GFM Network News


Les Henry: Harvest, not crops with a combine but information online

Les Henry: Harvest, not crops with a combine but information online

Hopefully this “old stuff” will prevent folks from rediscovering the moon

This is a bit of a different theme. It is all about harvesting information that could be useful in planning and executing farm operations on the Canadian Prairies. The title, “Harvest,” comes from our very own University of Saskatchewan Library research archive, and the wealth of information that can be obtained with a few mouse […] Read more



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. […] Read more

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 […] Read more


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 […] Read more

5G could be a game changer for farmers

5G could be a game changer for farmers

Improved access to rural broadband could reduce costs and increase productivity

Bill Campbell still does yield mapping with a pen and paper. The principal operator of Campbell Land and Cattle would like to use precision agriculture to monitor moisture levels, make decisions about inputs and improve yields on his fields of wheat, barley, oats, canola, flax, corn and pulses but broadband access on his Minto, Manitoba, […] Read more


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 […] Read more

(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 […] Read more


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 […] Read more

(Video screengrab from BJordan.liberal.ca)

Rural development strategy sought in federal shuffle

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