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Residents of rural communities to benefit from increased connectivity
March 24, 2022 – Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador
Through the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), the Government of Canada is taking action to get people living in rural and remote communities connected to high-speed Internet.
In February 2022, the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced a historic plan to connect all remaining households in Newfoundland and Labrador to reliable high-speed Internet. Funding of up to $116 million will come from the Government of Canada through the UBF, and up to $20 million will come from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Today, Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, announced $22,355,503 in funding to bring high-speed Internet to more than 1,000 households in rural areas in Labrador. Funding will be allocated to the Nunatsiavut Government for a project benefiting the communities of Rigolet, Postville, Makkovik, Nain, Hopedale and Natuashish. The network will be built and operated by Bell Canada.
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. As we work to rebuild from the pandemic, the Government of Canada will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Canada for everyone.
“This investment will bring reliable high-speed Internet access to more than 1,000 households in Labrador, helping create jobs, 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 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
“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is extremely pleased to partner with the federal government to bring high-speed Internet to six isolated and Indigenous communities on the north coast of Labrador. Such investments close the connectivity gap and greatly assist rural and isolated communities in boosting access to a wide range of services, including health care and education.”
– The Honourable Lisa Dempster, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation and for Labrador Affairs, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
“Today’s announcement of more than $22 million to improve high-speed Internet connectivity will mean faster and more reliable Internet service for Rigolet, Postville, Makkovik, Nain, Hopedale and Natuashish. This pandemic has shown us just how essential reliable Internet access has become. Connecting Indigenous communities to high-speed Internet is a top priority, and this project with the Nunatsiavut Government helps us achieve our goal and commitment to ensuring Indigenous communities are not left behind.”
– Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador
“Secure Internet connection has been a barrier in many aspects of life for those living in the five Inuit communities of Nunatsiavut. This initiative will be a step towards bridging those gaps and ensuring that Labrador Inuit have adequate access to opportunities for employment, health care and online learning. Connecting Labrador Inuit living in Nunatsiavut to high-speed Internet is of high priority for the Nunatsiavut Government, and we are thankful for the contributions that will help make this possible.”
– Anthony Andersen, Minister of Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology, Nunatsiavut Government
“This announcement is certainly very welcome news. We are an isolated community on the north coast of Labrador where, because of geographical and environmental reasons, communications present a host of challenges. Secure, fast and reliable Internet connections are vital to our community and will greatly improve the lives of our members. As we move forward towards implementing our social and economic strategic plan, it is very important that our community have secure, reliable and effective connections. We welcome the project announced today and look forward to its implementation.”
– John Nui, Chief of Mushuau Innu First Nation, Natuashish
“Bell’s priority is to connect more people in more places, and the Northern Labrador Broadband Project will provide improved Internet access in the communities of Rigolet, Postville, Makkovik, Nain, Hopedale and Natuashish. We’re proud to be partnering with the Nunatsiavut Government to deliver enhanced high-speed connectivity for these communities as part of this historic initiative.”
– Glen LeBlanc, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of BCE Inc and Bell Canada, and Bell’s Vice Chair, Atlantic Canada
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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