Posted on October 29, 2020
ACORN members are fed up with the failure of the Trudeau government to regulate telecoms. Big telecoms such as Bell, Rogers, Telus, Eastlink and many others continue to make millions of profit while low-income tenants struggle to access the internet!
The uptake of the Federal Government’s Connecting Families Program is at a dismal 5%. And it comes to below 2% if all people below poverty line are included. ACORN members are outraged due to this neglect!
Members did online and in-person actions across the country. Read on to learn more!
If you couldn’t join any of these actions, click here to send a quick letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Innovation Navdeep Bains, CRTC and Big telecoms. We need affordable, high speed internet NOW! Pour le français, cliquez ici
Virtual Action: The national ACORN virtual action was led by Marcia Stone, Marnie Schuter & Ray Noyes. Members went over why the internet was more important than ever and what ACORN was demanding from the Fed's and Corporations. Members on the call got to witness the power of BC ACORN marching on Shaw, and Toronto ACORN bringing their demands to Bell's HQ. Terri from Hamilton ACORN gave a report on their awesome action, and Meagan from Ottawa filled people in as well.
Then the phone blitz began - Eastlink's voicemail was filled up before people finished their calls, Navdeep Bains staff spoke with members, and Trudeau's switchboard was lit up by the members. We know that we'll be hearing back soon - or ACORN members will just organize bigger and bigger actions!
Report of Local In-Person Actions:
Halifax: Leaders went down to MP Andy Fillmore's office to give him a demand letter (and a piece of our mind!) Unfortunately, we were locked out of the office but members got our demands under the door.
Hamilton: ACORN members from Downtown, East End & Mountain chapters talked to tenants in city housing & people in the neighborhood about the need for affordable internet. Low income tenants talked about the struggle to afford the HIGH cost of internet. The Connecting Families program isn’t working - low speed internet & most low income families aren’t eligible! PLUS unlike other subsidized housing providers in Ontario, Hamilton City Housing hasn’t opted into the Rogers Connected for Success Program where tenants can get $10/month.
ACORN is demanding the federal government regulate internet affordability & for the City of Hamilton to help bridge the digital divide!
Ottawa: Ottawa ACORN members delivered two letters on the national Internet For All campaign. Members started by delivering a letter addressed to Bell CEO, Marko Bibic, to the Bell Store on Bank st. The action was led by Co-Chair of the Ottawa West Nepean Chapter, Norma-Jean Quibell, who explained to Bell employees how she personally has had to delay paying other bills to make sure her and her family could keep the internet on. Staff agreed to fax the letter and members marched downtown chanting and handing out flyers along the way before finishing at the Prime Minister's office where they sent off official correspondence to Justin Trudeau.
Metro Vancouver: BC ACORN members went to Shaw Headquarters and delivered a letter to SHAW CEO.
Peel: Peel ACORN leader Robin Vanderfleet delivered a letter with our demands to the office Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science & Technology.
Toronto: Over 30 ACORN members joined outside of Bell headquarters to put pressure on the giant telecom to provide $10 a month internet for low income families. The action was led by a few new leaders from across the City - Downtown member Jabby, Weston members Rayman and Erin, and York West member Shelly Ann delivered speeches on why they need affordable internet and struggling to pay for the increasing rates during a pandemic. Members did chants and speeches and then marched in the street to Bell HQ. Jabby was able to deliver a letter to staff who took it to the mail room. We then wrote messages outside on the sidewalk about why we need affordable internet and for Bell to step up!
We will keep the pressure on!
The Nova Scotia Advocate: ACORN takes aim at Trudeau government’s failure to regulate internet affordability