Today, Irek Kusmierczyk, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, along with Bob Bailey, Member of Provincial Parliament for Sarnia–Lambton, on behalf of the Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, announced up to $24 million in funding to bring high-speed Internet to up to 1,180 households in rural Ontario. These communities include areas near Brooke-Alvinston, Inwood, Oakdale, Oil City, Oil Springs, Pelee Island, Wheatley Harbour, Elmdale, rural areas near Tilbury, Birr, Clandeboye, Denfield and Lucan.
The governments of Canada and Ontario have partnered to support large-scale, fibre-based projects that will provide high-speed Internet access to 280,000 rural and remote households across the province. This historic agreement, announced on July 29, 2021, is being made possible by a joint federal-provincial investment totalling more than $1.2 billion. The governments of Canada and Ontario are now announcing details of projects selected under that agreement.
Today’s announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s progress toward ensuring that 98% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026, and 100% by 2030. The Government of Ontario is committed to bringing reliable high-speed Internet access to every region of the province by the end of 2025. As we work to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic and grow the economy, the governments of Canada and Ontario will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Ontario and Canada for everyone.
“We need to close the connection gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of Ontario has access to reliable high-speed Internet—whether that’s in Oil Springs or Carlsbad Springs, or all the way on the shores of Lake Superior. Today’s announcement of up to $24 million to connect up to 1,180 rural households in the province is a historic milestone for Ontarians. Investments like these help create jobs, improve access to health care and online learning services, and keep us connected to our loved ones. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments like these to help achieve our national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026, and 100% by 2030.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
“The government has a comprehensive plan to help connect every Ontarian with access to reliable high-speed Internet by the end of 2025. No one will be left behind. By working together with our federal partners and Internet service providers, we are expanding access to high-speed Internet to more communities across the province — including in Southwestern Ontario — so everyone can access critical health services, learn, work, start a business, and connect with their loved ones—all online.”
– The Honourable Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure for the Province of Ontario
“This is excellent news for rural Ontario as a whole! The pandemic has shown us how essential high-speed Internet access has become. The Government of Canada understands that it is urgent and vital to connect rural and remote regions throughout Canada, including Ontario.”
– Irek Kusmierczyk, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
“Access to reliable, high-speed Internet is equally as important to rural residents and businesses as it is to those in larger urban centres. I am extremely pleased that this project will bring essential high-speed Internet to up to 1,180 new households in rural Southwestern Ontario.”
– Bob Bailey, Member of Provincial Parliament for Sarnia–Lambton
- The projects announced today are receiving up to $24 million in Government of Canada and Government of Ontario funding to bring high-speed Internet to up to 1,180 households in areas near Brooke-Alvinston, Inwood, Oakdale, Oil City, Oil Springs, Pelee Island, Wheatley Harbour, Elmdale, rural areas near Tilbury, Birr, Clandeboye, Denfield and Lucan. The Internet service will be provided by Brooks Bay Cable Corporation, Quadro Communications and Gosfield North Communication.
- Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.
- The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) 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 achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030. Only the hardest-to-reach households may take until 2030 to connect.
- On July 29, 2021, a Canada-Ontario broadband partnership was announced. This agreement will connect 280,000 households across Ontario to broadband with a total investment of $1.2 billion, co-funded equally by both levels of government.
- In 2021, Ontario announced projects in regions across the province, including six projects that will serve Northern Ontario and 17 projects led exclusively by the province under the Improving Connectivity for Ontario program.
- Another part of Ontario’s plan to achieve 100% connectivity for all regions across the province is a new competitive process led by Infrastructure Ontario to help connect more homes and businesses in unserved and underserved communities.
- The governments of Canada and Ontario have each committed up to $71 million through a partnership with the Eastern Ontario Regional Network to help improve cellular service in Eastern Ontario.
- The Government of Ontario is investing more than $63 million in the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology project to help bring high-speed Internet access to more than 58,000 homes, farms and businesses across Southwestern Ontario. The province has also invested in high-speed Internet projects to support connectivity in rural and Northern Ontario, including through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and through the Next Generation Network Program.