Rural, First Nations communities share $61 million from feds, province

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The governments of Canada and Ontario will provide over $61 million to six projects bringing high-speed internet access to more than 16,000 homes in 47 rural Ontario communities and three First Nations communities in Northern Ontario. Work is a partnership with Bell Canada, the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre and Keewaytinook Okimakanak.

“We all know the internet is no longer a luxury in this day and age—it’s a necessity,” said Gudie Hutchings, minister of rural economic development. “Having fast, reliable internet helps rural Canadians by levelling the playing field to access essential services like health care and education, participate in the digital economy, or simply connect with loved ones.”

In July 2021, the governments announced a Canada–Ontario broadband partnership to support large-scale, fibre-based projects that will provide high-speed internet access to more than 280,000 households and businesses across the province. This historic agreement was made possible by a joint federal-provincial investment totalling more than $1.2 billion.

“Through these projects, we are expanding high-speed internet access to more communities across Northern Ontario,” said Kinga Surma, Ontario’s minister of infrastructure. “In doing so, we are ensuring that people in these communities will have access to critical health services and will be able to learn and work online, participate in the agriculture sector, and connect with their loved ones.”


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