QUÉBEC CITY, July 30, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region Pierre Arcand, accompanied by the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, have announced maximum financial assistance of $26.5 million for Tamaani, Nunavik's telecommunications service project. The project will make possible the maintenance of satellite-based Internet service in Nunavik communities and businesses until fibre optic service is installed in the territory.
"Access to digital technologies is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of northern populations. Health and education services and services provided by businesses are but some examples that confirm the importance of relying on such infrastructure. It is crucial for the region to possess reliable, efficient telecommunications technologies to ensure service in communities and for businesses in Northern Québec," Minister Arcand noted.
The Québec and federal governments are granting $15 million and $11.5 million, respectively, to the $35.5-million project. The funds from the two governments will be mainly earmarked for renewing for five years the satellite link contract. The Tamaani telecommunications service, launched in 2004 by the Kativik Regional Government, offers satellite Internet service to communities and businesses in Nunavik. The funds invested will also allow for the replacement of the local wireless distribution network and ensure the establishment of a local fibre optic network in Kuujjuaq, Puvirnituq, Inukjuak and Salluit, the four biggest Inuit communities. The Kativik Regional Government is contributing $9 million to the project.
"This project falls within the scope of the action priorities of the Plan Nord toward 2035, which consists in enhancing telecommunications infrastructure in the territory that the Plan Nord covers for the benefit of local and Aboriginal communities," Minister Arcand added. I am proud that our government is supporting such a project, which is essential to all facets of economic and social development."
The Plan Nord
The Plan Nord is intended to develop the mineral, energy, social, cultural and tourism potential of Québec's territory located north of the 49th parallel. It will create jobs and wealth both for northern communities and Quebecers overall, in a spirit of respect for northern communities and the environment. Accordingly, by balancing the economic, social and environmental facets on which the Plan Nord hinges, the Québec government wishes to make it a reference in the realm of responsible, sustainable northern development and a unifying project for Québec society. The Société du Plan Nord, established on April 1, 2015, has a mission to contribute to the integrated, coherent development of the northern territory, in accordance with the orientations defined by the government.
SOURCE Société du Plan Nord
For further information: Véronique Normandin, Press Officer, Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region, 418-643-7295