Posted June 6, 2018
ACORN members are happy today, as the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development announced a new program offering affordable internet for low-income households. The Connecting Families program targets National Child Benefit recipients and provides 10mbps internet with 100gb usage for $10 per month. Around 220,000 households - up to 600,000 people - are expected to benefit, keeping approximately $20million in the pockets of low-income parents. This marks a significant step towards realizing ACORN’s Internet for All campaign.
The program is voluntary, so will not be offered by all internet service providers. Participating providers include Rogers, Bell, TELUS, Shaw, Vidéotron, SaskTel, and Cogeco. ACORN members have been calling for affordable internet for everyone below the low-income measure, so the next step of the campaign will focus on the need for an inclusive, affordable internet program that allows racialized individuals and people with disabilities who do not have kids, seniors, and other low-income individuals to participate in the digital economy.
“This is a step in a good direction but we would have preferred if all people under the low-income measure were included - our campaign will continue to work on expanding the qualifier to all people on the low income measure.” Gisele Bouvier, ACORN Leader.
A 2016 survey of 394 ACORN members found that more than 4 in 5 respondents found the cost of internet to be “extremely high”, while almost 60% revealed that they had to cut back elsewhere to afford internet. In 2016, the CRTC declared internet a basic service that all Canadians should have access to at home. Today’s announcement is an important step towards realizing internet for all, but ACORN will keep pushing for a truly inclusive program that meets the needs of our low-income members.
For more details or to speak to an ACORN spokesperson, contact Judy Duncan on (416) 996 6401 or firstname.lastname@example.org