Connecting Canadians with high-speed Internet in New Brunswick and across Canada
Hello everyone. Thank you for your words, Jenica, but also for being an extraordinary representative for this community. Thanks as well to Dominic, Ginette, who are joining us.
I’m very glad to be with you today in New Brunswick.
I’m also glad that we can have partners from internet providers here today for this important announcement.
Our government is focused on building an economy that works for all Canadians, that includes people living in rural and remote areas. In order to fully participate in the economy, you need to have reliable high-speed internet. In the 21st century, connectivity is incredibly important, it means grandparents can have video calls with grandparents who live far… grandkids who live far away, it allows small businesses to connect with customers across the street, across the country and around the world, and it’s essential for both work and learning.
Since 2019, we’ve been making transformative investments to connect communities across Canada to the Universal Broadband Fund. Our goal is to connect every community, in every province and territory, to high-speed internet. We have a plan to connect 98% of Canadians by 2026, and we’re on track to beat that goal ahead of time. To make sure we keep up momentum, today we’re announcement a major investment of almost $500 million, which will connect an additional 60,000 rural homes across Canada.
Here in New Brunswick, we’re providing additional funding to connect over 27,000 homes, including Indigenous and rural communities. Some of these communities are near here, like Lakeville Corner and Swan Creek.
Here in New Brunswick, the federal plan will connect 99.7% of households in the coming years, with the province working to cover the final 0.03% of hardest places to reach. Like I said, we’re building an economy that works for all Canadians, and that means no matter where you live, you can be a full part of Canada’s growing economy and benefit from the opportunities that lie ahead.
We know that because of global inflation, it is difficult for many families to pay the bills. That’s why our government is there to help the middle class and those working hard to join it.
On internet, we’re ensuring that the most vulnerable families and seniors have access to affordable, low-cost internet, $10-$20. We doubled the GST credit for six months, which means hundreds of dollars in support for 11 million households. So, if you just saw a few hundred dollars appear in your bank account over the weekend, it’s because we delivered on that GST credit with help to pay your groceries, to pay your rent, to pay various things as the costs go up.
We’re also moving forward with legislation to make sure families can afford dental care for kids under 12, and to provide hundreds of dollars of additional support for low-income renters. Our Fall Economic Statement also laid out our plan to permanently eliminate interest payments on Canada student and apprenticeship loans, and lower credit card fees for small businesses.
See, with our approach, we’re creating jobs and careers today, and opportunities for all Canadians into the future. Making sure everyone is connected to high-speed internet is an important part of our plan. Our government will continue working with partners, whether in other orders of government or in the private sector, to make sure that we continue to bring more Canadians online.
By being more connected and working together, we can meet all the challenges that lie ahead.