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Rickford encouraged by joint investment of $53 million to bring more high-speed internet to the Northwest

KENORA — Today, Greg Rickford, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kenora–Rainy River echoed his support for the $53.1 million joint Federal and Provincial announcement for three projects to bring high-speed internet access to 4,777 households across Kenora-Rainy River. The communities to benefit include unserved and underserved households and businesses in Rainy River, Barwick, Ignace, and a number of First Nations communities across the Grand Council Treaty #3 territory, with combined provincial contributions of over $14.4 million.

“For far too long, Northern Ontario has lacked access to high-speed internet with limited connectivity in many remote communities,” said Greg Rickford, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kenora–Rainy River. “Broadband is key for education, job creation and economic growth to keep our Northern communities connected. Our government is proud to support these critical infrastructure projects.”

These projects build upon an existing relationship between Ontario and Canada. Both  governments announced on July 29, 2021, their partnership to support large-scale, fibre-based projects that will provide high-speed Internet access to more than 280,000 rural and remote households across the province. This historic agreement was made possible by a joint federal-provincial investment totalling more than $1.2 billion.

“The Ontario government is ensuring every community across the province has access to reliable high-speed internet by the end of 2025. By working together with our federal partners and internet service providers, we are increasing access to high-speed internet and building a stronger foundation for Ontario’s economic growth and prosperity” said the Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure. “We are ensuring that the agriculture sector and all families, workers and businesses have a better and brighter future. No one will be left behind.”

This announcement contributes to the joint Federal and Provincial progress toward ensuring that 98 per cent of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026, and 100 per cent by 2030. The announcement also brings the Government of Ontario one step closer to achieving its goal of 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 federal and provincial governments will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Ontario and Canada for everyone.


  • 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 per cent of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100 per cent 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 bring high-speed internet access to more than 280,000 households across Ontario with a total investment of more than $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 per cent access to 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 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.