Ten communities throughout Quebec's Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and La Mauricie regions will benefit from faster Internet

Nearly $13 million will improve high-speed coverage from Shawinigan to Chambord

ROBERVAL, QC, Aug. 31, 2017 /CNW/ - Thousands of Quebecers in 10 communities throughout the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and La Mauricie regions will be able to do business online, participate in distance education and search for jobs online thanks to a Government of Canada investment of nearly $13 million in high-speed Internet.

The funding was announced by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, during a visit to Roberval in one of the regions that will benefit from this funding.

The funding is being allocated through Connect to Innovate, a federal program designed to provide underserved communities with Internet access at speeds of five megabits per second or more.

As a result of this program, Canadians in every region of the country will be able to participate fully in the digital economy, seize new business opportunities, and connect with friends and family around the world.

Today's announcement marks the first projects approved under the Connect to Innovate program. Ambra Solutions will receive up to $13 million to offer faster, more reliable Internet connections from Shawinigan to Chambord. This improved network access will lay a foundation for telecommunications companies to offer cellphone service along Route 155.

The Government of Quebec is providing matching funding for these projects through its Québec branché program (French only).

Federal funding is part of the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Government of Canada's multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.


"Internet access is now an essential part of everyday life. Canadians go online for education, health services, entertainment and shopping. Faster Internet connections allow Canadians to innovate. It allows them to get the skills and training they need to qualify for well-paying jobs. The smallest businesses, no matter where they are located, can participate fully in the global marketplace and achieve global scale in a flash with faster Internet service. We can no longer consider high-speed Internet a luxury."
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"The two projects announced today will bring faster Internet service to the communities of Lac-Édouard, La Bostonnais, Hervey-Jonction, Saint-Joseph-de-Mékinac, Lac-à-Beauce, Lac-Chat, Parent, Conseil des Atikamekw de Wemotaci, Lac-Bouchette and La Tuque. This investment will improve the reliability of our communities' Internet connection. And the new infrastructure will make it possible for mobile providers to offer wireless phone service using the latest LTE technology along Route 155."
– The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

"Our government is committed to establishing a favourable business environment to stimulate the growth of Quebec's digital economy. We must therefore support the implementation of adequate infrastructure in all regions of Quebec. The two projects announced today will help meet that goal and will surely underpin the economic, social and digital development of many rural communities in Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec."
– Dominique Anglade, Quebec Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy

"Establishing a mobile network to cover all of Route 155 is essential to the safety of those who travel this roadway that connects the regions of La Mauricie and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. We are proud to support these projects, which represent a very important step toward that end and will improve the quality of life of people in our region."
– Julie Boulet, Quebec Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Mauricie Region

"Thanks to these investments through the Connect to Innovate and Québec branché programs, Ambra Solutions will be able to build a new fibre optic backbone between Saint-Tite and Chambord, creating more options for fibre optic connectivity in the Lac-Saint-Jean region. In addition, new cell towers using advanced LTE technology will be erected in several municipalities to provide Internet and cell services to residents who now only have access via satellite."
– Eric L'Heureux, President, Ambra Solutions

Quick facts

  • The $500 million invested through the Government of Canada's Connect to Innovate program will be used primarily for 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 global and digital world.
  • Connect to Innovate will also fund last-mile connections to households that don't have Internet speeds of at least five megabits per second.
  • The communities that will benefit from the investment announced today are Lac-Édouard, La Bostonnais, Hervey-Jonction, Saint-Joseph-de-Mékinac, Lac-à-Beauce, Lac-Chat, Parent, Conseil des Atikamekw de Wemotaci, Lac-Bouchette and La Tuque.

Associated link

Connect to Innovate

Follow the Minister on Twitter: @MinisterISED


SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

For further information: Karl W. Sasseville, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, 343-291-2500; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 343-291-1777, ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca


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