Residents to get new or faster Internet access thanks to Government of Canada investment
OTTAWA, Aug. 2, 2019 /CNW/ - Canadians understand the importance of building communities. They have always invested in ways to better connect with each other—from the St. Lawrence Seaway to the national railroad system to the Trans-Canada Highway. Those investments now need to reflect the increasingly digital world.
That is why the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, today announced funding of $6.9 million for Valley Fiber Limited and $794,000 for High Speed Crow to bring new or improved high-speed Internet access and capacity to 16 communities, including a First Nation community, in rural Manitoba. In addition to the Government of Canada investment, Valley Fiber Limited is contributing $2.3 million and High Speed Crow is contributing $264,640, bringing the total investment to just over $10 million.
The additional high-speed Internet projects in Manitoba are possible thanks to the top-up to the Connect to Innovate program announced in Budget 2019. As a result of this funding, residents in the communities of Aubigny, Brunkild, Bristol, Friedensfeld, Greenland, Homewood, La Salle, Mctavish, New Bothwell, Otterburne, Sanford, Silver Plains, Saint Malo, Ste. Agathe, Sperling and Brokenhead Ojibway Nation will be able to connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age.
Connect to Innovate is investing in building the digital backbone of high-speed Internet networks. Backbone networks are the digital highways that move data in and out of communities. These highways carry large amounts of data that are essential for schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to function in a digital world.
The funding announced today builds on numerous steps the Government of Canada has taken to improve Internet access for Canadians. High-speed Internet access is essential for Canadians in rural and remote communities to thrive in the digital economy. High-Speed Access for All: Canada's Connectivity Strategy is the Government's plan to ensure that, over time, all Canadians will have access to affordable high-speed Internet, no matter where they live. It also commits to improving mobile wireless coverage where Canadians live and work, as well as along major highways and roads.
"Broadband Internet service is key for the prosperity of rural Canadian communities. This project will allow residents to be better connected to friends, family, school and businesses, as well as have better access to online services and tools. By providing better broadband connections, we are increasing the potential for economic growth and diversification and enhancing the quality of life in First Nation and rural communities."
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development
"We are very pleased with the approval of funds under the Connect to Innovate program to bring this critical infrastructure that will connect more Canadians. These funds allow Valley Fiber to expand our 'dedicated fiber' build in rural Manitoba. We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with the Government of Canada in bringing this digital backbone to our communities."
– Conley Kehler, Senior Vice-President, Valley Fiber
"High Speed Crow is pleased to partner with the federal government to improve broadband services in Manitoba. This partnership will help us continue fiber deployments throughout Manitoba, specifically the rural areas, to which we are firmly committed."
– Bryan King, President and Chief Executive Officer, High Speed Crow
- In Budget 2019, the Government proposed historic investments of up to $6 billion for high-speed connectivity and committed to topping up Connect to Innovate as part of this funding.
- Through Connect to Innovate, the Government is extending high-speed Internet service to over 900 rural and remote communities, of which 190 are Indigenous. Connect to Innovate projects have the potential to impact up to 380,000 households. Announcements on further investments will be forthcoming.
- Rural Opportunity, National Prosperity: An Economic Development Strategy for Rural Canada outlines ways to maximize federal investments to improve the quality and resiliency of community infrastructure, create good jobs, support trade and investment, strengthen skills, and welcome newcomers in rural communities.
- Through the $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, Canada's rural and northern communities are benefiting from the renewal of public infrastructure, which includes investments in roads, bridges and highways; water treatment systems; cleaner, more affordable sources of electricity; stormwater systems; and natural barriers that reduce the risk of flooding brought on by extreme weather events.
- $2 billion of this funding is supporting infrastructure projects that meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities; and
- $400 million is being delivered through the Arctic Energy Fund to deliver cleaner, more affordable electricity to residents living in Canada's territories.
- Rural Opportunity, National Prosperity: An Economic Development Strategy for Rural Canada
- High-Speed Access for All: Canada's Connectivity Strategy
- Budget Plan 2019
- Connect to Innovate
- Announced Connect to Innovate projects
- Investing in Canada: Canada's Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
- Investing in Canada Plan Project Map
SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
For further information: Émilie Simard, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development, 613-864-7690, [email protected]; Media Relations, Infrastructure Canada, 613-960-9251, 1-877-250-7154 (toll-free), [email protected]