Rural communities in central Ontario will benefit from faster Internet

News release

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

May 24, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canadians understand the importance of building up communities and have always invested in ways to better connect with each other—from the St. Lawrence Seaway to the national railroad system to the Trans-Canada Highway. Those investments now need to reflect the increasingly digital world.

That is why the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, today announced an investment of $5.2 million in new or improved high-speed Internet access for Udora and the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation in the Regional Municipality of York.

As a result of this investment, members of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation and the residents of Udora will be able to connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age.

Connect to Innovate 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 and are essential for schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to function in a digital world.

The funding announced today builds on numerous steps the Government of Canada has taken to improve Internet access for Canadians. Through Budget 2019, the Government is making an ambitious new commitment to ensure every single household and business in Canada has access to high-speed Internet. Working with provinces, territories and industry, the Government is developing a plan that could deliver $5 billion to $6 billion in new investments to achieve this target. 


“Broadband Internet service is key for the prosperity of rural Canadian communities. This project will allow these two communities in the Regional Municipality of York to be better connected to friends, family and businesses, as well as have better access to online services and tools. By providing better broadband connections, we are increasing the potential for economic growth and diversification and enhancing the quality of life in small and rural communities.”
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development

“On behalf of York Regional Council, I extend our sincere appreciation to the federal government for this significant investment. While we have the second largest information and communications technology sector in Canada, there are still some areas in our extensive rural communities that are underserved by broadband. Improving and expanding connectivity remains a long-standing priority, and by continuing to push for improved broadband, we are supporting the Region’s commitment to supporting innovation and economic development in the agricultural sector and rural communities.”
– Wayne Emmerson, Chairman and CEO, Regional Municipality of York

“We are grateful to be part of this initiative that will greatly impact our First Nation businesses by being connected to high-speed Internet that will improve our day-to-day services. Our medical health building and Waabgon school will have greater ability to provide support to our members during the difficult winter season when access to the First Nation is limited. Our economy will greatly improve by allowing us to communicate at greater speeds and conduct First Nation business in a timely manner. I would like to thank my staff and acknowledge Beverly Warren, who has been working diligently on this project with our partners, and thank the federal government for its support through Connect to Innovate. Chi miigwetch.”
– Chief Donna Big Canoe, Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation

Quick facts

  • To date, under Connect to Innovate, the Government of Canada has announced funding to improve Internet connectivity in more than 900 rural and remote communities—including 190 Indigenous communities—which is more than triple the 300 communities initially targeted.

  • Budget 2019 committed up to $1.7 billion over 13 years, starting in 2019–20, to establish a new national high-speed Internet program, the Universal Broadband Fund. 

  • As part of that commitment, the Government will top up the Connect to Innovate program and secure new, advanced, low-latency low Earth orbit satellite capacity. These satellites will help bring reliable high-speed Internet access to even the most challenging areas.

  • 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


Émilie Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
1-877-250-7154 (toll-free)

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