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Far North First Nations To Increase Broadband Capacity

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Far North First Nations To Increase Broadband Capacity

Province Helps Remote Northern Communities Bridge Gaps In Information Highway

SIOUX LOOKOUT - The McGuinty government is helping First Nations communities in the Far North gain better electronic access to business, health, education and government services by investing in the expansion of broadband and cellular services, Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced today.

"Providing greater access to these important 21st century technologies throughout the North is a priority for the McGuinty government," Bartolucci said. "It is especially vital that remote communities in the Far North have reliable information highways."

K-Net Services, based in Sioux Lookout, will use an investment of $2,812,859 from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to help ensure more reliable electronic delivery of essential services in 17 remote Nishnawbe Aski First Nations communities. K-Net is a department of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO) First Nations Council.

"I am pleased that our government is supporting this project that will give residents in the Far North better access to telecommunications services," said Bartolucci, who is also chair of the NOHFC. "Significantly, this project is also expected to create 17 full-time permanent jobs in the participating communities."

This is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians have achieved results in community development. Other examples include:

•    Providing $1,093,928 to enable KO Telehealth, in partnership with NORTH Network, to provide improved healthcare access to 19 First Nations communities across the Far North

•    Providing $958,649 to the Asheweig Winter Roads Corporation project to finish realigning two segments of its seasonal roads network

•    Providing $20,000 to the Nishnawbe Aski Development fund to present the 2007 Winter Road Forum to enhance winter road planning.

This initiative is part of the government's Northern Prosperity Plan. It has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.


Laura Blondeau
Minister's Office - Sudbury
(705) 564-7454    

Brian Beaton
Services Coordinator, K-Net
(807) 737-1135 ext. 1251
    
Michel Lavoie
MNDM - Sudbury
(705) 564-7125

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