Six Aboriginal Communities to see enhancements to existing internet services
June 17, 2016 – Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Broadband services in Northern Labrador will be expanded thanks in part to investments by the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The announcement was made today by Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and on behalf of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
Federal and provincial governments, along with partners the Nunatsiavut Government, the Mushuau Innu First Nation, Bell Aliant and Vale, will invest a total of $3 million to enhance the existing microwave radio system currently serving the Inuit communities of Rigolet, Makkovik, Postville, Hopedale and Nain, as well as the Mushuau Innu First Nation in Natuashish. The completion of this project will support business growth in sectors like tourism, small business, construction and mining, and allow businesses to compete in a global economy and become more innovative and productive.
The communities of northern Labrador are amongst the most isolated communities in Canada and therefore extremely reliant on internet-based services. Expanding on the broadband infrastructure for northern Labrador will enable the region to better build capacity, manage local services and create economic diversification. It will improve communication with customers, clients and suppliers; allow diversification of marketing and promotion plans for local businesses, including the growing arts and crafts sector; and improve staff efficiency through online training.
“Improved high speed Internet service in isolated rural communities provides residents and businesses access to a broad range of information and services such as health care and education. Through this $200,000 provincial investment, we are working with our community and industry partners to enhance access to these important services to Northern Labrador. We will continue to advance collaborative relationships of this nature for the betterment of residents and businesses in rural and urban areas of Newfoundland and Labrador.
– The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
“We are pleased to work with the Nunatsiavut Government to expand broadband infrastructure in northern Labrador. Investments in infrastructure, education, training and other programs will help to secure a better way of life for Indigenous Peoples and build a stronger, more unified, and prosperous Canada.
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA
“In today’s world, it’s important for Indigenous people, and all Canadians, no matter where we live, to have access to a strong, reliable high-speed Internet. I am very pleased to see plans are moving forward to enhance and expand broadband to regions of northern Labrador. We all agree that access to the digital world is imperative to growing our economy, educating Canadians, and protecting the health and safety of remote communities from coast to coast to coast.”
– The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
“With Budget 2016, the Government of Canada invests for the years and decades to come – we invest for our children and grandchildren, so that they may inherit a more prosperous and hopeful Canada. Through our investments, we are building on competitive regional advantages and supporting diversification in six of our northern Aboriginal communities. We will help Labrador and Atlantic Canadian businesses grow, innovate and export so that they can create quality jobs and generate wealth for Canadians in our region.”
– Yvonne Jones, MP for Labrador
“The Nunatsiavut Government is proud to be a partner in this exciting initiative. Upgrading the broadband network in Nunatsiavut will enable Labrador Inuit the means to maintain connectivity with the modern digital world. In real terms it will allow our people to utilize online resources and provide access to the online economy that most people in urban centres take for granted.”
– Darryl Shiwak, Minister of Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology (Acting), Nunatsiavut Government
“This is an important project that will help a lot of people along the coast. It will improve services and communication in the delivery of health care and education. Students who study online will benefit from this service. It is the best news.”
– Gregory Rich, Chief, Mushuau Innu First Nation
“We are very pleased to assist with this much needed upgrade in services for the north coast of Labrador. As an extension of a planned upgrade in services required for the Voisey’s Bay Mine Expansion, this will benefit both Vale and surrounding communities. Vale is committed to supporting the communities in which we operate and we believe this is an investment that will provide for many opportunities for years to come.”
– Stuart Macnaughton, Vice President, Vale’s Newfoundland and Labrador Operations and Projects
“Bell Aliant has a well-established track record of successful partnerships with governments and community organizations to expand and enhance high-speed Internet in rural and remote communities across Atlantic Canada. We’re proud that our investment in this project will provide residents of northern Labrador with critical access to the social and economic benefits that comes with broadband communications.”
– Dan McKeen, Bell Senior Vice President and Vice Chair Bell Aliant
- The Government of Canada is investing $650,000 through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund and $650,000 through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
- The Nunatsiavut Government is investing $500,000.
- The Mushuau Innu First Nation is investing $300,000.
- The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is investing $200,000 through the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development.
- Vale is investing $500,000.
- Bell Aliant is investing $200,000.
Media Relations Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Media Inquiries Line
Director of Communications
Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Director of Communications
Mushuau Innu First Nation
Bell Aliant Corporate Affairs