145 Indigenous households in Ontario to benefit from increased connectivity
June 23, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we rely on our connections. Now more than ever, Canadians across the country need access to reliable high-speed Internet as many of us are working, learning, and staying in touch with friends and family from home. Right now, too many Canadians living in rural and remote communities lack access to high-speed Internet. Through the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) Rapid Response Stream, the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to get Canadians connected to the high-speed Internet they need.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, highlighted nearly $208,000 in federal funding to bring high-speed Internet to 145 underserved households in Biigtigong Nishnaabeg (Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation). Pic River Development Corporation is investing an additional $38,000 in this project.
This federal funding is part of the over $9.5 million investment in 11 projects, 10 of which are Indigenous led, announced by Minister Monsef earlier today. These projects will bring high-speed Internet to rural residents and Indigenous communities in Ontario, connecting 6,124 underserved households, almost half of which (2,953) are Indigenous households.
The Universal Broadband Fund was launched in November 2020. Projects funded under the now $2.75-billion UBF, as well as through other public and private investments, will help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.
This project builds on the progress the Government of Canada has already made to improve critical infrastructure in Ontario. Since 2015, the federal government has invested more than $2.85 billion in over 4,060 infrastructure projects in Ontario communities with a population of fewer than 100,000 people. These investments mean 452 km of new or upgraded roads that are making our communities safer; more than 938 projects to provide residents with cleaner, more sustainable sources of drinking water; and more than 5,427 additional housing units built in rural communities, helping ensure all Ontarians have a safe place to call home.