The provincial government announced a major funding initiative that will aim to connect more Ontarians in rural areas to high-speed internet.
Telesat, which is headquartered in Ottawa but has an operations centre in Hanover, will be receiving 109 million dollars from the province to develop its new low earth orbit satellite project called Light Speed. Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker hosted the announcement, and he was joined by Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson, who says everyone in Ontario needs access to high speed internet.
"For too long, Ontarians in many rural parts of the province have been without reliable, affordable internet. But, with announcement like today's, we're demonstrating that things are changing right here at home and across Ontario."
Thompson, who now serves as the provincial Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says this is a huge boost to farmers and rural communities and businesses. Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. were also in attendance alongside Daniel Goldberg, President and CEO of Telesat, to announce the funding. The announcement stated that over 400 jobs will be created and retained as a result of the project.
Thompson notes that the pandemic more than ever highlighted how broadband internet is essential in rural communities in order for them and their businesses to thrive.
"To stay competitive, many businesses across our province depend on the internet to promote their products and their services, as well as to generate revenue through online stores using social media and all kinds of other applications available to them."