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Government of Canada announces more than $400,000 in funding to improve mobile connectivity for the Atikamekw First Nation of Wemotaci

Press Release

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

August 26, 2022

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced $404,936 in funding for Bell Canada to improve mobile connectivity in the Atikamekw First Nation community of Wemotaci.

Today’s announcement builds on the progress the Government of Canada has already made in improving connectivity across Canada, including in many First Nations communities.

Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $731 million to improve connectivity throughout Quebec.

Ensuring access to secure and reliable mobile connectivity for Indigenous communities is a priority for the Government of Canada, particularly in the context of post-pandemic recovery.

The Government of Canada will continue to invest in telecommunications infrastructure to build more prosperous, competitive and resilient communities across the country.

Quotes

“It is crucial that all Canadians, including members of First Nations, have access to stable and secure mobile connectivity. Connecting rural and remote areas of the country, including in Quebec, is a priority for the Government of Canada. Today’s announcement further demonstrates our commitment to connecting all Canadians across the country.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“We need to close the connectivity gap that remains in Quebec and ensure that its entire population and all First Nations communities in the province have access to reliable mobile services. The funding of $404,936 announced today will allow for better mobile connectivity in the Atikamekw First Nation community of Wemotaci. This is great news for Quebec because these investments improve security and make it easier for people to connect.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development

“Ensuring everyone’s safety is not mere a guideline; it’s a necessity. This project will enhance the safety of our members when travelling over parts of the territory as they will be able to communicate with authorities or their loved ones when necessary. I welcome this initiative and hope that cellular network coverage will soon be extended throughout Nitaskinan.”
– Constant Awashish, Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation

“For our members and businesses in Wemotaci, mobile phones have become a necessity, just like everywhere else, so we’re very pleased with this announcement. It will allow us to move forward with an agreement with Bell Canada to improve mobile connectivity in the community.”
– François Néashit, Chief of the Atikamekw Council of Wemotaci

“Bell’s goal is to provide communities in Quebec with the best networks to communicate with the rest of the world. Mobile network access is a key contributor to the development of communities both large and small. We’re pleased to be collaborating with the Government of Canada in implementing a reliable and fast mobile network to connect the Atikamekw First Nation of Wemotaci.”
– Karine Moses, Quebec Vice Chair, Bell

Quick facts

  • 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 100% by 2030. Of that amount, up to $50 million is for mobile Internet projects benefiting Indigenous peoples.
  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $731 million to improve connectivity in Quebec.
  • Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 10 Mbps upload.

Associated links

Contacts

Danielle Moriarty
Director of Parliamentary Affairs and A/Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development
873-355-8242
[email protected]

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
[email protected]

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