Rural communities in northern Ontario will benefit from faster Internet

News release

Residents in three communities to get new or faster Internet access thanks to Government of Canada investment

August 3, 2018 – Hilton Beach, Ontario

Internet access is more than just a convenience: communities, businesses and institutions need it to find information, offer services and create opportunities. That’s why the Government of Canada is helping three communities and one institution in Ontario get online with new or improved high-speed Internet access.

David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, together with Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, announced an investment of $2.74 million in high-speed Internet today at the Hilton Beach Community Hall.

This investment will help residents of these communities connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age.

To date, the Government of Canada has invested $63.78 million to bring high-speed Internet to Ontario’s rural and remote communities under Connect to Innovate.

The Government of Canada’s $500-million Connect to Innovate program is investing in 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 digital world. 


“Access to high-speed Internet is not a luxury; it’s essential. High-speed Internet service is a basic tool that all Canadians should have access to, regardless of where they live. Our communities need this service to do business, upgrade their education and build stronger communities. Thanks to our Connect to Innovate program, more people will be able to participate fully in the digital economy.”

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

“For northern Ontario communities, digital investment through the Connect to Innovate program enhances opportunities for residents of all ages. This important investment will support industries like mining and forestry in data collection and observation, students and youth in learning, and residents in day-to-day life with connected devices. It’s all part of our government’s plan to help create opportunity in all communities, including rural communities in the North.”

– David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“I am pleased that the federal government is investing in this very important project for this area. The growth of high-speed Internet is a digital revolution that makes communication instantaneous and clear. Individuals, families, institutions, businesses, communities and governments all benefit.”

– Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie

Quick facts

  • In addition to the $2.74 million invested today under the Connect to Innovate program, Bell Canada is contributing $912,000.

  • Connect to Innovate is one of several Government of Canada measures to improve telecommunications services for Canadians. Others are a $100-million investment to improve coverage and connectivity in rural areas with low-earth-orbit satellites; Connecting Families, an initiative that will provide many low-income Canadians with low-cost Internet and up to 50,000 computers to eligible households through the Computer for Schools program; a five-year plan for wireless spectrum release to promote competition and help drive down prices for Canadians and to deliver better quality and coverage; and consultations to prepare Canada for 5G, the next generation of high-quality wireless systems that will enable e-health, connected cars and smart cities.

  • 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.

Associated links


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Nilani Logeswaran
Issues Manager
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development
Tel: 343-291-2849
Cell: 613-668-1794

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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