360 communities in Quebec to benefit from faster Internet

News Release

Up to $290 million will improve high-speed coverage across Quebec

November 20, 2017 – Louiseville, Quebec

Up to 100,000 households in 360 rural and remote communities in Quebec will be able to do business online, participate in distance education and search for jobs online thanks to a joint federal-provincial investment of up to $290 million in high-speed Internet.

This funding was announced by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; Philippe Couillard, Premier of Quebec; Dominique Anglade, Quebec Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy; the Honourable Denis Paradis, Member of Parliament for Brome–Missisquoi; and Julie Boulet, Quebec Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Mauricie region, during a visit to Louiseville, located in one of the 14 regions that will benefit from this funding.

The ministers and the Premier also announced that three companies are receiving funding for projects in the Mauricie region that will provide more than 5,000 households with high-speed Internet services:

  • Maskicom will receive $10.4 million to provide households in the Maskinongé regional county municipality with access to high-speed Internet services.
  • Bell Canada will receive $198,000 to provide the communities of Saint-Thomas-de-Caxton and Le Petit-Village with access to high-speed Internet services.
  • Sogetel will receive $233,000 to provide households in the Saint-Barnabé municipality with access to high-speed Internet services.

Of the $290-million investment in Quebec:

  • $87 million will come from the federal government;
  • $105 million will come from the Province of Quebec through its Québec Branché program (French web page); and
  • $98 million will come from private companies and donors.

The federal funding is being allocated through Connect to Innovate, a federal program that provides underserved communities with Internet access at speeds of five megabits per second or more.

The Connect to Innovate program is enabling Canadians in every region of the country to participate fully in the digital economy, seize new business opportunities, and connect with friends and family around the world.

The Government of Quebec is providing financing equal to the federal government’s for these projects.

Connect to Innovate is part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class.

Quotes

“Affordable high-speed Internet services are no longer luxuries; they are basic tools for all Canadians, regardless of where they live. Canadians need these services to do business and build strong communities. Innovation takes place everywhere in Canada, in cities and in rural areas, so all Canadians must have access to these services to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital economy.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Our government is delivering, and this is excellent news for all rural regions in Quebec. Today, the Mauricie region is celebrating, and in the coming weeks, we will have the opportunity to announce the amounts invested in many other regions, including Estrie. Without a doubt, this announcement will enable our communities and our businesses to benefit from the technological tools they need to succeed in the digital economy.”

– The Honourable Denis Paradis, Member of Parliament for Brome–Missisquoi

“The Connect to Innovate program offers residents of the Mauricie region a way to achieve their goals. The new funding is in addition to an investment made earlier this year that will support innovation in the region and provide more opportunities for the middle class.”

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick Facts

  • The $500 million invested under the Government’s Connect to Innovate program will go toward 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 to households that don’t have Internet speeds of at least five megabits per second.

Associated Links

Contacts

Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Karl W. Sasseville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
343-291-2500

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca


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