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Canada and Ontario Building Broadband in Bruce County

Press Release

Ontario Indigenous Community to benefit from expanded access to high-speed internet

September 02, 2022

BRUCE COUNTY – The governments of Canada and Ontario, in partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc., have started construction on a significant broadband infrastructure project on the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, that will see nearly 300 families, farms and businesses receive improved access to fast, reliable high-speed internet.

“Reliable broadband infrastructure is a necessity for the growth and prosperity of rural, remote and Indigenous communities,” said the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our partnership with the Government of Ontario is ensuring homes and businesses in the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation community are able to have greater access to educational and employment opportunities, and improved access to Telehealth services.”

Both the federal and provincial governments have each invested more than $429,000 into this project that is expected to be completed by June of 2023.

This announcement builds on the Ontario governments plan to connect every community to high-speed internet by 2025.

“I am proud our government continues to deliver on our commitment to expand access to high-speed internet to rural Ontario and Indigenous communities across the province,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Projects like this on the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, are crucial to building stronger communities, helping families stay in touch, and providing access to essential services.”

This enhanced high-speed infrastructure will help farms and businesses in the community attract new customers, grow their operations and create new jobs, while also enabling people improved access to connect online to work, learn and access vital services.

“Since day one, our government has worked to address gaps in important community infrastructure in Indigenous and rural communities,” said Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “Today, we are pleased to partner with the federal government to increase access to fast, reliable high-speed internet to nearly 300 families and businesses in the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. We recognize the unique challenges that Indigenous communities face and are committed to providing tailored supports that encourage growth and prosperity.”

The contract to expand broadband services in the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, was awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc., a not-for-profit corporation initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario. More than $255 million has been invested by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector to bring high-speed internet to more than 63,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario.

QUOTES

“In rural Ontario, we know good internet service is a necessity,” said MPP Rick Byers. “The continued expansion into Grey Bruce is excellent news that will connect more businesses and households to high-speed internet and give people improved access. This broadband expansion will be important to our continued recovery and success, and I appreciate and welcome this latest internet expansion.”

“Having access to high-speed internet is key to unlocking economic and social opportunities in our highly connected world,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “And today we are pleased to announce, in partnership with our community partners and federal and provincial governments, the start of construction on a high-speed broadband infrastructure project in Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. Once complete, the newly installed fibre-optic network will bring greater connectivity to nearly 300 homes and businesses within the community.”

Quick Facts

  • The governments of Canada and Ontario are each contributing more than $63 million to SWIFT through the new Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – Small Communities Fund.
  • In July 2021, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced an historic agreement that will deliver high-speed Internet to nearly 280,000 rural Ontario households in hundreds of communities across the province, through an equal federal-provincial investment totalling more than $1.2 billion.
  • The Ontario government has committed nearly $4 billion to bring high-speed internet access to every corner of the province by the end of 2025. This proactive approach is the largest single investment in high-speed internet, in any province, by any government in Canadian history.
  • In 2021, Ontario passed the Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, 2021 to help speed up construction of broadband projects. Ontario is also helping to remove barriers, duplication and delays, making it easier and faster to build high-speed internet infrastructure through the Getting Ontario Connected Act, 2022, which was passed unanimously by the Legislature on April 11, 2022. This legislation will help ensure underserved and unserved communities across the province have access to reliable high-speed internet sooner, and will help the government achieve its commitment to connect every region with access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025.
  • Expanding access to broadband and cellular service is part of Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government, which includes more than 30 projects that are changing the way people and businesses interact with government.

Additional Resources

Ontario Connects: Making High-speed Internet Accessible in Every Community

Ontario Builds: our infrastructure plan

High-Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy

Media Contacts

Emily McLaughlin
Minister’s Office
[email protected]

Belinda Sutton
Communications Branch
[email protected]
(519) 400-6394

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