Toronto ACORN member Donna Borden talks about a recent action in the Digital Access to Opportunities campaign
Posted April 15, 2015
On Wednesday, February 18th, a group of ACORN members went to the Google office in Toronto; we all braved the cold to try and get a meeting with Google about providing affordable Internet.
Two members – myself and Antonia Burnett – went to the 12th floor while the other members stayed in front of the Google office holding up signs and giving out flyers. The receptionist on the 12th floor was actually very friendly at first, then claiming that there was no one there that we could speak to – that there was no management – and then saying she would fax our letter, but her fax machine wasn’t working and she couldn’t leave the desk to go to another, nor was she sure who she should fax it to or where to fax it. In one comment, she said that she would of course pass it along, but the next thing she would say was she didn’t know who to forward it to. She provided us with a number for a voicemail only and email address, which we have already tried to use without any replies. I think it’s safe to say that she won’t be forwarding or passing along our letter.
I found an article in the Globe & Mail; it’s a picture tour of Google’s offices downtown where we were. I noticed one of the pictures of a man named Patrick Pichette, the company’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer – he snaps photos of guests as they tour the offices. I looked him up – before working at Google he worked at Bell, so I would guess Bell’s attitude. There are five floors according to this tour info so I would guess there must be a decision maker, a person in charge there somewhere – at least you would think so. I think this Patrick guy might be the source; his office may be in Montreal. Interesting that Bell refuses to meet with us and now Google does the same, and the senior VP for Google once worked for Bell. During his time at Bell Canada he held various executive positions, including CFO from 2002 until the end of 2003, and was instrumental in the management of the most extensive communications network in Canada and its ongoing migration to a new national IP-based infrastructure. Looks like Patrick would be the person we might want to meet up with; I think we might want to forward our letter to him.