As part of the Ontario government’s plan to connect every community in the province to high-speed internet by 2025, the governments of Canada and Ontario are each committing up to $923,000 to support the construction of new broadband infrastructure in the Niagara Region.
The completion of this $3.3 million project in December 2022 will help connect more than 760 homes, farms and businesses in the communities of Abingdon, Allen’s Corners, Caistorville, Caistor Centre, Fulton, Grassie, Grimsby Centre and Kimbo, to the high-speed internet service they need and deserve. This will enable farms and businesses to attract new customers, grow their operations and create new jobs while also helping people connect online to work, learn and access economic and social opportunities.
“Access to a high-speed internet connection is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity” said Vance Badawey, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “By investing in projects like this, our government is supporting rural Ontarians to connect with family, keep up at school, run a business and access essential medical services. It is more important than ever for Canadians to have access to high-speed internet and our government is committed to building the infrastructure they need to be connected.”
“Our government has made access to high-speed internet a priority for rural Ontario, and we’re delivering on that commitment,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “New connections like the ones announced today, will help build Ontario and strengthen communities by helping families stay in touch, enabling them to access the supports they need while providing a much-needed boost to the local economy. It’s this type of critical infrastructure that will benefit the entire community.”
The $3.3 million contract, which includes the $1.84 million investment from the federal and provincial governments, to expand broadband services was awarded by Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, a not-for-profit corporation, initiated by local municipalities to address connectivity in Southwestern Ontario.
“We know reliable Internet access is a gateway to growth in rural Ontario,” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West. “This new expansion of rural broadband in Niagara will connect more families and businesses to high-speed Internet. I know constituents in Niagara West will gladly welcome this new SWIFT project.”
More than $255 million has been invested by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the private sector, to bring high-speed internet to more than 58,000 households and businesses in Southwestern Ontario through SWIFT.
“In partnership with the governments of Ontario and Canada, we are pleased to mark the start of construction on a high-speed fibre optic project that will bring service to more than 760 homes and businesses in Niagara Region,” said Gary McNamara, SWIFT Board Chair. “With today’s announcement we can proudly report that all of SWIFT’s awarded projects in Niagara Region have now begun construction and that high-speed internet will soon be available to many more residents as a result.”
- The governments of Canada and Ontario are each contributing more than $63 million to SWIFT through the New Building Canada Fund’s Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – Small Communities Fund of the Investing in Canada plan.
- The Ontario government is committing nearly $4 billion in broadband infrastructure to connect every region of the province with access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025. This proactive approach is the largest single investment in high-speed internet, in any province, by any government in Canadian history.
- Expanding access to broadband and cellular service is part of Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government, which includes more than 30 projects that are changing the way people and businesses interact with government.
- In 2021, Ontario passed the Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, 2021 to help speed up construction of broadband projects. To build on this legislation, the Ontario government introduced the Getting Ontario Connected Act, 2022. The proposed changes would remove barriers, duplication, and delays, making it easier and faster to build high-speed internet infrastructure across the province. If passed, this legislation would help meet our government’s commitment to connect every community with access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025.