Government of Canada highlights more than $163 million in funding to bring high-speed Internet access to 7,772 households in Ontario

News release

April 22, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontariost

Households in rural and First Nations communities to benefit from the funding to increase access to high-speed Internet

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, along with Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River, highlighted more than $163 million in combined federal and provincial funding for seven projects to bring high-speed Internet access to 7,772 households in rural Ontario, as well as in First Nations communities.

Funding details for these previously announced projects are as follows:

  • $46,637,325 for Keewaytinook Okimakanak to improve access for 182 households in the communities of Fort Severn and Peawanuck (Weenusk)
  • $12,806,675 for Keewaytinook Okimakanak to improve access for 3,060 households in the communities of Angling Lake, Bearskin Lake, Cat Lake, Deer Lake, Dufresne (Wapekeka), Kasabonika (Kasabonika Lake), Keeyaywin, Kingfisher Lake (Kingfisher), Kitchenuhmaykoosib (Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug), Mishkeegogamang, Muskrat Dam (Muskrat Dam Lake), North Spririt Lake, Ojibway Nation of Saugeen, Osnaburgh House, Pikangikum First Nation, Poplar Hill, Sachigo Lake, Sandy Lake, Slate Falls (Slate Falls Nation), Wawakapewin, Weagamow Lake (North Caribou Lake), and Wunnummin Lake (Wunnumin).
  • $62,665,952 for Matawa First Nations Management to improve access for 689 households in the communities of Aroland, Calstock (Constance Lake), Ginoogaming First Nation, Long Lake #58 First Nation, with a component of this project also targeting the community of Wunnumin Lake First Nation

Additionally, we are pleased to announce funding for the following projects, with more details to come:

  • $2,035,881 to improve access for an estimated 258 households in the communities of Armstrong and Whitesand First Nation
  • $35,730,000 to improve access for an estimated 2,565 households in the communities of Conmee, Gillies, Neebing, O’Connor, Oliver Paipoonge, Shuniah and Thunder Bay
  • $2,448,446 to improve access for an estimated 327 households in the communities of Frenchmen’s Head, Kejick Bay and Lac Seul First Nation
  • $1,318,561 to improve access for an estimated 691 households in the community of Ignace

This funding is thanks to a collaboration between Ontario and Canada. On July 29, 2021, the governments announced their partnership to support large-scale, fibre-based projects that will provide high-speed Internet access to more than 280,000 rural and remote households across the province. This historic agreement was made possible by a joint federal-provincial investment totalling more than $1.2 billion.

This investment builds on the Government of Canada’s progress toward ensuring that 98% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026, and 100% by 2030. As we work to rebuild from the COVID‑19 pandemic and grow the economy, the federal and provincial governments will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Ontario and Canada for everyone.

Through its broadband initiative, the Canada Infrastructure Bank is collaborating with the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to improve the commercial viability of projects.

Quotes

“We need to close the connection gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of Ontario has access to reliable high-speed Internet—whether that’s in Oil Springs or Carlsbad Springs or all the way on the shores of Lake Superior. This investment of more than $163 million in funding to connect 7,772 rural households in the province is a milestone for Ontarians. Investments like these help create jobs, improve access to health care and online learning services, and keep us connected to our loved ones. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments like these to help achieve our national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development

“People’s lives are moving online more and more. This is a challenge for communities in Ontario that are without access to high-speed Internet. These investments made by our government will allow for increased access to education, health care, business opportunities and social connections. Communities will have the tools to more fully participate in social programs and economic opportunities, improving the health and well-being of the region.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario

“Since my first day in office, I have been fighting for high-speed Internet connectivity for all of northwestern Ontario. From Thunder Bay to Rainy River, this announcement is excellent news for the people, businesses and entrepreneurs of northern and rural Ontario. We know high-speed Internet access is an essential service that has only been made more vital due to the pandemic, and our government is prepared to move forward with the urgent and critical work necessary to connect not just northern and rural Ontario but all rural and remote regions across Canada as well.”
– Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River

Quick facts

  • The projects highlighted today are part of a larger announcement made on April 19, 2022, by the governments of Canada and Ontario about joint funding for projects to bring high-speed Internet access to many communities in regions across Ontario. 

  • 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 is a $2.75 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030. Only the hardest-to-reach households may take until 2030 to get connected.

  • On July 29, 2021, a Canada-Ontario broadband partnership was announced. This agreement will bring high-speed Internet access to more than 280,000 households across Ontario through a total investment of more than $1.2 billion, co-funded equally by both levels of government. 

Associated links

Contacts

Luka Vujic
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development
343-571-9582
luka.vujic@ised-isde.gc.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
media@ised-isde.gc.ca

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