Canada and Ontario invest over $14.2 million in five community and Indigenous education broadband infrastructure projects across Northern Ontario

Ontario: The safety and well-being of Canadians are top priorities for the governments of Canada and Ontario. Investments in Ontario’s infrastructure during this extraordinary time provide an opportunity to create jobs, economic growth, and make our communities more sustainable and resilient.

Today, Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; the Honourable Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, on behalf of the Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure; and Alvin Fiddler, Grand Chief of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, announced funding for five community and education infrastructure projects across Northern Ontario.

The Government of Canada is investing over $11.3 million in these projects through the COVID-19 Resilience Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of Ontario is providing over $2.8 million.

Among the projects announced is the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Student Internet Connectivity Project. The project involves providing secure internet connectivity to NAN students to attend school remotely, which will also support improved access to online mental health support. Work includes the purchase and installation of connectivity kits for student learning hubs and homes in NAN communities. These connectivity kits will allow students to connect to low earth orbit satellites and will help develop cloud-based servers to enable secure access to school websites and provide cyber-security protections.

Two more student internet connectivity projects for the Anishinaabeg of Kabapikotawangag Resource Council and five member communities, Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation, Big Grassy First Nation, Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation, Anishinabe of Wauzhushk Onigum, Northwest Angle No 33 First Nation, and the Seven Generations Education Institute for 8 First Nations: Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing, Couchiching First Nation, Lac La Croix First Nation, Mitaanjigamiing First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, Rainy River First Nation, Seine River First Nation, will provide students with an improved internet connectivity, allowing for better learning outcomes through remote learning, and better access to school websites and online mental health resources. These two additional projects will serve 13 First Nation communities in Northern Ontario.

Additional investments in community infrastructure projects across the region include upgrades to Berglund Road in the Township of Machin, Ontario. Work to the road’s culverts, subgrade, and gravel will improve ditching and allow for better flood mitigation. In the Township of Ignace, Ontario, work to the landfill facility, such as new security cameras, expansion of the landfill attendant transfer facility, and new gates will improve the facility’s operational management.

The COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream, implemented in response to the pandemic, allows the Government of Canada to invest up to 80 per cent of eligible costs for projects in provinces, and up to 100 per cent for projects in territories and Indigenous communities. The government of Ontario will invest 20 per cent of the eligible costs for projects across the province.

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