COATICOOK, QC, May 3, 2019 /CNW/ - Canadians understand the importance of building up communities and 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.
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on behalf of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, today reiterated the Government of Canada's commitment to ensuring every single household and business in Canada has access to high-speed Internet and celebrated the signing of the final agreement for the Coaticook Regional County Municipality's high-speed Internet project.
This project will enable residents of Quebec's Estrie region to better connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age.
Through Budget 2019, the Government is making an ambitious new commitment to ensure every single household and business in Canada has access to high-speed Internet. Working with provinces, territories and industry, the Government is developing a plan that could deliver $5 billion to $6 billion in new investments to achieve this target.
This commitment builds on the successful steps the Government has taken to improve Internet access for Canadians, including the Connect to Innovate program that is bringing high-speed Internet services to some of Canada's most rural and remote communities, many of which are Indigenous, that would be left behind without targeted government support.
"Broadband Internet service is key for the prosperity of rural Canadian communities. This project will allow residents of rural communities in Coaticook to be better connected to friends, family 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 small and rural communities."
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development
"High-speed Internet access is critical in the digital age and will contribute in a tangible way to the economic development of Coaticook Regional County Municipality's 12 municipalities. I am proud to take part in this announcement of work starting on a much-anticipated project in our region."
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Member of Parliament for Compton–Stanstead
"In addition to providing high-speed Internet services, the Fibrile company will offer phone and TV packages thanks to its new network and equipment. The project will involve building a nearly 1,000 km long network and acquiring all the equipment needed to operate it. This is great news for all the residents of Coaticook Regional County Municipality!"
– Réjean Masson, President, Table d'action en communication et en technologie de l'information de la MRC de Coaticook Limitée (TACTIC)
- The project to roll out high-speed Internet services in the Coaticook Regional County Municipality will cover all 12 of its municipalities.
- In addition to the Government of Canada's investment of $3,354,076 under the Connect to Innovate program, the Government of Quebec is investing $5,629,596 under the Québec branché program. TACTIC, the project's proponent, is contributing $5,103,531 to the project, bringing the total investment to more than $14 million.
- 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.
- To date, under Connect to Innovate, the Government of Canada has announced funding to improve Internet connectivity in more than 900 rural and remote communities—more than triple the 300 communities initially targeted.
- Budget 2019 committed up to $1.7 billion over 13 years, starting in 2019–20, to establish a new national high-speed Internet program, the Universal Broadband Fund. As part of this commitment, the Government will top up the Connect to Innovate program and secure new, advanced, low-latency low Earth orbit satellite capacity. These satellites will help bring reliable high-speed Internet access to even the most challenging areas.
- Connect to Innovate is part of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class.
- 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, firstname.lastname@example.org; Media Relations, Infrastructure Canada, 613-960-9251, 1-877-250-7154 (toll-free), email@example.com