November 9, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario
Over the past months, many Quebec residents have worked from home, taken classes, and kept in contact with their friends and family through the Internet. The global COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever that everyone has access fast and reliable Internet, no matter where they live.
Today, the Government’s Quebec Lieutenant, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, highlighted the launch of the Universal Broadband Fund. This investment of $1.75 billion will help connect the regions of Quebec to high-speed Internet, faster. Originally announced in Budget 2019 as a $1 billion program, the Government is now providing additional funding to advance large, high-impact projects, which will leverage partnerships including with the Canada Infrastructure Bank broadband initiative. The program will include a $150 million Rapid Response Stream with an accelerated application process for projects that will allow shovel-ready projects that can be completed in the next year. The UBF will also allocate $50 million of its total budget for mobile Internet projects that primarily benefit Indigenous peoples. This investment will help connect 98 per cent of Canadians across the country to high-speed Internet by 2026 so that they can better participate in the digital economy.
The Quebec Lieutenant, Mr. Rodriguez also highlighted an agreement of $600 million with Canadian satellite company Telesat to secure low-earth-orbit satellite capacity, which will improve connectivity and expand high-speed Internet coverage to rural and remote regions across Canada.
Today’s investments will help make progress on the Government of Canada’s commitment to create over one million jobs, and its work to support Canadians living in rural, remote, and northern communities. As we take steps toward our economic recovery from the pandemic, the Government of Canada will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Canada for everyone.
The Government has already made significant progress toward the goal of connecting Canadians to high-speed internet. In Quebec, the Government of Canada has invested a total of $213,685,648 in 54 projects, which will connect 250,293 households.