GFM Network News


File photo of Diefenbaker Lake in southern Saskatchewan. (IanChrisGraham/iStock/Getty Images)

Federal irrigation pledge seen flowing mainly to Prairies

Infrastructure plan also includes promised broadband support

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.

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette looks on with Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance (l) and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the Usher of the Black Rod Greg Peters leaves to summon the House of Commons to come listen to the throne speech in the Senate chamber in Ottawa on Sept. 23, 2020. (Adrian Wyld pool photo via Reuters)

Throne speech commits to rural broadband improvement

Rural health care, water management also on deck

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


Face to face from the comfort of home

AGvisorPRO wants to make its free Tech Direct platform the new ‘go-to’ for ag advice

Robert Saik, founder and CEO of AGvisorPRO, wants to displace the 1-800 number when it comes to agriculture. Farmers will be well familiar with the frustrations of long-distance service, from the challenge of describing or diagnosing problems over the phone, to the trials of navigating number-option phone systems and automated messages. The result, Saik argues,

A first batch of 60 Starlink satellites — each about the size of a table and weighing about 500 pounds — were stacked atop a Falcon 9 rocket and put in orbit in May 2019. More batches have been deployed and SpaceX plans to put thousands in place in a low orbit just a few hundred miles above the Earth’s surface.

Out-of-this-world rural internet speeds still a long way off

Famed entrepreneur Elon Musk plans to bring affordable, high-speed internet to rural Canada, but experts are wary

Glacier FarmMedia – SpaceX is shooting for the moon with the promise of reliable high-speed internet for rural Canadians — but farmers might want to keep their expectations a little more grounded, at least for now. Last month, the space exploration company owned by Elon Musk (of PayPal and Tesla fame applied for several Basic

University of Guelph PhD student Abdul-Rahim Abdulai explained ways in which the pandemic has served as a disruptor in the dynamic of rural communities. (Arrell Food Institute video screengrab via YouTube)

Pandemic may strain rural community resources, panel warns

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

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


Survey finds Manitoba’s rural internet, cell service still bad

Survey finds Manitoba’s rural internet, cell service still bad

Results of KAP’s rural connectivity survey show nearly two-thirds of rural Manitobans dissatisfied with internet, cellular access

Poor rural internet and cell services obstruct communication, stall business and impede technology uptake, according to survey results KAP released April 16. “We have heard deep-seated frustration from both farm families and non-farmers about the state of connectivity in rural Manitoba, and providers cannot continue to ask us to pay for a service that is

In February, KAP launched a rural connectivity survey to better understand issues surrounding cellular coverage and broadband access across Manitoba.

Keystone Agricultural Producers launches rural cell and internet survey

Rural Manitobans miss out on key information and the ability to call for emergency help because of poor cellular coverage, says one KAP director

Keystone Agricultural Producers is asking farmers and rural folk to weigh in on their internet and cellular service providers. “(Internet service) should be a basic human right, almost,” KAP District 6 director Sam Connery-Nichol told the Co-operator Feb. 19. “You need it.” Connery-Nichol was staring at the ‘wheel of death’ on her internet browser screen

A YourLink tower outside Weyburn, Sask. (YourLink.ca)

NYC equity firm to buy Xplornet

New investment expected to speed up rural broadband rollouts

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


(Silo.ca)

Xplornet buys Ontario’s Silo Wireless

Deal includes rural wireless, fibre services

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

Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on April 10, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Chris Wattie)

Federal minister for rural affairs among Tory pledges

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