November 10, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario
Over the past months, many Canadians have worked from home, taken classes, shopped online, and accessed government services remotely. The global COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever for all Canadians to access fast and reliable Internet, no matter where they live.
Today, René Arseneault, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Member of Parliament for Madawaska-Restigouche, highlighted an investment of $1.75 billion to help connect Canadians to high-speed Internet across the country. 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 that will allow shovel-ready projects to get started right away. 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.
Parliamentary Secretary Arseneault 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 New Brunswick, the Government of Canada has invested a total of $47, 551, 777 in 11 projects, which will connect 37, 857 households.