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Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island working together to connect all remaining underserved homes in the province
June 2, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario
Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, together with Heath MacDonald, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, and the Honourable Matthew MacKay, Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture, announced a federal-provincial partnership to invest up to $20 million in projects that will support the shared goal of connecting every underserved home in rural communities throughout P.E.I. to high-speed Internet.
Under this Canada-P.E.I partnership, each level of government will contribute up to $10 million, for total combined funding of up to $20 million, toward the development and execution of jointly funded programs and projects to connect the approximately 2,000 remaining homes throughout the Island that do not have high-speed Internet access. Both the governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island will work with local communities, including Indigenous communities, to achieve the national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030. Prince Edward Island’s plan accelerates this work, with its target of 95% of the province connected by 2023 and 100% by 2025. Details of projects being undertaken throughout the province will be announced in the coming months.
In addition to today’s partnership, the Government of Canada is taking immediate action by investing more than $1.5 million in funding for Island Telecom and Xplornet to bring high-speed Internet to over 1,000 homes in Prince Edward Island. This funding will benefit 56 communities in the province.
The governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island recognize the important role that high-speed Internet access will have in the Island’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Collaborating to provide better Internet services to Islanders will contribute to the economic growth of the entire province.
“We need to close the connectivity gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of Prince Edward Island has access to reliable high-speed Internet. Whether that’s from Tignish to Summerside, Murray Harbour to Souris or North Rustico, we are getting Islanders connected. That’s why the Canada-P.E.I. partnership of up to $20 million to connect rural homes in the province is a historic milestone for Islanders. What’s more, our government is taking immediate action today by connecting 56 communities in the province through a federal investment of more than $1.5 million. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments like these to help connect every Canadian and achieve our national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
“The pandemic has shifted much of our lives online and transformed how we live, work, learn and do business. Without access to quality high-speed Internet, communities in Prince Edward Island are getting left behind, and we must do everything we can to prevent that from happening. Because of our government’s investments today, over 2,000 more Islanders, in rural communities across the province, will have access to high-speed Internet.”
– Heath MacDonald, Member of Parliament for Malpeque
“More than ever before, Islanders having access to reliable high-speed Internet is absolutely crucial for the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island. Over these past few years, we have worked hard and remained focused on achieving our targets. We thank the federal government for its continued commitment to investing in Prince Edward Island so together we can provide high-speed Internet for all Islanders across the province.”
– The Honourable Matthew MacKay, Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
“Today, Islanders are benefiting from gigabit speeds and increased connectivity on Xplornet’s fibre network, and we’re excited to add this latest project to our network expansion plans already under way in Prince Edward Island. This next-generation network enables residents and businesses to connect to what matters most, and we’re proud to deliver these benefits across the Maritimes.”
– Allison Lenehan, President and CEO, Xplornet Communications Inc.
“The very things that make Prince Edward Island so very beautiful, with our trees and rolling hills, also make it a challenge to bring truly reliable broadband to every single Islander. We are proud to demonstrate that a local Island company can deliver fast and reliable fibre to every home in rural areas that previously were not able to benefit from the ultimate in broadband connectivity, and we look forward to the next phase of the growth of this network for Prince Edward Island.”
– Daniel Mullen, President, Island Telecom
Government of Canada
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Government of Prince Edward Island
Senior Communications Officer
Office of the Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture