The governments of Canada and Quebec are announcing a joint investment of $18.9 million to support the deployment of high-speed Internet to 10,980 additional households in the riding of Berthier, of which 10,500 are in the Matawinie RCM and 480 are in the D’Autray RCM, by September 2022. Thanks to this funding, all residents in these two RCMs will have access to reliable, efficient and affordable services by September 2022.
The announcement was made by Élisabeth Brière, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke, and Caroline Proulx, Minister of Tourism, Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region and the Bas-Saint-Laurent Region, and Member of the National Assembly for Berthier. Also present for this announcement were Yves Germain, Reeve of the D’Autray RCM, and Sylvain Breton, Reeve of the Matawinie RCM. This joint investment comes under Phase II of Canada-Quebec Operation High Speed, which was announced on the morning of July 21 and includes $94 million in combined government funding, contributed equally, for 13 new community-led projects. Phase II projects complement those announced last March as part of Operation High Speed’s first phase.
Co-operating with telecommunications companies and organizations, adding a deadline with penalties to new contracts and providing coverage for all homes in the region where projects are being undertaken will ensure quick and effective deployment.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that connecting all Quebecers to high-speed Internet has never been more important. That’s why our government is investing to connect households and businesses in the Matawinie RCM and the D’Autray RCM by fall 2022. With this announcement, and thanks to our good collaboration with the Government of Quebec, we’re increasing the potential for economic growth and helping improve the quality of life of Quebecers in the Lanaudière region.”
– Élisabeth Brière, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke
“I’m delighted with this excellent news, which the people in the riding of Bertrand have been so eagerly awaiting, especially for the municipalities of Chertsey, Rawdon, Entrelacs, Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci and Saint-Donat. I would like to take this opportunity to commend all the players involved in this landmark project for the Matawinie RCM for their hard work and co-operation. Access to a quality high-speed Internet network is central to our daily life, and it’s also essential for the economic development of the region. Our government is working tirelessly to meet this commitment, and this investment is further proof of that.”
– Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration, Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region, and Member of the National Assembly for Bertrand
“As the Member for Berthier, I’m very proud to announce that nearly 11,000 additional homes in my riding will have high-speed Internet connectivity by September 2022. Residents who wanted to see this become reality have asked me about it many times. This important investment from our government shows that we have once again listened to the needs of our citizens. We will continue to be proactive and remain steadfast in meeting our commitments to ensure growth and economic development in Berthier.”
– Caroline Proulx, Minister of Tourism, Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region and the Bas-Saint-Laurent Region, and Member of the National Assembly for Berthier
“This important government contribution will ensure the completion of the second phase of a long-term project, which will positively and directly impact the everyday circumstances of nearly 3,900 D’Autray businesses and households.”
– Yves Germain, Reeve of the D’Autray RCM and Mayor of Saint-Didace
“For several years, the Matawinie RCM has been building a fibre optic network to provide all residents with access to reliable, high-quality Internet. This announcement is very important for the Matawinie RCM, as the contribution will enable faster optical fibre deployment throughout the region. I would like to thank the provincial and federal governments for their support and their confidence in what is, to date, one of the largest fibre optic deployment projects in Quebec.”
– Sylvain Breton, Reeve of the Matawinie RCM and Mayor of Entrelacs
Canada-Quebec Operation High Speed will give Quebec the highest connectivity rate in Canada, at more than 99%.
The Government of Canada has allocated billions of dollars to Internet infrastructure in rural and remote regions, including $2.75 billion as part of the Universal Broadband Fund, of which $1 billion comes from Budget 2021.
Phase II of Operation High Speed provides for an investment of $94 million to support deployment projects by the Coopérative de solidarité du Suroît (CSUR), the Table d’action en communication et technologies de l’information de la MRC de Coaticook (TACTIC), First Nations Wireless, Développement Innovations Haut-Richelieu (IHR Télécom), Xplornet, Bell, Cooptel and the Association pour la télédistribution et radio La Minerve, as well as those of the Antoine-Labelle, Argenteuil, D’Autray, Matawinie and Montcalm RCMs.
The 18,200 households that will be connected under Phase II are in addition to the 150,000 households covered in the March 2021 announcement and the approximately 66,000 households already covered under other government programs.
To reach the goal of optimal connectivity in all the regions by 2022, approximately 18,200 households, for which no projects are planned, will still need to be connected. These households are in areas that are particularly difficult to reach and sparsely populated. Technological solutions are currently being considered, and the strategy chosen to reach these households by 2022 will be announced at a later date.