OTTAWA, ON, Dec. 16, 2021
OTTAWA, ON, Dec. 16, 2021 /CNW/ – The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we rely on the Internet. Canadians across the country need access to reliable, high-speed Internet as many of us are working, learning, and staying in touch with friends and family from home.
Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, together with Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Strathcona–Sherwood Park, announced an agreement to bring high-speed Internet to underserved rural, remote and Indigenous communities in Alberta.
Under this Canada–Alberta broadband partnership, the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta have partnered to support projects that will improve access to high-speed Internet in rural, remote and Indigenous communities throughout the province. Through the federal-provincial partnership, both governments will work collaboratively to assess, select and co-fund projects that have been submitted through the Government of Canada’s Universal Broadband Fund. Funding announcements for individual projects will begin in early 2022.
The total combined funding commitment is up to $300 million, with the Government of Canada matching dollar for dollar the $150 million commitment made by Alberta’s government in July 2021.
Canada-wide, more than 890,000 rural and remote households are on track to be connected to high-speed Internet as a result of federal investments. At the end of June 2021, 182,000 rural and remote households had been connected to high-speed Internet under projects supported by the Government of Canada.
“High-speed Internet service is essential to the success of everyone living and working in rural communities. Today’s announcement will bring reliable, high-speed Internet access to underserved households in Alberta, helping create jobs, improving access to health care and online learning services, and keeping people connected to their loved ones. Our government has committed over $7.2 billion to ensure that all Canadians are connected to the Internet, and we will continue to make investments like these to help connect every Canadian.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
“Access to high-speed Internet will create jobs, improve health and safety for all and help bridge the rural-urban divide. Prior to today’s announcement, the Government of Canada had already invested $45 million in 48 projects that will connect over 35,000 Alberta households. The Government of Canada is proud to partner with the Government of Alberta through the Universal Broadband Fund to further enhance connectivity for Albertans.”
– The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance
“Alberta’s government is committed to eliminating the digital divide. Solving the broadband problem requires all levels of government and the private sector to come together. Albertans living outside major urban centres have been at a digital disadvantage because of unreliable broadband, but we are building partnerships to end that and today, we’re so much closer to a solution. Connectivity is on the horizon.”
– The Honourable Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta
“Bringing capital and connectivity into Indigenous communities means more opportunities for our youth and better services for our elders and families. When First Nations succeed, Alberta succeeds and Canada succeeds. This broadband investment and agreement will help make that happen.”
– Chief Billy Morin, Enoch Cree Nation
“Broadband connectivity creates opportunity for our children and our communities. It enables rural economic development, increases access to healthcare, creates smart farms, improves education, enables information sharing to address crime, promotes rural living and enables us to be world leaders in a range of industries.”
– Paul McLauchlin, President, Rural Municipalities of Alberta
Since 2015, Government of Canada investments have helped more than 182,000 rural and remote households across Canada gain access to high-speed Internet.
Today’s announcement builds on the $45 million already committed by the Government of Canada for broadband projects in Alberta.
The Government of Canada has committed $7.2 billion to broadband Internet infrastructure, including $2.75 billion through the Universal Broadband Fund.
These investments will help ensure that 98% of Canadians will have high-speed Internet access by 2026, and 100% will have access by 2030.
On July 22, 2021, the Government of Alberta committed $150 million to drive improved connectivity for households and help kick-start growth and diversification in rural, remote and Indigenous communities in Alberta.
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SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada