, Aug. 19, 2019 /CNW/ - Canadians understand the importance of creating successful, sustainable communities and investing in ways to connect with each other in our increasingly digital world. For Northern communities, connectivity is key to supporting economic growth, improving service delivery and creating opportunities to the benefit of all Canadians.
Today the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development and the Honourable Lorne Kusugak, Minister of Community and Government Services, announced joint funding for the undersea fibre optic cable project in Nunavut.
The project involves installing approximately 1,700 kilometres of submarine fibre optic cable from Nuuk, Greenland to Iqaluit through the Davis Strait. The cable in Iqaluit will have a branch to Kimmirut. Access to a fibre optic network will reduce both communities' dependence on satellite communications for internet, connecting up to 3215 households in Nunavut to high speed internet services. In addition, enhanced service will be available to schools, businesses, health facilities and government facilities.
Connecting Iqaluit and Kimmirut to fibre optic cable will result in greater satellite bandwidth and faster internet for other communities in Nunavut.
Once complete, all households in Iqaluit and Kimmirut should have access to improved connectivity which will help residents stay in touch with friends and family across the country with ease. Residents in these communities will also have access to higher quality online education and be able to connect with emergency and medical services to get the help they need in a more efficient and timely matter.
The Government of Canada is investing over $151 million in this project under the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream (RNIS) of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan. The Government of Nunavut has already committed $30 million towards the project.
"Increased access to high speed internet supports economic growth and is key for the long-term prosperity of Nunavut. This project will allow communities to be better connected and ensure residents have improved access to online services and tools whether at home, work or on the road."
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development
"Today, we are one step closer to connecting Nunavummiut with each other and the world through reliable, affordable and efficient telecommunications. The Government of Nunavut is committed to closing the digital gap that separates our territory and ensuring our communities are the direct recipients of the social and economic benefits of a new and dependable digital infrastructure."
The Honourable Lorne Kusugak, Minister of Community and Government Services
- Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.
- $2 billion of this funding is supporting infrastructure projects that meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities like facilities to support food security, local access roads and enhanced broadband connectivity. In addition, $400 million is being delivered through the Arctic Energy Fund to advance energy security in the territories.
- $4 billion of this funding is supporting infrastructure projects in Indigenous communities.
- On June 27, 2019, the Government of Canada launched two new strategies: Canada's Connectivity Strategy, which commits to connect all Canadians to high-speed Internet, and Canada's first Rural Economic Development Strategy, which will spur economic growth and create good, middle class jobs for rural Canadians across the country.
- The Rural Economic Development Strategy leverages ongoing federal investments and provides a vision for the future, identifying practical steps to take in the short term, and serving as a foundation to guide further work.
- Central to Canada's Connectivity Strategy are historic new investments that are mobilizing up to $6 billion toward universal connectivity. They include a top-up to the Connect to Innovate Program, a new Universal Broadband Fund, and investments from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
- On July 24, 2019, the Government of Canada announced $85 million in funding to the Canadian Satellite company Telesat, to build and test innovative technologies for its low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. This will significantly improve global connectivity to serve the smaller (non-fibre) communities and expand high-speed Internet coverage to rural and remote regions throughout Canada, including the Far North. This initiative is complimentary to the fibre optic project in Nunavut and can provide back-up connectivity to Iqaluit and Kimmirut in the event of a cable outage.
Investing in Canada Plan Project Map:
Federal infrastructure investments in Nunavut: https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/investments-2002-investissements/nu-eng.html
Investing in Canada: Canada's Long-Term Infrastructure Plan:
Rural Economic Development Strategy: https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/rural/strat-eng.html
SOURCE Infrastructure Canada
For further information: Émilie Simard, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development, 613-864-7690, [email protected]; Mustafa Eric, Communications Specialist, Community and Government Services - Government of Nunavut, 867-975-5406, [email protected]; Media Relations, Infrastructure Canada, 613-960-9251, Toll free: 1-877-250-7154, Email: [email protected]