Minister of Citizens’ Services Lisa Beare held a press conference Friday (March 26) with various stakeholders, including North Island and North Coast MLAs and executive director of Coastal First Nations, Christine Smith-Martin.

Minister of Citizens’ Services Lisa Beare held a press conference Friday (March 26) with various stakeholders, including North Island and North Coast MLAs and executive director of Coastal First Nations, Christine Smith-Martin.

Province spending $55M to bring high-speed internet to more of B.C.’s coast

Announced Friday, Connected Coast project is expected to connect 139 communities – 48 being rural and Indigenous

The provincial government unveiled its plans Friday (March 26) to bring high-speed internet to more homes in B.C.’s coastal communities from a series of infrastructure investments.

The $45.4-million Connected Coast project is part of B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, which saw $90 million allotted in September. It will connect 139 communities – 48 being rural and Indigenous – to fast and reliable internet.

Construction is slated to start this summer on the infrastructure, said Minister of Citizens’ Services Lisa Beare.

In partnership with internet service provider CityWest, Connected Coast will connect communities to a subsea fiber-optic network running from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii, to the Sunshine Coast and around Vancouver Island.

Residents on Cortes Island, in Bella Coola, Skidegate, Zeballos and Quadra Island will be included.

CityWest CEO Stefan Woloszyn said, “connectivity is critical to foster growth in the digital economy and navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The company is receiving an additional $10 million to enhance connectivity for more than 2,800 households in Whaletown, Granite Bay and 4 mile as well as communities in territories of Haida Nation, Nuxalk Nation, Ehattesaht First Nation and Klahoose First Nation.

Executive director Christine Smith-Martin of Coastal First Nations said the project will “bridge the digital divide” and is “an important step in the B.C. government’s commitment to true and lasting reconciliation with First Nations people.”

“Once the fiber is laid it will help people with business opportunities and download speeds they need to build into the future,” added North Island MLA Michelle Babchuk.

CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District entered into a joint venture agreement in September 2020 to manage the Connected Coast project.

It is anticipated that this project will be completed at the end of 2023.



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations in Gold River area

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Mya Servatius and Marilyn May handing out gift baskets to seniors. (Michelle Tremblay photo)
NISS students practice kindness by giving gifts to seniors

This project wasn’t part of a class at NISS, or for any extra credit.

Port Hardy Fire Rescue map of controlled burning.
Controlled burn happening this weekend on Highland Drive

No unauthorized persons, including media, will be permitted within the “Hot Zone”.

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Most Read