$23.3 million to improve the telecommunications network in the Basse-Côte-Nord region

News release

May 23, 2018 – Natashquan, Quebec

A sum of $23.3 million will be invested in a project to improve telecommunications services in the Basse-Côte-Nord region. The Québec and federal governments will make equal contributions for an overall total of $22.1 million. TELUS Communications, which will carry out the work, will invest $1.2 million. Upgrading of the network will enable residents to access high-speed Internet and will, at the same time, facilitate the establishment of cellular telephony services.

The Minister responsible for Government Administration and Ongoing Program Review and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region Pierre Arcand made the announcement today in Natashquan. 

The Basse-Côte-Nord region telecommunications network, which serves 14 communities spread over nearly 400 km, no longer satisfies the population’s needs. The TELUS project will, in the long run, increase 40-fold the data transmission capacity of the current Internet service. Planning for the work is under way and field surveys will begin in July 2018. The service will be implemented gradually starting in the fall of 2019.

The Québec government will contribute $11.05 million to the Basse-Côte-Nord project through the Société du Plan Nord. The Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation has allocated the funds to the SPN, in conjunction with the measures respecting access to an efficient digital network in all regions of Québec, announced in the November 2017 update of The Québec Economic Plan. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada will contribute $11.05 million under its Connect to Innovate program.

Quotes

“The establishment in the Basse-Côte-Nord region, which has specific geographic conditions, of a high-speed Internet network and a reliable cellular telephony service poses a challenge. High-speed Internet access is, however, essential to the economic and social development of the northern regions. The enhancements to the telecommunications network will undoubtedly improve the links with the villages and public services.”

– Pierre Arcand, Minister responsible for Government Administration and Ongoing Program Review, Chair of the Conseil du trésor and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region

“The Québec government is proud to contribute financially to this project, which is essential for the Basse-Côte-Nord region. The investments will contribute to the establishment of the conditions for success of the Plan Nord, namely, the enhancement of telecommunications infrastructure to ensure socioeconomic development north of the 49th parallel.”

– Pierre Moreau, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region

“Access to high-speed Internet is now essential in all regions of Québec. It represents a powerful economic and social development lever. The project’s completion is in keeping with Québec’s Digital Strategy. In particular, it will ensure that 100% of Quebecers have access within five years to high-speed Internet networks.”

– Dominique Anglade, Deputy Premier, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy

“Internet access is now an essential part of everyday life. Canadians go online to communicate with their friends and families, educate themselves, obtain health services, entertain themselves and shop. Faster Internet access enables Canadians to acquire the requisite skills and training to obtain good-paying jobs. It also enables them to innovate. Through high-speed Internet access, very small enterprises everywhere can participate fully in world markets in no time at all. High-speed Internet service is no longer a luxury.”

– Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains

“TELUS is proud to act as coordinating manager of one of the biggest digital infrastructure projects north of the 49th parallel. Day in and day out, our teams will apply their creativity and the best technology available to foster the development of Québec’s regions. By 2020, we will have invested more than $300 million to offer very high-speed Internet throughout eastern Québec. The technological challenge that the Basse-Côte-Nord region poses consists in relying on a wireless solution to connect all of the region’s residents to the rest of the world. It is a veritable bridge to the future that we are going to create and support for many years to come.”

– François Gratton, Executive Vice-President and President, Business Solutions East and TELUS Québec

Quick facts

  • Québec’s Digital Strategy defines the priorities, policy directions and strategic objectives to make Québec a wired-up society that benefits fully from the development of digital technology.

  • This strategy guides current and future government action plans such as the Digital Economy Action Plan, the Stratégie gouvernementale en technologies de l’information, The Québec Digital Culture Plan, and the Digital Action Plan for Education and Higher Education.

  • Québec’s Digital Strategy is a societal project that seeks to achieve coherence in overall government action in order to accelerate the rapid development in all environments of a genuine digital culture.

  • The Plan Nord seeks to develop the mineral, forest, energy, social, cultural and tourism potential of Québec’s territory located north of the 49th parallel. It is creating jobs and wealth both for northern communities and Quebecers overall, in a spirit of respect for northern communities and the environment. By harmonizing the economic, social and environmental facets on which the Plan Nord hinges, the Québec government wishes to make it a reference in the realm of responsible, sustainable northern development and a unifying project for Québec society. The Société du Plan Nord is responsible for its implementation.

Associated links

Contacts

Follow the department on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Cynthia St-Hilaire
Press Officer
Office of the Minister responsible for Government Administration and Ongoing Program Review, Chair of the Conseil du trésor and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region
Telephone: 418-643-5326

Catherine Poulin
Press Officer
Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region 
Telephone: 418-643-7295

Gabrielle Fallu
Press Officer
Office of the Deputy Premier, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy
Telephone: 418-691-5650

Information:

Media relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Telephone: 343-291-1777
Email: ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

Guillaume Lavoie
Communications Officer
Société du Plan Nord
Telephone: 418-643-1874
@PlanNord


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