Government of Canada invests over $41 Million to bring improved Internet speeds to 93 communities in rural Manitoba

News release

Underserved communities to benefit from increased connectivity

August 4, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we rely on our connections. Now more than ever, Canadians across the country need access to reliable high-speed Internet as many of us continue to work, learn, access essential services and stay in touch with friends and family from home. Right now, too many Canadians living in rural and remote communities lack access to high-speed Internet. Through the Connect to Innovate (CTI) program and the Rapid Response Stream of the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to get Canadians connected to the high-speed Internet they need.

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced over $41 million in federal funding through the CTI program and Rapid Response Stream (RRS) of the UBF for 11 projects to bring high-speed Internet to 93 communities across rural Manitoba. Through the four CTI projects, backbone infrastructure has the potential to improve Internet speeds for over 14,000 households. Through these seven RRS projects, 4,200 underserved households will be directly connected to broadband.

The $2.75-billion UBF was launched in November 2020. Projects funded under the UBF, as well as through other public and private investments, will help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030. By 2023, the Government of Canada’s $585-million Connect to Innovate program aims to improve high-speed Internet services in over 975 rural communities, including 190 Indigenous communities.

Today’s announcement builds on the progress the Government of Canada has already made to improve critical infrastructure in Manitoba. Since 2015, the federal government has invested more than $827 million in over 1632 infrastructure projects in Manitoba communities with a population of fewer than 100,000 people. These investments mean 169 km of new or upgraded roads that are making our communities safer; more than 293 projects to provide residents with cleaner, more sustainable sources of drinking water; and more than 827 additional housing units built in rural communities, helping ensure all Manitobans have a safe place to call home.

Through the CTI program, the funding distribution and communities to be connected are as follows:

Provider Funding amount Communities to be connected
Kici Sipi Communications LP $16,567,992 Cross Lake, Norway House
Broadband Communications North Inc. (BCN) $6,563,884 Barren Lands (Brochet), Berens River, Bloodvein, God's Lake First Nation, Gods River (Manto Sipi Cree Nation), Lac Brochet (Northlands Denesuline First Nation), Little Grand Rapids, Oxford House (Bunibonibee Cree Nation), Pauingassi First Nation, Poplar River (Poplar River First Nation), Pukatawagan (Mathias Colomb), Red Sucker Lake, Shamattawa First Nation, St. Theresa Point, Tadoule Lake (Sayisi Dene First Nation), Wasagamack (Wasagamack First Nation)
Xplornet Communications Inc. $561,277 Ebb and Flow First Nation
RFNow Inc. $9,239,057 Altamont, Austin, Bagot, Baldur, Belmont, Birdtail Sioux, Bradwardine, Cardinal, Chemawawin Cree Nation, Clanwilliam, Culross, Cypress River, Dunrea, Elm Creek, Fannystelle, Graysville, Greenway, Harding, Haywood, Holland, Kane, Kenton, Lavinia, Manhattan Beach, Margaret, Mariapolis, Miami, Myrtle, Nesbitt, Ninette, Notre Dame de Lourdes, Oakner, Pierson, Rathwell, Rosebank, Roseisle, Somerset, Springstein, St Leon, St. Alphonse, St. Claude, Starbuck, Stephenfield, Stockton, Swan Lake Reserve, Treherne, Wawanesa

Through the Rapid Response Stream of the UBF, the funding distribution and communities to be connected are as follows:

Provider Funding amount Communities to be connected
RFNow Inc. $609,867 Hartney, Elgin, Deleau, Belleview
Westman Communications Group  $3,075,203 Benito, Bowsman, Birch River
Xplornet Communications Inc $140,144 Valley River, Waywayseecappo First Nation, Angusville, Crescent Cove Beach, Sifton, Ochre River, Laguna Beach, Oako Beach, Dauphin Beach
Waywayseecappo First Nation $884,191 Waywayseecappo First Nation
Westman Communications Group $2,304,662 Clear Lake, Onanole, Sandy Lake
Fiber.CA Inc $878,807 Inglis, Dropmore, Angusville, Kilman, Silverton, Shellmouth
Fiber.CA Inc. $655,127 Keeseekoowenin Reserve, Elphinstone


“High-speed Internet service is essential to the success of everyone living and working in rural communities across Manitoba. Today’s investment will bring reliable, high-speed broadband access to 93 communities in the province. This will help create jobs, improve access to health care and online learning services, and keep people connected to their family, friends and loved ones. Our government has committed $223 million to 22 broadband projects in Manitoba, which will connect over 91,000 more households to better, faster Internet. We will continue to make investments like these to help connect every Canadian to the high-speed Internet they need.”
- The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Quick facts

  • Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.

  • The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is a $2.75-billion investment designed to help connect all Canadians to high-speed Internet. Applications to the UBF were accepted until March 15, 2021, and are now being evaluated.

  • The UBF is part of a suite of federal investments to improve high-speed Internet. The suite includes the Connect to Innovate program, which is expected to connect nearly 400,000 households by 2023, and the recently announced $2-billion broadband initiative from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

  • The Government of Canada has committed $2.5 billion to broadband projects from coast to coast to coast that will connect over 1.2 million homes to high-speed Internet.


Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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