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What people are saying about the Connected Coast milestone

Christine Smith-Martin, CEO, Coastal First Nations

“High-speed internet is an essential part of our digital world, and workers and businesses need it in order to compete and thrive in today’s economy. Improved connectivity on Haida Gwaii, and across B.C.’s north and central coast, will bring transformational change to our communities and a range of new educational, employment and economic opportunities. It will allow us to showcase Indigenous technology and stewardship innovation to the world.”

Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast and B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness –

“This is a huge milestone for Haida Gwaii. While it is known for being one of the most isolated places in B.C., high-speed internet will reduce the strain of that isolation and allow residents of Haida Gwaii to fully participate in today’s digital world. This opens up a world of opportunities and provides access to services critical for safety. This project would not have been possible without First Nations leadership and the federal and local governments. Hawa’a to everyone involved – your hard work has paid off.”

Roly Russell, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Development –

“COVID-19 demonstrated, like never before, the critical importance of connectivity for community economic vibrancy and personal well-being, especially for us British Columbians in rural and remote communities. Access to fast, reliable internet will allow people and businesses in Haida Gwaii to get online to energize their economy, connect with distant family, access health and education supports, and build a brighter future for their community and the province.”

Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest –

“Laying the subsea cable from Bonilla Island to Tlell is another amazing milestone for Connected Coast. We have been working with the Council of the Haida Nation, Skidegate Band Council and Old Massett Band Council to develop connectivity to each of their communities. As a social enterprise, we are excited about our future together and we are grateful to the Province and the federal government for their support. This project will continue to gain momentum throughout 2022, paving the way for a summer of significant cable laying along the coast of British Columbia. Bringing this fibre-optic backbone infrastructure across the Hecate Strait is another step toward better connectivity for all of British Columbia.”

Brad Unger, chair of the Strathcona Regional District –

“The connection to Haida Gwaii is a significant milestone for the Connected Coast network. We are excited about the construction progress and look forward to these coastal remote communities having the same digital opportunities as urban centres. High-speed internet will help re-invent our small rural communities and improve our ability to participate in education, e-commerce and health programs.”