Remote communities in B.C. will soon have high-speed internet following a more than $45-million investment from the provincial and federal governments.
Federal Minister of Indigenous Services Jane Philpott announced Wednesday Ottawa would commit $34 million to build 3.5 million metres of subsea fibre optic cable along B.C.’s coast. The remaining $11.4 million will come from the province through the Connecting British Columbia program.
The money will also help connect 44 First Nations communities.
Included in the funding are Bowser, Qualicum Beach and the Nanoose First Nation.
However, The NEWS called the Regional District of Nanaimo and Nanoose First Nation and neither was aware of the funding announcement.
“I know there’s work in the background at the federal and provincial level to bring high-speed internet to our more rural areas, so obviously, I see this as a very positive thing.” said RDN Chair and Area H (Bowser) Director Bill Veenhof. “It connects people better. It’s good for business — very good for business.”
Of the $45.4 million, $22 million will come from the Connect to Innovate program, $12 million will come from Indigenous Services Canada and $11.4 million will come from the Government of British Columbia though the Connecting British Columbia program.
According to the Government of Canada news release, Connect to Innovate is part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class.
— With files from Kat Slepian/Government of Canada news release