Residents to get new or faster Internet access thanks to Government of Canada investment
July 10, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario
Canadians understand the importance of building communities. They 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 funding of $472,438 for GPNetworks to bring new or improved high-speed Internet access and capacity to the communities of La Glace and Valhalla Centre in the county of Grande Prairie, Alberta.
As a result of this investment, residents of La Glace and Valhalla Centre 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. These highways carry large amounts of data that 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. High-speed Internet access is essential for Canadians in rural and remote communities to thrive in the digital economy. High-Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy is the Government’s plan to ensure that, over time, all Canadians will have access to affordable high-speed Internet, no matter where they live. It also commits to improving mobile wireless coverage where Canadians live and work, as well as along major highways and roads.
“Broadband Internet service is key for the prosperity of rural Canadian communities. This project will allow residents in these two communities in the county of Grand Prairie, Alberta, to be better connected to friends, family, school 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
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“We look forward to partnering with Connect to Innovate to bring high-speed Internet to La Glace, Valhalla and surrounding areas, which so far have been underserved. Our partnership will bring significant benefits, improving the delivery of health, safety, education and social services to these communities and the county as a whole, while fostering economic development and infrastructure development.”
– Kobus De Jager, President and CEO, GPNetworks
In addition to today’s $472,438 Government of Canada investment in high-speed Internet, GP Networks is contributing $176,970 for a total investment of $649,408.
In Budget 2019, the Government proposed historic investments of up to $6 billion for high-speed connectivity and committed to topping up Connect to Innovate as part of this funding.
Through Connect to Innovate, the Government is extending high-speed Internet service to over 380,000 households and 900 rural and remote communities, of which 190 are Indigenous. Further investments will be announced shortly.
Rural Opportunity, National Prosperity: An Economic Development Strategy for Rural Canada outlines ways to maximize federal investments to improve the quality and resiliency of community infrastructure, create good jobs, support trade and investment, strengthen skills, and welcome newcomers in rural communities.
Through the $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, Canada’s rural and northern communities are benefiting from the renewal of public infrastructure, which includes investments in roads, bridges and highways; water treatment systems; cleaner, more affordable sources of electricity; stormwater systems; and natural barriers that reduce the risk of flooding brought on by extreme weather events.
- $2 billion of this funding is supporting infrastructure projects that meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities; and
- $400 million is being delivered through the Arctic Energy Fund to deliver cleaner, more affordable electricity to residents living in Canada’s territories.
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development
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