(KENORA) October 10, 2017 – Madsen and Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent First Nation, located in the riding of Kenora, will benefit from federal funding for high-speed Internet upgrades. These improvements in technology will allow businesses and residents to more effectively participate in distance education, seize new business opportunities, and search for jobs online.
In total, six communities in Northwestern Ontario are set to benefit from up to $4.03 million in federal funding. The funding will be allocated to Bell Canada, who will build new fibre-optic “backbone” in the communities of Madsen, Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent First Nation, Stratton, Minahico, the Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, and the Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing.
The funding was announced today by the Honourable Bob Nault, Member of Parliament for the Kenora riding, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedNor.
“It is extremely important to ensure that Northerners have access to high-speed Internet as it not only provides them with improved access to online services, but it also helps to boost the economic viability of the region,” stated Nault. “In order to keep up in today’s world, businesses, both big and small, need to have fast, reliable Internet connections. These types of investments will help entice new businesses to Northwestern Ontario and also provide residents with a higher quality of life.”
The funding is being allocated through Connect to Innovate, a federal program that allows Canadians in every region of the country to participate fully in the digital economy, by providing remote and underserved communities with Internet access.
In addition, the federal funding will attract an additional $1.3 million from Bell, which will build the backbone network needed to make higher-speed Internet and data capacity available for each of these communities.
The funding is part of the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
“Internet access is now an essential part of everyday life. Canadians go online to connect with friends and family, as well as for education, health services, entertainment and shopping. Faster Internet connections allow Canadians to get the skills and training they need to qualify for well-paying jobs. It allows them to innovate. The smallest businesses, no matter where they are located, can fully participate in the global marketplace and achieve global scale in a flash with faster Internet service. We can no longer consider high-speed Internet a luxury.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
“Access to high-speed Internet is an important issue for our community. For certain residents, the lack of high-speed Internet access has prevented them from taking advantage of the many opportunities afforded by the digital era. By improving high-speed Internet access in our community, the proposed project will allow underserved households, businesses and community institutions to keep pace with changing technology and to fully participate in the digital economy.”
–Phillip Vinet, Mayor of Red Lake
“As Canada’s leader in broadband network investment and innovation, Bell is proud to partner with the federal government’s Connect to Innovate program to deliver advanced broadband access to these six communities in northwestern Ontario, creating new opportunities in education, health care and economic development. Bell’s world-class fibre and wireless networks already reach Canadians in every province and territory of the country, and we will continue to work to ensure that all Canadians can benefit from the very best in broadband technology.”
– George Cope, President and Chief Executive Officer, BCE and Bell Canada
- The $500 million invested under the Government’s Connect to Innovate program focuses on building the digital backbone of high-speed Internet networks. Backbone networks are the digital highways that move data in and out of communities. These highways carry large amounts of data that are essential for schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to function in a global and digital world.
- Connect to Innovate will also fund “last-mile” connections that extend fibre-optic cable to households that don’t have Internet speeds of at least five megabits per second.
To arrange an interview with the Hon. Robert Nault, please contact:
Ottawa office: Kenora office:
Julian Morelli Grace Protopapas
(613) 222-6123 (807) 468-2170