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Government funding to provide high-speed internet for 7,500 households

More rural and remote communities to receive service from 14 projects

More than $37 million in joint federal and provincial funding will bring remote and under-served communities in B.C. up to speed with high-speed internet connections.

The announcement was made in Chemainus Monday morning at the Chemainus Public Market, with federal Minister of Rural Economic Development Gudie Hutchings and provincial Minister of Citizens’ Services George Chow in attendance.

“It’s no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Hutchings of the service.

“Connectivity is an essential tool to access education and health care and to grow a business. It also improves safety and provides peace of mind.”

The federal government has made a commitment to have 98 per cent of Canadians connected to high-speed internet by 2026 and 100 per cent by 2030.

“With today’s announcement, 7,500 households across B.C. can look forward to high-speed quality internet access,” added Chow.

“By increasing access to high-speed internet, we are building strong, resilient communities in B.C. where people can thrive.”

The joint funding will encompass 14 projects across B.C. The funding recipients include: the Nisga’a Nation, Telus, Ktunaxa Nation (FlexiNet), CityWest Cable & Telephone Corp. and Kaslo infoNet Society.

The funding commitments are part of an existing agreement between the governments. Two years ago, an $830 M investment was made to connect remaining rural, remote and Indigenous communities to high-speed internet.

While in Chemainus, the two ministers took advantage of the opportunity to play tourists and were most impressed. Neither had ever been to Chemainus before to view the world-famous murals while Chow is only three weeks into his current job and “I am very happy to be here,” he said.

Hutchings, who’s from western Newfoundland, said she has a special place in her heart for islands, especially those surrounded by the ocean.

“And thanks for the snow (Sunday),” she added. “It made me feel at home.”

Don Bodger

About the Author: Don Bodger

I've been a part of the newspaper industry since 1980 when I began on a part-time basis covering sports for the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle.
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