Federal irrigation pledge seen flowing mainly to Prairies

Infrastructure plan also includes promised broadband support

Reading Time: 2 minutes Prairie provinces will receive the bulk of Ottawa’s $1.5 billion commitment to support irrigation projects, according to federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday launched a three-year, $10 billion infrastructure plan aimed at five different sectors, including agriculture. The $1.5 billion is expected to result in 700,000 acres of irrigated land. […] Read more

Throne speech commits to rural broadband improvement

Rural health care, water management also on deck

Reading Time: 2 minutes The federal minority Liberal government is promising job creation, better rural internet access and a commitment to combating climate change in its newly revealed legislative plans. In an ambitious throne speech delivered Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party committed itself to implementing universal child care and extending or enhancing many of the economic measures put […] Read more

Pandemic may strain rural community resources, panel warns

Enthusiasm for telecommuting could later benefit rural areas, if 'digital divide' can be bridged

Reading Time: 3 minutes The COVID-19 pandemic, and Canada’s response to it, have highlighted how rural communities need different strategies than their urban counterparts to provide social services on which the public relies. The Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph hosted a virtual panel in May to discuss COVID-19’s social impacts, in which researchers from a variety […] Read more

NYC equity firm to buy Xplornet

New investment expected to speed up rural broadband rollouts

Reading Time: 2 minutes A Manhattan private equity firm deep in “middle-market infrastructure” has committed to buy, and help improve service from, Canada’s single biggest rural broadband provider. New Brunswick-based, privately held Xplornet Communications announced Thursday it has signed a deal to sell majority control itself to Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners. The two companies’ announcement didn’t put a dollar figure […] Read more

Xplornet buys Ontario’s Silo Wireless

Deal includes rural wireless, fibre services

Reading Time: 2 minutes Canada’s biggest rural broadband company has expanded its space in the southwestern Ontario market by buying internet and fibre-to-home provider Silo Wireless. New Brunswick-based Xplornet Communications, whose client list already includes over a million rural customers in all provinces, announced it has closed its deal to buy Silo for an undisclosed sum. The deal gives […] Read more


Federal minister for rural affairs among Tory pledges

Reading Time: 2 minutes The federal Conservatives’ pre-election pledges for Canada’s rural communities include a plan to appoint a federal minister for rural affairs. Tory leader Andrew Scheer included that promise Sept. 7 in announcing a list of “specific measures he will take as prime minister to help rural communities across the country,” in the lead-up to a federal […] Read more

Rural high speed internet has been identified as a priority by both federal and provincial governments,

Large companies push back against federal plan to encourage internet competition

Companies have said they will cut back their plans to expand coverage to rural areas and small towns

Reading Time: 2 minutes Large providers of internet backbone across the country are scaling back their investments in rural and small towns in retaliation to the Canadian Radio-tele­vision Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) imposition of lower wholesale rates for internet. Bell Canada says it will cut 200,000 households from its rural expansion program because the CRTC decision cost it $100 million. […] Read more

Premier Doug Ford announced $315 million in funding for high speed internet improvements.

Province makes internet investment promise official

Conservatives commit to improve rural internet and cellular phone service

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Ontario government is investing $315 million over five years to expand internet access and cell phone service to more rural and remote families in the province. Premier Doug Ford made the announcement July 23 in Lucan, with several cabinet ministers in attendance. “Twelve per cent of communities don’t have cell signal or high speed […] Read more


Editorial: High speed investments

Reading Time: 3 minutes My fist-pump moment when we were deciding whether or not to buy our small farm 10 years ago had nothing to do with the state of the house, or soil conditions, or proximity to off-farm work. I was standing on the second floor of the derelict house on the property and I could see the […] Read more

Rural development strategy sought in federal shuffle

Reading Time: 2 minutes Rural economic development has been given a promotion at the federal level in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s latest cabinet shuffle. In the shuffle, following the departure of Treasury Board president Scott Brison from cabinet, Trudeau on Monday called up Bernadette Jordan, MP for the southern Nova Scotia riding of South Shore-St.Margaret’s, to head a newly […] Read more