Internet for All: ACORN Member Testimonies

“I just can’t afford the internet” is a common theme that’s emerging from a series of testimonies ACORN Canada has collected talking to its members across Canada. The testimonies also clearly show that the most vulnerable are being hit the hardest as telecom companies continue to record billion dollar profit. The pandemic has underscored, greater than ever, the need for affordable and reliable internet. 

 

With internet plans ranging from anywhere between 50 to 150 dollars and more, as Corey Daniels, an Ottawa ACORN member says: “Just because the internet is there, doesn’t mean I can access it”. Read this resource to read testimony of Corey and many more ACORN members who are struggling to access the internet.

Internet is an Essential Service

The need for expanding the Federal Government’s Connecting Families to ALL low-income people is greater than ever! Governments – federal and provincial – have called for social/physical distancing during the ongoing health emergency due to COVID-19 but that requires access to the internet for anything and everything anyone can imagine. However, the reality is that not all Canadians can afford the internet. The issue of digital divide cannot be overemphasized, especially during a pandemic like this, as internet becomes a lifeline for most people. 

Through this resource, ACORN Canada calls on the government and CRTC to take some urgent actions to address barriers to digital equity, especially during COVID-19 pandemic.

ACORN Canada submission to the 2019 Ontario Budget consultation

We encourage the Ministry of Finance to take this opportunity to consider the needs of almost 2 million low-income Ontarians. Poverty costs the province $32-to-38-billion per year: it is a problem worth tackling. We believe that Ontario can lead the way in Canada by tackling housing affordability, rising child care costs, energy poverty, an inequitable financial system, and benefits that do not meet the needs of our most vulnerable, to foster a fairer, more inclusive province.

ACORN Canada submission to the Review of the Canadian Communications Legislative Framework

ACORN Canada members feel strongly that access to home internet is essential and a right. Since 2013, ACORN members have been organizing on our Internet for All campaign, after members identified the high cost of home internet as a major barrier to low-income earners’ participation and success in the digital economy. ACORN Canada is fighting for affordable home access to high-speed home internet for all Canadians

CRTC Inquiry into the Retail Sales Practices of Canada’s Large Telecommunications Carriers: ACORN Submission

Recently, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) began an inquiry into the sales practices of telecoms companies, to understand whether services are being sold fairly and transparently. ACORN invited members across the country to share their experiences. Many members who reached out had been misled when buying a product or service, encountered pushy salespeople, or found their phone, internet or TV package confusing.

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ACORN Tenant Engagement Report - Retrofits

Successful energy retrofits can specifically benefit residents of low‐income apartment buildings. Programs like TowerWise show that retrofits can lead to a 30% reduction in energy and carbon usage. Energy efficiency programs can also have up to a 2:1 cost‐benefit ratio. Retrofits of low‐income housing can potentially result in the co‐benefits of carbon reduction, energy efficiency, and costs savings, as well as positive health outcomes. On a macroeconomic level, retrofits can reduce the need for government spending on health and energy subsidies, which can be redirected to other types of social spending for low‐income Canadians.

Forced Out: Evictions, Race, and Poverty in Toronto

This study, conducted by the Wellesley Institute, aims to add to the knowledge on evictions in Toronto in three ways. First, it describes the numbers and rates of formal eviction applications in Toronto 2010-2018. Second, it maps their geographic distribution. Third,it correlates formal eviction application filing rates with census tract sociodemographics of renter households from the 2016 Census to uncover who may be at increased risk of eviction. In order to examine these questions, we use administrative data from the Landlord and Tenant Board, and 2016 Census data.

 

Stand Up for Housing in Surrey

Posted on August 6, 2020

This report focuses on the housing crisis in Surrey in BC. Based on the victories secured by BC ACORN members in several other cities in BC, including in Burnaby and New Westminster, the report underscores the need for urgent measures that the city government in Surrey can take to address the existing housing issues and protecting tenants' rights in Surrey.

Read this report to learn how we can win municipally to end the housing crisis in Surrey. 

 

État des locataires pendant COVID-19 - Rapport d'enquête

Posted on April 29, 2020

 

COVID-19 a changé nos vies comme jamais auparavant en apportant un ensemble unique de problèmes. Cependant, ces défis deviennent encore plus complexes pour les personnes qui vivent déjà en marge. Les statistiques continuent de brosser un tableau sombre en ce qui concerne l'accès à des logements abordables et sains au Canada et avec la pandémie COVID-19, la situation ne fera qu'empirer, en particulier pour les locataires et les personnes à faible revenu ou appartenant aux sections les plus vulnérables du population. ACORN Canada a contacté 1082 personnes à travers le Canada pour comprendre les problèmes auxquels les gens sont confrontés pendant la pandémie, en particulier ceux liés à leur capacité de payer le loyer car elle arrive à échéance le 1er mai et les problèmes qu'ils rencontrent. dans leurs immeubles / appartements car le manque d'entretien et de réparation pose un risque majeur pour la santé publique, en particulier lors d'une pandémie. Ce rapport présente les conclusions principales de cette enquête et les mesures urgentes que les gouvernements doivent prendre pour garantir que les personnes en marge obtiennent le soutien dont elles ont besoin en cette période de crise sanitaire et économique.

 

State of Renters During COVID-19: Survey Report

Posted on April 29, 2020

 

COVID-19 has changed our lives like never before by bringing a unique set of issues. However, these challenges get even more complex and compounded for people who are already living at the margins. Statistics continue to paint a grim picture when it comes to access to affordable and healthy housing in Canada and with the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation will only worsen especially for renters and those on low-income or belong to the most vulnerable sections of the population. ACORN Canada reached out to 1082 people across Canada to understand the issues people are facing during the pandemic, especially those relating to their ability to pay rent as it falls due again on May 1st and the problems they are encountering in their buildings/apartments as  lack of maintenance and repair poses a major public health risk especially during a pandemic. This report provides the main findings of this survey and calls for urgent measures that governments need to take to ensure that people at the margins get the support they need in times of this health and economic crisis. 

 

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ACORN Votes: The People's Platform Responses

ACORN Canada, founded in 2004, is a grassroots membership based organization that has rapidly grown into one of the country's most effective voices for low- and moderate-income Canadians.  With over 130,000 members in 22 chapters in 9 cities across the country, our central purpose is to effectively represent and champion the interests of Canada's low- and moderate-income urban citizens on the critical issues of social and economic justice.

ACORN members have been conducting a number of campaigns, both at the federal and provincial level. ACORN Canada is a multi-issue organization, as a result, we have a range of campaigns that have emerged from community organizing around the issues that affect the lives of low and moderate income communities.  This document captures the main campaigns that we continue to fight for, at the federal level. 
 

ACORN Canada's submission to CMHC's rights-based approach to housing consultation

By introducing a National Housing Strategy (NHS) and making a commitment to a rights-based approach to housing, the Federal Government is taking a significant step towards tackling Canada’s housing crisis. ACORN members welcome this national plan. Yet, we acknowledge that there is a long way to go to overcome the systemic issues that have led to so many homeless and underhoused Canadians. 

Broadbent Institute: Networked Change in Canada

This groundbreaking report maps out the strategies and practices that lie behind today’s most successful advocacy campaigns both in Canada and abroad. In the process, it demonstrates how and why they succeed in creating lasting change on the issues they address while so many others fail. Based on a study by authors Jason Mogus and Tom Liacas that looked at mostly U.S.-based case studies, this report now presents similar innovations in Canada by reviewing in depth case studies of eight breakthrough Canadian campaigns. The report’s goal is to transmit a model that can be learned and replicated by other campaigners for how to blend grassroots participation and organizing with disciplined central planning to win.

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