Government of Canada invests to bring high-speed Internet to 25 communities in Quebec

News release

Rural Quebec residents to benefit from increased connectivity

June 29, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario

High-speed Internet access is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity for all Canadians, no matter where they live.

Today, Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Rural Economic Development, on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, announced up to $8.2 million in combined funding with the Government of Quebec to bring high-speed Internet to 25 communities in rural Quebec. Funding will be allocated as follows:

  • $1,208,522 to Bell Canada for projects benefiting the communities of Fatima, Innue Essipit, Lac-Légaré, Les Escoumins, Pointe-à-Boisvert, Rivière-Sainte-Marguerite and Sacré-Cœur       
  • $181,244 to the Coopérative de câblodistribution de l’arrière-pays (CCAP) for a project benefiting the community of Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury
  • $98,758 to the Coopérative de télécommunication SJM for a project benefiting the community of Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur-de-Wolfestown
  • $6,788,876 to Sogetel for projects benefiting the communities of Aston-Jonction, Baie-du-Febvre, Breault, La Visitation, Nicolet, Notre-Dame-de-Pierreville, Pierreville, Saint-Célestin-Station, Sainte-Eulalie, Saint-Elphège, Sainte-Monique, Sainte-Perpétue, Saint-François-du-Lac, Saint-Léonard-d’Aston, Saint-Wenceslas and Saint-Zéphirin

Today’s announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s progress toward making sure that 98% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $731 million to improve connectivity in Quebec.

Quotes

“This investment will bring reliable high-speed Internet access to 25 communities in rural Quebec, improving access to health care and online learning services and keeping people connected. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has committed $7.2 billion to connect rural Canadians, including many in Indigenous communities, to better, faster Internet. We will continue making investments like these in rural and remote communities to help connect every single Canadian to high-speed Internet.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development

“This is excellent and important news for rural Quebec. We understand how essential high-speed Internet access has become for all Canadians. The Government of Canada has made it a priority to connect rural and remote regions throughout Canada, including in Quebec.”
– Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Rural Economic Development 

“More than ever, Canadians need access to fast and reliable Internet. Access to high-speed broadband networks is a key driver of the country’s economic prosperity. In addition to our own fully funded capital investments, we are proud to invest an additional $1,788,000 to partner with the governments of Canada and Quebec to provide more residents in Les Escoumins, Innue Essipit, Sacré-Cœur, Rivière-Sainte-Marguerite, Lac Légaré and Fatima with access to the fastest fibre home Internet speeds available.”
– Karine Moses, Quebec Vice-Chair, Bell

“As a co-operative, we’re pleased to be able to participate in this collective effort to connect all Canadian households to high-speed Internet. We appreciate the involvement of both governments in this project, giving us the means and support needed to finally serve the residents in our area. They too deserve to take full advantage of this advanced and efficient means of communication. We had wanted to offer them this service for a long time, but its deployment was inconceivable without this financial support.”
– Stéphane Arseneau, General Manager, Coopérative de câblodistribution de l’arrière-pays

“Some background: Saint-Jacques-Le-Majeur is the smallest municipality in Les Appalaches RCM, with barely 200 inhabitants. This small group of residents decided to form a co-operative. After six years of effort and with financial support from the federal and provincial governments, the municipality was the first to offer fibre-to-the-home Internet service in the summer of 2021. Just because we’re small doesn’t mean we can’t have big plans! Our motto is keep moving forward!”
– Marc-André Grenier, President of the Coopérative de télécommunication SJM, and Steven Laprise, Mayor of Saint-Jacques-Le-Majeur-de-Wolfestown

“We’re especially proud to have been given the mandate to ensure that the Nicolet-Yamaska RCM has high-speed Internet connectivity because it’s our company’s birthplace. Since its founding in 1892, Sogetel has expanded its sector footprint through the best technologies of the time. Today’s announcement will enable us to finish what we’ve already started, but with fibre optic—and that’s great news for all our customers. We’re very happy about this new project.”
– Richard Biron, Vice-President of Business Development, Sogetel

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada’s $585 million Connect to Innovate program aims to improve high-speed Internet services in Canada’s rural and remote communities.

  • The Government of Canada’s Universal Broadband Fund is a $2.75 billion investment designed to help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.

  • Since 2015, Government of Canada funding has supported projects to bring improved Internet speeds to over 1.2 million households in rural and remote communities across Canada, including many Indigenous communities.

Associated links

Contacts

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

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

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