Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Symbol of the Government of Canada
Share

HARPER GOVERMENT INVESTS IN BROADBAND IMPROVEMENTS FOR LABRADOR COMMUNITIES

 

March 11, 2013 - NORTH WEST RIVER, NL

SmartLabrador Network Inc. will help improve broadband access to two more communities in Labrador as part of their overall commitment to expand on the region’s broadband infrastructure.  With an investment from the Government of Canada and in partnership with Bell Aliant, the towns of North West River and Sheshatshiu will receive improved access to high-speed internet services.

An announcement of $1.35 million from the Government of Canada was made at an event in North West River today by Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen’s Privy Council and Regional Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, on behalf of Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

“Our government is committed to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians,” said Minister Penashue.  “The enhancement of existing broadband services to the towns of North West River and Sheshatshiu will help improve opportunities for new business growth and improve the ability of companies to establish, expand and operate more efficiently.  This investment helps strengthen the area’s business infrastructure and will improve the economic development capacity of Labrador communities.”

SmartLabrador, in conjunction with Bell Aliant, will construct a new pole line and fibre cable between Happy Valley-Goose Bay and the two towns.  Bell Aliant is contributing $300,000 towards the project.

“Today’s announcement is another example of how Bell Aliant’s partnerships with both levels of government is working to enhance broadband infrastructure in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Geoff Davis, Regional Sales Vice President, Newfoundland and Labrador, Bell Aliant. “The extension of our network to Sheshatshui and North West River would not be possible without the support of the Government of Canada and our existing partnership in Labrador.”

SmartLabrador is a not for profit incorporated organization that is managed by a Board of Directors representing the five regions of Labrador. This project is part of the group’s long-term vision for a broadband network that will include further development in Southern and Northern Labrador and connecting Labrador with the island portion of the province. 

“This investment builds on the major enhancements already underway in the broadband infrastructure in this region,” said Sheila Downer, executive director, SmartLabardor.  “SmartLabrador is dedicated to improving access and connectivity to the people, businesses, institutions and communities of this region, ensuring unparalleled access to innovation and economic opportunities.”

This project is in addition to a $24 million initiative announced in December of 2011 by the Government of Canada ($3 million), Government of Newfoundland and Labrador ($3 million), Bell Aliant ($9.7 million) and Nalcor Energy ($8.3 million) to extend broadband from Labrador West to Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

The Government of Canada’s investment of $1.35 million in this project was provided through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) which focuses on investments that lead to long-term employment and economic capacity building in rural communities.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Smart Labrador Inc. will improve broadband services to the communities of North West River and Sheshatshui in Labrador thanks an investment of $1.35 million from the Government of Canada and $300,000 from Bell Aliant.  The announcement was made at an event in North West River today by Newfoundland and Labrador’s Regional Minister Peter Penashue.

The initiative is part of SmartLabrador’s long-term vision for a broadband network that will include further development in Southern and Northern Labrador and connecting Labrador with the island portion of the province. 

-30-

INFORMATION:

Doug Burgess
Director Public Affairs
ACOA NL
709-772-2935
doug.burgess@acoa-apeca.gc.ca

Sheila Downer
Executive Director
SmartLabrador
709-931-2072
sdowner@smartlabrador.ca

Mark Duggan
Bell Aliant Corporate Affairs
709-687-3136
mark.duggan@bellaliant.ca